Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you can only view a few of our forums. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use the many member-only features such as post, reply, upload, view, customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls.

Registration is simple, fast and completely free. Simply click on the 'Register' option in the upper left-hand corner of your screen and input your information as prompted. You must use a valid, traceable e-mail account. Your registration will be validated by the board Administrator, editor and you will receive a welcome e-mail message. You will then be free to login and enjoy the blessings of our Grace Today Dieters family.

NOTE: If you have an e-mail service that blocks spam, our welcome e-mail may be automatically sent to your "spam" folder or immediately deleted. Please check the settings on your spam blocker in your e-mail system. If you do not receive a welcome e-mail from Grace Today Dieters within a few days, please come back and try logging in with the user name and password selected. Thank you.

Please, no spammers or those joining to promote their own web sites, ministries or other charitable endeavors. Thank you.

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
8 steps to healthy aging
Topic Started: Feb 27 2012, 05:40 AM (640 Views)
Head Admin editor
Member Avatar

Eight Steps to Healthy Aging

By Mary Treacy, Founder and Contributing Editor of age-well.org

Challenges of Aging

Healthy Aging is not just about staying physically healthy. Aging brings with it a whole new set of challenges that we need to cope with if we are to age well. It is true that, as we age, we have to cope with gradual loss of our physical ability and youthful looks, but these are usually not as difficult to cope with as major changes such as loss of loved ones, job loss or retirement (which is often associated with loss of purpose) and major illness.

Three of the most difficult areas to manage are changes that affect our security, our financial independence and our sense of community. As we age we lose loved ones and friends and the pool of people who have known us for many years and with whom we have a shared history.
Once we stop work we often lose our sense of purpose, much of our income and also the fact of belonging to a community. Retirement or loss of job can be difficult to cope with. Ageism in the work place, or in society at large, may leave older people feeling that they no longer belong, especially if they do not have a spouse or partner.

Start with the Essentials

Start by building the foundations for and healthy aging by making lifestyle changes if we have not been living in a way that will help us reach optimum health, stay well, age well and stay younger for longer.

Keeping your mental health and maintaining a purpose and zest for life are also important ingredients in the formula for healthy aging

1. Acceptance

Start by accepting loss as otherwise you cannot move on with your life. Loss of your spouse or other love one can be especially hard to cope with on your own, but loss of job or loss of health can also be extremely difficult. Talking with a friend or health professional can help, as can writing -sometimes keeping a diary can help - and other creative ventures. Donít keep loss buried but find ways of accepting the loss so that you can move on with your life. Accept that there are things that you canít change and focus on taking action to change the things you can.

2. Deal with Stress

Sometimes as we age we find it more difficult to deal with stress. The speed of change has accelerated in recent decades and coping with such fast-paced change can create stresses that are difficult enough to cope with when you are young. As we age the number of changes we have to deal with increases and can include loss of family members, friends, career, income, physical abilities and looks. If we add the rapid changes in technology, changes in values, political and social change and even climate change, we often feel overwhelmed by all the changes we have to deal with.
There are many ways of dealing with stress such as learning how to relax by attending relaxation classes, meditation, walking, and physical activity. Find out what works for you and make sure you implement these on a regular basis. Additionally make sure you are getting enough sleep, drinking enough water and eat well.

3. Eat Well

Healthy aging is defined as living a longer, healthier life. A healthy diet can contribute to living an active life well into old age and to preserving your independence. A healthy diet means eating food which you enjoy and which will give you all the nutrients you need to preserve your health, prevent bone loss and other signs of aging and guard against diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes.
Dietary choices are critical to delay the onset of aging and age-related diseases, and the sooner you start, the greater the benefit.

4. Exercise Well

Exercise is another of the keys to healthy aging and longevity. Studies have continually shown that people who exercise have the lowest risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Normal aging results in a gradual loss of muscle mass, known as Sarcopenia. Exercise can help prevent Sarcopenia from developing. Resistance exercise can also lead to stronger bones and prevent osteoporosis. . Exercise also improved cardiovascular health preventing arteriosclerosis, strokes, heart attacks, and vascular dementia.

Having stronger muscles and better balance may mean fewer falls, a leading cause of death among the elderly, according to the American Geriatrics Society.
5. Watch Your Weight
If you are overweight, especially if you have too much belly fat, one of the best things you can do to prevent age-related conditions and age healthily is to lose weight. It becomes harder to lose weight as one age, but the health benefits will really be worth the extra effort.
6. Adopt Healthy Habits
Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, adequate rest, avoiding tobacco and too much alcohol, with a diet rich in healthy foods and beverages can be the best defense against aging. Healthy habits can improve your health and help you age better.
7. Use your brain
There is a lot you can do to keep your mind sharp and your brain alert as you age. Researchers believe that many changes that affect the mind, such as memory loss, are actually related to lifestyle. Just as our muscles mass decreases when we don not get enough exercise, so our brains can shrink from lack of use.

Lifelong learning and social activities can exercise the brain and help it stay younger. Besides being a lot of fun, learning a new skill can help keep you sharp into old age. Studies have shown that learning a new language can stave off dementia for up to five years in subjects who would otherwise have contracted the condition.
Chronic diseases and the medications used to treat them can have an effect the brain and dull our senses. Conditions like dementia can also be the underlying cause of confusion and memory loss. If you notice any brain related problems consult a medical professional to see if your prescription drugs or an undiagnosed health condition could cause this.

8. Look Well

The aesthetic signs of aging may be distressing to some and there is no reason why we shouldnít try and preserve our looks for as long as we can. Good food and regular exercise will help us stay young looking for longer. Exercise can help maintain good posture and this can help us look younger. Keeping weight down can also help us look younger. Facial exercises can do for the face what regular exercise can do for the body. Expensive treatments and surgery can be an option for those who can afford it.

9. Positive Thinking
Thinking positively can help keep our sense of perspective when faced with inevitable loss. If we are wise, loss makes us stop taking things for granted and helps us to focus on the many things we have to be grateful for in life.
Look for the silver lining and view all change as opportunity for self-development. If you are responsible for the unwanted change in circumstances, learn from it and move on.

Maintain a sense of humor. There is a funny side to almost anything and cultivating the ability to see this will work wonders for your morale and often provide hours of entertainment for your friends when you share stories of your experiences with them.

The Bottom Line

Remember that depression is not a normal part of aging. As we age we are increasingly confronted by loss that can be difficult to deal with especially if we do not have caring relatives or a strong support network. If you are having difficulties recovering after a major life change like the loss of a spouse, loss of job, major medical problem, major relocation or adapting to the changes that retirement brings, it might be time to seek medical help.
Above all donít isolate yourself in times of trouble. Remember that healthy aging means staying physically and socially active.

When circumstances change it is necessary to accept the situation and move on. Taking small steps to improve your situation on a daily basis can help you feel that you are still the master of your own destiny. Reinvent yourself constantly by finding things you enjoy doing with people who have similar values and interests. Learning something new is always stimulating and can lead to new friends and increased self-esteem.
Donít lose sight of the child that is in all of us. Look at life through his or her eyes and maintain your sense of wonder at this beautiful world we live in.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
1 user reading this topic (1 Guest and 0 Anonymous)
ZetaBoards - Free Forum Hosting
Enjoy forums? Start your own community for free.
Learn More · Register Now
« Previous Topic · Healthy Aging For A Lifetime · Next Topic »
Add Reply