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Aging

Developing Mental And Emotional Vitality To Defy Aging

Vitality is defined as, “the state of being strong and active; energy.” Often times, we associate active, bundles of energy with youth. As we grow older, that initial energy begins to fade into constant fatigue, both mentally and physically. In fact, melatonin levels actually decrease as we get older thus making falling asleep more difficult.

When this occurs, a restless night’s rest can leave adults feeling tired and groggy the next morning. Although biological and even circumstantial changes occur, there are ways to defeat lethargy and regain that youthful, active spirit!

Mental Vitality- How to Work Out Your Mind

Our mind controls our overall state of well-being. We make conscious decisions and even develop close friendships through processing our thoughts. As we get older, stress from jobs or family can leave our minds clouded with negativity. In turn, we are mentally weak which could eventually turn into a physical weakness.

In order to combat negative thinking, it’s imperative to build up your mental strength! It has been quoted that “age is merely a mindset.” If this is true, we are as young as we think! This statement doesn’t refer to immature thinking similar to a child but holding onto your creativity.

Chemical changes could impact memory and information retention. In order to fight these, you’ll have to engage your mind in a little mental work out.

Practice Positive Thinking

It’s easy to get lost in a stream of negative thoughts, to-do lists, and unwarranted stress. If you want to stay energized and strong as you age, you have to take care of your mind. The phrase, “a can’t never could” is like strength training for your brain.

Taking time to reenergize during a long day is also beneficial. Practicing these breaks will allow your mind to regroup. In turn, you will remain energized throughout the day!

Develop Mindfulness into Your Daily Routine

Mindfulness is another excellent practice to cultivate. As we grow older, we begin to become anxious about our past and even our future. Mindfulness takes the pressure away from uncontrollable thoughts and forces you to focus on the present. Breathe in deeply, take notice of your surroundings, and allow your mind to rest.

Mindful thinking can also be a metaphor for life. Despite the chaos that is surrounding you, you choose to focus on your breathing instead- something you can control. Similarly, we cannot prevent growing older. Obsessing over elements out of our control can actually bring about physical signs of aging! Living in the moment and enjoying your present will help you to remain refreshed.

Remove Previous Stigma’s Associated with Aging

Many people believe growing old is just a recipe for disaster. They believe that the exciting experiences dwindle, and the next stop is the nursing home.

Society also associates older individuals with dementia, outlandish behavior, and an overall negative disposition. Sure, growing older does come with its own set of disadvantages. However, when you think about it, so does every other age group.

Children and teenagers are under the ruling of their parents which limits their freedom. 20-somethings struggle with finding their purpose. Individuals reaching their 30’s may deal with feelings of regret. No matter where you are in life, challenges will ensue. This is why removing all negative, stigmatized thinking towards aging is important. This ensures that you will enjoy the aging process without attempting to control it.

Physical Vitality is Attainable

Now that you have your mind energized and youthful, it’s only right that you treat your body similarly. Physical vitality requires effort and a bit of determination. In summation, taking action is vital!

Develop an Active Routine

Do you remember being a child and spending all day bike riding or swimming? How did you feel afterward? Likely, you were able to get up and do it all over again the following day. Nevertheless, that energy fades into adulthood. Those all day swimming episodes may only last 30 minutes to an hour. If you want to regain that energy, you have to resurrect your exercise routine. Exercise not only has lasting health benefits, it can restore your energy. Be careful not to overexert yourself starting off.

Berries and Supplements

Blueberries and strawberries are excellent natural sources of energy! Not to mention, they’re yummy and healthy. Indulging in a healthy amount of energy boosting foods will give you that extra push to endure the day. In addition, supplements such as calcium and B12 promote strength and energy. These come in handy when you experience deficiencies that could cause lethargy. Implement these into your daily diet in order to maintain a balanced system.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Researchers have found that certain foods promote energy while others drag us down. Processed, sugary, and foods high in saturated fats are all examples of food to avoid when seeking personal strength. Maintaining a healthy diet will not only promote a healthy body, it will activate your mind as well.

Growing old doesn’t have to be a fearful experience. Many people find great peace once they’ve reached a certain age. By implementing these simple practices into your daily life, you will overcome the fear of aging and hold onto your vitality!

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Aging

Age Defying Women: 4 Women Who Soared Later In Life

There is a perception in our society that once you reach a certain age you are done – there’s no more success, progress or fun. You can’t do anything new because you’ve hit the 40s or your 50s and that’s it. You might be surprised to learn just how many women in the public eye didn’t achieve their success until later in life.

We have become a nation obsessed with youth and anyone who doesn’t fall into that category is expected to sit back and let others take their crack. Don’t listen to that nonsense, just take a look at four amazing women who didn’t find their wings until later in life.

  1. Laura Ingalls Wilder

We probably best remember her for the television series that was made and based on her books. Melissa Gilbert brought her to life and Michael Landon made us fall in love with Pa. It turns out that she didn’t start writing those books until quite late in life.

Her first novel was published at the age of 65 and another 11 followed (though, some of them were published after her death).

She was born in a time where women were expected to focus on their family and put aside any career ideas. Wilder may have married young and worked on the farm beside her husband, but she didn’t let that stop her from following her dreams. She was 64 when she decided to start writing her story.

  1. Julia Child

Child grew up in a wealthy family and had dreams of being a writer – she worked for the government and moved to Paris when she met and married her husband. It was then, at 36, that she started attending cooking school and from there she (and two of her student friends) opened their very own cooking school. The trio wrote a cookbook that was designed to make French cooking easy for the American audience. It spent five years on the bestseller list upon its release.

She then made an appearance on a public access television program which led to her very own cooking show. For a woman who was in her late 30s when learning how to cook, she went on to be admitted to the Culinary Institute’s Hall of Fame and also received the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor.

  1. Kathryn Joosten

You may know her better as Mrs. McCluskey from Desperate Housewives, but she didn’t start pursuing her dream until she hit her 40s. She was a nurse throughout the 60s and 70s. When she divorced her husband, she decided to chase her childhood dreams.

She started out as a street performer at Disney World and then in 1995 she made the move to California. She appeared as a guest in sitcoms, and also landed a recurring role on The West Wing (her big break at the age of 60). The double Emmy winner is proof that it’s never too late to go after your dreams.

  1. Phyllis Diller

When we look at the history of women in comedy it’s difficult to overlook the impact that Phyllis Diller had. She was famous for being eccentric as well as her takes on suburbia, but she didn’t taste a spot of success until she was almost 40.

She married in her early 20s and had six children with her husband. She had been working as a journalist before appearing on a game show, hosted by Groucho Marx.

The response was so positive that she appeared at a comedy club, aged 37. They told her she was too old, nevertheless, she persisted. Not only did she succeed in film and as a comedian, she published her first (of five) books when she was 46.

Success takes time – and it doesn’t matter how old you are – you can make your own now. Is there something that you have always wanted to do, but you have been too scared to go for it, assuming you’re too old? There’s no such thing – if you have the drive and the passion to make it happen, then you can and will make it happen.

Let the successes of the women above, along with the likes of Jane Lynch who didn’t get a big break until she was 49, Leslie Jones who was 47, Kathy Bates at 43, or Lucille Ball who didn’t really attain her fame until she was 40.

 

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Aging

6 Ways To Stop Feeling Old

Getting older is never easy, especially once you start to notice the difference in how you feel. Feeling old may seem inevitable, but rest assured that there are ways to combat that. By introducing a few simple, positive, and healthy habits into your regular routine, you can enjoy a renewed sense of vitality, more energy, and many other positive health benefits.

Some of these habits can be more taxing levels of physical activity while others can be as simple keeping a positive outlook. These habits can help you maintain your mental and physical agility in your senior years and help to prevent depression and seclusion.

Through this article, we’ll provide you with five easy ways to help you stop feeling old and start feeling agile and young again.

1) Keep Active

Several studies have shown that remaining active in your older years can improve both mental and physical agility, helping you to feel younger. A recent study shows that even children can show a lifelong improvement in their health if they increase their physical activity, let alone seniors (Physical Inactivity: Associated Diseases and Disorders, Knight).

Keeping up the strength in your muscles and joints will help to minimize pain and swelling while also delaying disability brought on by old age for at least a few years.

2) Keep an Active Social Life

Maintaining friendships and an active social life can feelings of seclusion and depression while also keeping your mind in a quick and active state. This results in feeling younger and an ability to keep up with the many changes in life. It’s been proven beneficial to develop and maintain friendships in varying age ranges.

A common problem seniors have to face is that of losing friends due to old age, death, inactivity, and illness. Having some younger friends with which you can pass your time can help lower that risk.

3) Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eating poorly and becoming overweight can make even the youngest of people feel a decade or more older than they are as their energy and movement become limited. Eating greasy foods high in fat or too many carbs can slow you down, make your joints swell and an increase in joint pain, and cause a decrease in energy; avoiding these foods can help to boost your energy and make you feel better on the whole.

4) Keep Your Brain Active

You may not think you can exercise your brain, but you can, and it can help you feel younger. Reading regularly, doing puzzles, playing memory games, doing things like improv or charades, etc. can help keep your mind agile and feeling young.

5) Have Some Fun

One of the best ways to feel younger is letting yourself have fun. Take part in as many fun activities as you can. Finding activities, you enjoy can help breathe life into your routine. You’re more likely to be active regularly if you enjoy the activities.

6) Keep working

Retirement is nice, but it leaves a great big gaping hole in your life. Purpose is great linked to life satisfaction, and satisfaction with life keeps you feeling young. You can also volunteer if you no longer want to work. The key is to stay busy and active in your own live.

Getting older is neither fun, nor easy but there are a few steps you can take to minimize the negative effects. Introducing a few healthy things into your regular routine like staying active, challenging your mind, and eating healthy can help you feel younger, not noticing the fact that you’re aging as much.

Maintaining a physically, mentally, and socially active lifestyle in your senior years can help to reduce depression, increase energy, improve and maintain memory retention, and gift you with a renewed sense of vitality.

 

Categories
Aging

5 Horrible Habits That Ruin Your Aging Years

The process of aging is inevitable. However, there are measures we can take to decelerate the process of which would have otherwise been premature. Remember… our bodies are like automobiles; as in they must be maintained and taken care of to function (Run) properly.

This means we must develop good habits but for now, we want to address five habits that are sure to ruin the aging process.

Denying Your Stress

Stress is a killer, it causes inflammation inside the body and chronic stress means that stress hormones are coursing through your body on a regular basis leaving it in a constant state of arousal which can have detrimental consequences for your health.

This may mean taking on way less than you are currently doing, or just simply saying “NO” more often. Life is surely too short, and we need to be making sure that we are enjoying life as much as possible. Raymond Casciari, MD, the chief medical officer of St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif Says, “People think multitasking is good, but you don’t actually get anything done—you just create more stress.”

Stress is something that needs to be managed and not neglected.

Solutions:

  • Say NO more often
  • Focus on fewer things at one time
  • Eliminate the things causing you stress (If possible)

Isolation

Robert Waldinger, one of the researchers in the 80-year-old Harvard Study of Adult Development says, “Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.”

This study along with many others finds that healthy relationships and strong social ties improve aging on all levels, including emotional, physical and mental health.

This includes, cardiovascular and brain health and the Harvard study found that those with strong relationships lived longer than those who had weak social ties.

Marriage increases life expectancy, and happy relationships can help reduce stress, thus reducing the risk of heart disease, improving the function of the gut, and boosting the immune system.

Not Taking Care of Your Skin

“Sarah L. Taylor, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center” said that “The number-one cause of nearly every sign of premature aging on the human face is ultraviolet exposure.” That is worrying as there are millions of people that go without the use of protection from the sun every day.

We are exposed to the harmful rays of the sun even when there is cloud cover (So don’t think you’re safe).

How can we prevent skin damage by the sun?

  • Use a sunblock with somewhere between 30 and 50 SPF
  • Wear clothing and use protective shade to avoid long exposure to the sun
  • Make your skin care routine a habit for the rest of your life

Being Sedentary and Not Exercising

Exercise has a ton of benefits, with the reversal of premature aging being one of them. Sitting too much can cause many health problems like obesity, diabetes and the worst leading to an early death. Technology is a big reason for a lack of activity since a lot of our entertainment requires little to no movement, and it’s becoming an epidemic.

In a study done on the effects of a sedentary lifestyle of elderly women, primary researcher Aladdin Shadyab, Ph.D., from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine said “Our study found cells age faster with a sedentary lifestyle. “Chronological age doesn’t always match the biological age.” So next time you think about sitting for longer periods of time, remember that you are not helping your short and long-term health.

Ways to Combat Being Too Sedentary:

  • Join a gym and hold yourself accountable
  • Find hobbies/interests that involve being active
  • Join a group or involve friends that are always active (You become who you’re around)

Bad Nutrition

Unhealthy foods and beverages are bad for our bodies and consuming endless toxins is a recipe for bad health. There is a long list (That we won’t get into) of bad nutritional choices. Some things are just too irresistible for our taste buds to avoid all time, but moderation is better than excessive consumption.

Sugar, alcohol, junk food and processed foods, in general, all contribute to accelerated aging. The issue is peer pressure and convenience, which is not improving in a good way anytime soon. However; it is possible to turn back the clocks and make better choices.

You can start by doing these few things:

  • Consume in moderation
  • Buy more natural foods, locally sourced
  • Avoid bad nutrition altogether

Make the choice to live healthier and you’ll be happier!