5 Tips to Aging Gracefully

For some people change can be a difficult thing. When we are talking about aging, it is no different.  Some enjoy the journey but for others it can create a lot of stress and unfamiliar territory. 

Your social, mental, financial, and fitness life changes as we age.  No where in the book is it written that just because the kids are gone do you have to get old, achy, and everything is down hill from here. I have read that 70 percent of aging is voluntary. YOU. DO. NOT. HAVE. TO. DO. IT!!  ANNNNDDDD You can also skip 50 percent of all the sickness and serious accidents you'd expect to have from the time you turn fifty to the day you die.  Skip them he says. a book I was recently reading he said "you have control over how you age".  The next third of your life can be terrific.  Next year can be better than this year say the authors Chris Crowley and Henry S Lodge.
I have just started reading this book, but I can already tell you I am hooked.  The thought that how we live, what we eat, how we exercise, how we supplement.  It all matters. ALOT.

5 Tips to Aging Gracefully 

Have you ever lied about your age?
(Be honest. This is a safe space.)

If you have fudged the numbers a bit, you’re not alone. For some reason, getting older has become something to be embarrassed about. The reason we have so many euphemisms for “old person” (Over the hill. Golden Ager. Senior citizen. Advanced in age. Need I go on?)  is because no one wants to be called, well, an “old lady.” But in reality, aging is a natural and beautiful thing—especially when it’s done in a healthy way.

That’s why, for Healthy Aging Month, I'm rewriting the script on what it means to be “old.” As the health and happiness experts, I'm here to show you how to carry health and happiness with you always, no matter what decade (or century) of life you’re in. Here are some great ways to embrace and celebrate healthy aging.

1) Focus on the good. Too often, when we talk about aging, we talk about bad knees, memory loss, and lots (and lots) of pills. But there are many positive aspects of aging that should be celebrated, too. For example:

  • Wisdom and experience: Wisdom doesn’t come easily, and it often goes hand in hand with life experience. With plenty of years under your belt, you’ve got a lifetime of important lessons to live by and to share with others.

  • Maturity and confidence: Peer pressure is for the young’uns. You’ve been there, done that, and you know what works for you and what doesn’t. You don’t need to impress anyone, and you can be confident in yourself and your choices.

  • Growing family/community: Your relationships change as you age. Your kids are suddenly your friends, your grandkids are your favorite humans, and you have a new role and purpose within your community. If you continue to foster and nurture relationships as you age, you’ll find that your circle of friends and family will only grow.

  • Time to pursue hobbies: You’re retired, your kids have moved out, and you have fewer responsibilities. Now’s the time to pursue new hobbies and passions, or strengthen current ones. Take a painting class, write a book, learn to play the piano, knit scarves for your grandkids—find something that makes you happy, and fill your days doing just that.

  • Opportunities to help others: Along those same lines, you may find that you have more time to help others throughout your days as well. Give your time at a food bank or animal shelter, join a group with a cause you believe in, or keep it simple by babysitting for your children or neighbors. As you work to serve others, you’ll find that it helps you stay happy and healthy, no matter your age.

  • Better priorities: Getting older gives you the opportunity to slow down, take a good look at your life, and really focus on the things that are important to you. You’ll never regret living your life by putting “first things first.”
Just because you’re aging, doesn’t mean your life is ending. On the contrary: now is your chance to live the life you’ve always wanted. So, embrace your age—after all, you’ve earned it.

For me I have learned that I like easy.  Like real easy. Easier meals. Easier celebrations.  However I can simplify the situation that is what is most interesting.  I am looking at all this stuff I have gathered over a lifetime (a lot of stinkin' stuff) and I realize that the thinning process needs to start right there.  Just as I wish to shave a few lbs. off me, I need to shave a few lbs. of stuff out of every room in the house too, LOL.  Somewhere in the future I imagine we will want to move, and who wants to move all this stuff. Gah!!! But I digress...

2) Stay active. Whether you’ve been a marathon runner since your thirties, or a couch potato since high school, it’s never too late to pick up an exercise regimen that works for your body and your life. Exercising can help improve your quality of life in many ways, including improving your flexibility and helping you maintain your weight. Try exercises that are easy on your bones and joints, like swimming or water aerobics, along with yoga or simple pilates, to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility. Other options include walking, simple stretching, and resistance band training. Don’t be afraid to try something new to help you find a workout that’s a good fit.

3) Eat right. It’s vital to exercise our bodies in the right way, but it’s just as vital to fuel them in the right way, too. Healthy eating is a habit best started early in life, but if it’s a new concept for you, now is the time to start. Doing your best to eat right is a great way to keep your body in better shape: you’ll have more energy and a healthier weight.  I always say "You can't out exercise a bad diet." 

As you’re trying to make healthy eating choices as you age, you’ll find that many tips are ones that you’ve probably heard before—control your portions, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, and so on. But there are some tips that are especially important as you get older.

For one, try to eat at home. Cooking may feel like a chore, but it is often much healthier than eating out. Eating at home could help you pay closer attention to your nutritional intake. For example, certain foods like collagen-boosting leafy greens and citrus can benefit skin elasticity, while antioxidant-rich foods like dark chocolate, pecans, and blueberries can help defend cells from free radicals. Finally, focus on foods that are nutrient dense, rather than calorie dense. This will help ensure that not only do you feel full, but that you also are getting the nutrients your body needs to function at its best. I find a nice homemade veggie, broth soup is a great way to get full and keep the calories low.

Getting the right amounts of the right nutrients is very important for your health. My daughter worked for the Department of Agriculture the past few years and she spent time educating us on how the soils are so depleted that it can be very difficult to get all the nutrition from the fruits and vegetables we grow.  What is even more interesting is that certain parts of the country are more depleted than others.  Moral of the story, even if you are mindful and eat plenty of fresh, organic produce you can still be coming up short in the nutrient department.

To fill in the gaps, take a high quality multi-vitamin.
4) Keep your mind sharp. Just as important as keeping your body physically healthy, is keeping your mind mentally sharp. And just because your age is increasing doesn’t mean your mental capacity has to decrease.

How to stay on top of your mental health? One great way is to keep learning. There are so many ways to learn these days that it’s really easy and convenient to learn just about anything (even how to use a computer). If a full-blown class won’t work for you, take smaller steps: subscribe to a new magazine, watch instructional videos online, or check out a few books from the library. As you learn new things, your brain will be challenged, helping you maintain brain cells and even possibly improving your memory. In other words, not only can you teach an old dog new tricks, but you should!  Seriously Google it.  Just about everything is on Wiki or You Tube!!!  So amazing.  I love it.  I am a life long learner.  I have so many books it is almost embarrassing and they are all non fiction.  If you want to know about health or running a business I am your go to gal💓

Another important aspect of mental health as you age is keeping your spirits high and your stress levels low. The relationship between stress and aging is still being explored, but a happier life is a healthier life!

When you’re trying to work on improving your mood, don’t forget about gut health. Your gut might just be the key to not only digestive comfort (less gas and bloating), but also reduced stress, improved mood, and more stabilized stress hormones.  Did you know that 90% of mood boosting serotonin is produced in your gut.  Yes mood and gut they go together.  Like I have a gut feeling.  Yep, it's a thing. A good quality pro and pre-biotic is necessary.

5) Love the way you look. Did you cringe at the sight of your first gray hair? Run for the plastic surgeon at the sign of your first wrinkle? One of the things that people seem to dread the most about getting older is the way it will affect their appearance. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: just as you can hate the way you look at any age, you can love the way you look at any age. And you can care for your appearance in simple, effective ways that will help you embrace your age, rather than run from it.

For example, when it comes to your hair, if the gray hairs really bother you, of course you can dye them. Sticking to your natural color gives the most effortless look. Better yet: embrace the gray! Letting those silver strands shine is actually a very popular option right now, and it will look the most natural on you. Rather than reach for the dye box, try a new cut or style that is age-appropriate and highlights your best features. A talented stylist should be able to help you achieve the look you’re going for. Truth, I have to admit, even though I am almost to mid 50's genetics have been kind and I only have gray's come and go as I get stressed. So, I just want to be truthful, jury is out whether I will dye or not.  I have been known for these long, blond locks for so long I am not sure I will gracefully let them go.  We will see.

Want to look in the mirror and love what you see? With a little self-care, a little mind shift, and the right products on your side, it’s totally possible.
Don’t let getting older get you down. If you focus on healthy aging and loving this season of life, you’ll find that these can be the best years of your life. So, embrace this new version of an older you! 
Here is to health and happiness along the way.

Have a Fabulous Day,

Sherri Shepard,
 The TRU H.I.P. Life
Hope, Inspiration and a Plan to a Healthier and Happier Future

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