How does age define us? This question has been asked time and time again. How is one to accept their age, and just whose idea of age are we accepting?
It appears that today’s generation of savvy seniors would rather focus on celebrating their strengths rather than just accepting their limitations. Yes, people’s attitude matters! It has been said that lifestyle gets into our DNA. One must find ways to motivate themselves. We can achieve this by focusing on overall wellness.
Three areas that deserve our attention are: improving nutrition, increasing exercise and reducing stress.
Mark Stibich, Ph.D. and author, suggests that many activities that are fun and pleasurable are also good for you. For example, smiling is a great way to change your attitude, connect with people and give benefit to your body. Like relaxation, smiling can work to counteract the affects of stress.
By forcing our selves to smile we “trick” our body into believing that everything is good, thereby reducing stress. Like a switch, smiling can actually change your mood.
Furthermore Dr.Stibich tells us to make exercise more like play. Simple exercise routines are great for maintaining balance, flexibility, endurance and strength. Group games and sports can give your mind a workout as well, as you anticipate other people’s actions and how to work together. Find an activity that suits your level of physical ability and play often.
Relationships are also a very important part of health. Dr. Stibich suggests that not only do strong bonds with other people mean you will have help when you need it, being connected also means protection from loneliness, depression and mental illness. Spend time cultivating your relationships with friends and family to improve your health and life.
Last, but definitely not least, proper nutrition is important. Focus on eating more of the foods that are good for you and keep an eye on portions. If you have specific diet needs a food journal can be effective in helping you maintain regular eating habits. Find foods you enjoy and occasionally treat your self to something special!
In the end age is as unique to the individual as their DNA and yes mind set. So don’t let a number define you, get out there and define your age.
— Christina Bishop is Operations Director for Elder Care.