“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy
My 2013 goal was to post regularly, at least weekly. But, I have been off my game, so to speak. 2014 will be better. Though I have not been writing on a more regular basis, I have been paying attention. And, friends, too many of you are not getting the required amount of exercise. Whatever your excuse, STOP IT!
Exercise is important...period! Our bodies were designed to move. Too many of my friends and associates are complaining about bad knees (a knee/hip replacement seems to be a badge of honor), bad backs, high blood pressure, and other so-called age-related diseases and disabilities. They view these ailments as the by-product of aging; a given. Not true.
Research has consistently shown that exercise is the best weapon against age-related diseases and disabilities such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer in women. Exercise also benefits mental and psychological health by reducing depression, anxiety and stress and by increasing control over risky behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, and other substance abuse and unhealthy diet choices.
It has long been established that the health challenges of many older Americans are the direct result of a lack of exercise and poor health and lifestyle choices made – consciously or unconsciously – 20, 30 or 40 years ago.
If you want to age with dignity; decrease your risk of disease; and look and feel good, you must make some form of exercise a top priority. No excuses! Start now, or pay later! It’s almost impossible to age gracefully without paying due diligence to exercise.
Are you getting enough exercise? If no, what is your excuse?
“Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It's our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit.” – Mary Lou Retton
Passion keeps you young – in body, mind, and spirit. Living with passion transforms your life in so many ways. People who are passionate about something are the ones who stay eternally young.
It’s never too late to find your passion and follow it. It does take some soul searching, reflection, commitment and courage. Courage because it might mean taking some risks and stepping outside of your comfort zone; or doing things that might not seem appropriate at the time.
Here are three thought provoking questions to ask yourself to begin your journey to find your passion:
- What excites you?
- What do you enjoy doing so much that you lose track of time?
- What would you do even if you were not paid?
What are you passionate about? I would love to hear from you.
“You can set yourself up to be sick, or you can choose to stay well.” –Wayne Dyer
Many of my friends have either had a knee or hip replaced (or both); or they are waiting for Medicare to kick in so that they can get it done. It seems as though the experience of having a knee or hip replaced is some kind of badge of honor. Some even post it on their Facebook page. Of course, I often wonder how many hip and knee replacements could have been delayed or even avoided if practicing wellness had been high on their list of priorities.
I don’t believe that one can practice wellness without, first, having some understanding of what wellness means and how it’s practiced. Wellness means creating health in order to prevent sickness.
We create health by consistently and regularly engaging in those activities, skills and behaviors that contributes to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. This might include: exercising, journaling, praying, meditating, eating consciously, forgiving, listening, to name a few.
To stay well, you must approach wellness as you would approach playing tennis, singing, acting or playing a musical instrument. No matter how good you are, you’re never 100%; there is always room for improvement. That’s the way it is with health. Because we are human, we can never stop practicing because once we do, we slip. Think about a golfer, tennis player, dancer or a musician who does not practice on a regular basis, what happens? They slip and some even lose it completely.
Practice makes perfect. While that may be true to a certain extent, it’s more accurate to say, “practice makes permanent”. For wellness habits to become a permanent part of your life and for you to improve, those habits must be practiced on a daily basis. It’s never too late to start practicing.
Do you practice wellness? If yes, what activities do you engage in to stay well?
“I love quotations because it’s a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.” - Marlene Dietrich
Last week, I posted fifteen of my favorite quotes about aging. I neglected to tell you what quotes do and how I use them. Firstly, quotes can inspire, motivate, and brighten your day. I maintain a notebook of quotes. As a matter of fact, I even wrote a pamphlet, titled 100 Quotes to Inspire Possibility Thinking (downloadable free from this site).
Now, how I use them. When I am feeling a bit sorry for myself; or thinking about all the things I did (and can no longer do), should or shouldn’t have done “back in the day”, I reflect on my quotes. Instantly, I am inspired, motivated, and my day looks brighter.
As a speaker and workshop/seminar leader, rarely do I make a presentation without including one or more profound quotes. I love interjecting quotes in my talks. They make me sound smarter and more knowledgeable. As I write about quotes, I am reminded of one by the Latin author, Julio Cortazar: “In quoting others, we cite ourselves.”
My quotes always speak for themselves; no commentary is needed. I hope last week’s quotes resonate with you as much as they do with me. So, go back and reflect.
Again, do you have a favorite quote about aging? If yes, please share it with me in the comments section.
I love quotes. Here are fifteen of my favorites on aging or getting older.
“Growing old is not for sissies.” – Bette Davis
”Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain
“Everyone is the age of their heart.” – Guatemalan Proverb
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” – Satchel Paige
“You’re never too old to become younger.” – Mae West
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing”. – George Bernard Shaw
"Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength." -Betty Friedan
“It’s sad to grow old, but nice to ripen.” – Bridgett Bardot
“There’s always a lot to be thankful for if you take the time to look for it. For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt.” – Unknown
The time to begin most things is ten years ago.” – Mignon McLaughlin
"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art." -– Eleanor Roosevelt
“At twenty we worry about what others think of us; at forty we don’t care what others think of us; at sixty we discover they haven’t been thinking about us at all.” – Unknown
“When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day.” – Marty Bucella
“Do not regret growing older. It’s a privilege denied to many.” – Unknown
“Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.” – Robert Browning
Do you have a favorite quote about aging? If yes, please share it with me in the comments section.
“Everyone is the age of their heart.” - Guatemalan Proverb
Do you desperately try to hide your age? Or attempt to reject your age? Or consider old age a nuisance or an inconvenience? If you do, just think of the alternatives. If you’re not a part of this world, where would you want to be? Better still, what would you be doing? Whatever your age, it’s yours. And, it’s something to be proud of! So, embrace it. Be proud that you’re still in a position to be of service; to enjoy life; and to make a difference – in some small or large way. It’s impressive, attractive, and empowering when you fully embrace your age –whether you are 50 or a 100. Why go through all the hassle of pretending that you are 5, 10, or 15 years younger than you are. It’s a waste of time, and it’s burdensome. And, at a certain point, you sometimes forget what you said the last time you were asked or when you volunteered to give your age. I am not at all ashamed or afraid for people to know how old or how young I am for I am grateful that I have lived this long; look and feel this good. My gray hair has become my brand. My way of telling the world that world that I am confident, fearless, and proud of who I am; and that I fully embrace who I am.
No matter what life has presented you, these really are your best days. So, embrace your age. Tell the world if and when asked. It’s ok to tell your age even if you’re not asked.
Is there a specific formula for living a long, healthy, and productive life? No. There is no specific formula. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, author of Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being, there is no evidence "that particular foods, supplements or other substances have anything to do with our living to extreme old age." I contend, however, that while there is no specific formula, there are at least two factors that can be attributed to one’s longevity: attitude and lifestyle.
According to a small survey commissioned by Evercare, a company that specializes in coordinating care for senior health, American centenarians (people 99 and over) have a few things in common. And, all are – directly or indirectly – related to lifestyle and attitude. While the focus of the survey was centenarians, I think the same or similar conclusions can be drawn about octogenarians (80 to 89 years old) and nonagenarians (90 to 99 years old). Here are the findings. American centenarians are:
- Plugged into popular culture. Nearly a third have watched a reality TV show, and 27 percent have watched MTV or music videos. One in seven has played a video game.
- Six percent have been on the Internet, and four percent have listened to music on an iPod.
- Eighty-two percent said their dietary habits had improved or stayed the same as compared to 50 years ago.
- Only 23 percent said they have ever smoked. On average those who quit did so 41 years ago.
- Have a favorite memory. Twenty-eight percent said their wedding day, followed by 13 percent citing the birth of a child, and 13 percent their 100th birthday. One said his favorite memory was "when I learned to fly at age 76."
- Thirty-four percent said the person they would most trust to tell the truth would be their priest, rabbi or preacher.
- Seventy percent now live at home, either alone or with a spouse.
The survey further concluded that: centenarians are forward-thinking, open to new experiences, eat generally healthy foods, don't smoke, have strong religious faith, and cherish their independence.
Do you know any octogenarians (80 to 89 years old), nonagenarians (90 to 99 years old) or centenarians? What are some of their lifestyle habits; their attitude? Better still, are you an octogenarian, nonagenarian, or centenarian? Please let me hear from you.
"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." - Mark Twain
One of the great truths about aging is this: you must change the way you think about it.
You don’t have to get old simply because you are aging chronologically. Aging isn’t something to be avoided at all cost, especially when you consider the alternatives. It isn’t about lost youth, creaky joints, aches and pains, memory/hearing loss or something to be avoided at all cost. It’s about a new stage of life which offers new opportunities for change and growth; an opportunity to try new things, go new places, or simply to experience a more confident YOU.
Contrary to what some may think, when you enter middle age, your best days are not over; they are just beginning. Life has settled down….the children are out of the house and own their own (hopefully)….
savings are intact (hopefully)…the career/job is stable…less stress or you have learned how to better cope with stress… you are more comfortable with yourself and have a better idea of who you are and what you want. This is the stage of your life when you can prepare for a do-over –i.e. if you want it. This stage of your life presents another opportunity to excel – to change your life; to start a new career; to do YOU.
As you enter the last phase of your life (over 60), are you preparing to live or to die? Do you spend your days planning for tomorrow or reminiscing about yesterday?
As with all things in life, attitude is everything. What is your attitude about aging?
My recent vacation in beautiful Sag Harbor, New York, reminded me of Andy Rooney’s comments on women over 60. I posted this once but am motivated to, again, share Mr. Rooney’s words of wisdom.
- A woman over 60 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, ‘What are you thinking?’ She doesn’t care what you think.
- If a woman over 60 doesn’t want to watch a game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She goes and does something she wants to do and it’s usually more interesting.
- Women over 60 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.
- Older women are more generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it‘s like to be unappreciated.
- Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 60.
- Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 60 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
- Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk or if you are acting like one. You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.
To Mr. Rooney’s comments, I am adding: Women over 60 know that they are responsible for their own peacefulness.
If you are over 60, how do you feel about it? Let me hear from you.
Here are three things I know about staying “eternally” young.
Start early. If you want to stay young – in mind, body and spirit – start sooner rather than later. It’s never too early to start since technically the aging process begins at birth. But whether you start at 30, 40, 50, or you are just getting started (at age 65), it’s never too late to develop healthy lifestyle habits, the right mental attitude, and other anti-aging steps that will slow the aging process thus helping you to stay “eternally” young.
Take care of yourself. You must take care of yourself in every way. You must make fitness, health, and wellness your top priorities. Taking care of yourself means caring for your mind, body, and spirit by: making better food choices, exercising, getting enough sleep, associating with right-minded and positive people, forgiving yourself for past mistakes, and just having balance in your life.
Accept and embrace the aging process. Don’t fight it; embrace it. Contrary to what we may have been told, aging is not a disease to be avoided at all cost. It’s not about gloom and doom. It’s something to look forward to. If you don’t think so, consider the alternatives. When you accept and embrace the aging process, you decide how you want to enter this phase of your life.
Staying “eternally” is all about attitude.
What are some things you know about staying “eternally” young. I would love to hear from you.
For the past week, I have been compiling a list of ways to stay “eternally young”. However, before I could summarize my findings on the habits, actions, and attitudes of people who appear years younger than their chronological age, I stumbled across a blog by Philip Moeller, 10 Ways to Stay Mentally Young. While the article focused on 10 things to help the brain stay young while your chronological age increases, they are easily adapted to the concept of staying “eternally” young. Here are Moeller’s 10.
- Learn a new language. This gives your brain a real workout and forces it to create new pathways to learn.
- Learn an instrument. The combination of learning new physical skills on an instrument and learning to make music is great mental exercise.
- Get lost. Go to an unfamiliar area and force yourself to navigate it. Realizing you have the skills to deal with new situations builds confidence, and gives your brain a workout.
- Volunteer. Getting involved in a new endeavor will introduce you to new people and activities. Broadening your circle of friends and acquaintances is healthy on multiple grounds. This is one of my “go to” ways to staying eternally young. I am often described as a professional volunteer.
- Get uncomfortable. Step outside of your comfort zone. This is another variant of getting lost. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a good way to open yourself up to new experiences, new learning opportunities and new possibilities.
- Be physical. The benefits of exercise are too numerous to mention. Plus, I have written numerous posts on the benefits of physical exercise. Physical exercise is considered one of the keys to the fountain of youth.
- Play new and challenging games. Your brain loves to play. In fact, play appears to have a stronger role in human development than for any other animal on the planet.
- Take classes. Exposing yourself to new ideas, classmates and even classroom settings hits several of the targets that experts associate with cognitive health.
- Embrace new technology. Staying connected in a digital world may seem like an uphill slog you don't want to take. But it can have huge brain-health benefits, as you learn new things and connect with new people and ideas.
- Keep opening new doorways. Your brain is endlessly curious about the unknown and appears to be a sponge for new ideas and experiences.
You can read Moeller’s entire article in the May 6th on line issue of The Huffington Post.
Do you know of people who act, think, talk, move, and feel 15-20 years younger than their chronological age? Do you fit into this category? If yes, what is one thing (or two) you can share with me? I would love to hear from you.
According to Suzanne Braun Levine, “the best thing a man can do for his health is to get married to a woman. One of the best things a woman can do for her health is to nurture a relationship with her girlfriends. This is especially true as we get older”. Levine cites 6 compelling reason to have close girlfriends. They are as follows:
- They are fun to be with. This is not to say that we don’t have fun with our spouses or partners. But, many of us have even more fun with our girlfriends. In fact, Levine states that “our girlfriends are often our first choice when we want to celebrate an important milestone”.
- The root for us and they put up with us. When things are good, our girlfriends are right there with us. And, when we are unreasonable (or acting stupidly), they tolerate and forgive us. They love and believe in us unconditionally.
- They stand by us and with us. Girlfriends support us – through thick and thin. They are there when times are good, and when times are not so good. They applaud us when we’re up and lift us when we are down. In times of crises, they are right there standing beside us.
- They listen when we just want to vent. Girlfriends, at least my girlfriends, know that when I am venting, I don’t want advice, I just want an “ear”. Just let me rant and rave; and wallow in self-pity. They know that I just want their undivided attention. And, when it’s their turn, I will give them mine.
- They make us laugh, and keep us sane. Not only do our girlfriends make us laugh, they also laugh at our jokes – no matter how corny.
- They know when we are hurt and angry. And, somehow, they know exactly what to say or what not to say.
I am adding one more thing to Levine’s list. Girlfriends empower us and help us feel better about ourselves. They boost our self-esteem and sense of self-worth. With them, we feel important, capable, strong, and extra-special. When we leave our girlfriends, we feel good!
Do you have other compelling reasons why girlfriends are important for women over 50? Let me hear from you. Let’s see how many reasons we can come up with.
I am now 65. So, maybe this is why I have been focusing on women who have aged beautifully; who do not look their age. From researching and asking questions, here are a few more tips I have picked up:
- Clean your Face – Wash your face twice a day. Use a gentle, mild cleanser; and never use alcohol as a toner. Never sleep in your make-up. It clogs the skin. Moisturize your skin morning and evening. And, get a facial (you can do it yourself at home) at least once a month.
- Sunscreen – Sunscreen protects your skin from visible signs of aging. And, it protects you from getting skin cancer. Dark skin, light skin… It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, sunscreen is a must. Better still, stay out of the sun, period.
- Water— Drink plenty of water. It does wonders for your looks. You will look younger and healthier when your skin is properly hydrated. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity. It flushes out impurities in your skin, leaving you with a clear, glowing complexion.
- Smile – It takes more muscles to frown than to smile. The smile is your million dollar asset. You can work miracles with a smile. Smiling lights up your face and costs absolutely nothing. Don’t forget to take care of your teeth. Brush, brush, brush….floss, floss, floss. And, visit your dentist at least once a year; more often if you are an excessive coffee or tea drinker. Both stain your teeth, adding years to your looks.
- Weight – Maintain a healthy weight. Contrary to what you have heard, you can be too thin. In my opinion (IMO), nothing ages you more than being too thin. When you are too thin, it shows in your face and neck which prematurely ages you. If you are naturally thin, then work out… do some strength training and build some muscle. Sagging (flabby) arms, face, and neck make you look much older than you are. IMO.
- Hair – Take care of your hair. This is one of those lessons I wish I had learned when I was in my 20s. I didn’t. But, I don’t fret over it anymore because I have learned 2 things: 1) I am NOT my hair and; 2) there is never a reason to have a “bad” hair day. There are scarves, hats, and, yes, wigs. I am a bona fide wig lover. To me, wigs are one of human’s greatest discoveries. With wigs, I can change my hair and my overall appearance as often as I like; and I never worry about a bad hair day. I can be glamorous each and every day. If you are going the wig route, please get an expert wig stylist. A good stylist will help you avoid the “wiggy” look. Nothing ages you more than a “wiggy-looking” wig.
My last beauty tip for the week is attitude. Don’t let your attitude date you. Let it shine, shine, shine. Even if you have not physically aged gracefully, a positive, upbeat, attitude can make a huge difference.
Any beauty tips you want to share? Let me hear from you.
Have you ever pondered the lifestyles of people who don’t seem to get old not matter their chronological age? Well, recently I have been paying a great deal of attention to these people (mostly women). And, here are a few things I have discovered; a few things they have in common.
They are active – in every way. They are engaged and involved in some type of social activity – whether community or church. They all do some form of physical exercise on a regular basis. They walk, play tennis, take group exercise classes, or swim. Several participate in some kind of dance class at least three days a week. Another meets her walk group at 6:30 a.m. at least 5 days a week. And, one (who is a few months shy of 81) still runs half marathons. She started running at age 73. This ageless beauty even got her boyfriend (several years her junior) involved in running. They now run half marathons together.
- They are conscious about what they eat. They don’t eat a lot of junk. And, when they plan to put in long hours, they carry apples, nuts, water, and other healthy snacks.
- They have a supportive inner circle. Some of these women have had the same friends for over 50 years. And, they take time out of their busy schedules to spend time with their friends and family. They cultivate relationships. They remember and celebrate special events like birthdays, and the like.
- They are current. They keep up with current events. Many are even technologically savvy; sending emails and text messages on a regular basis. Some even have twitter accounts. And, one has a blog following of over 3,000.
- They are passionate about something. There are causes (or a single cause) they strongly believe in and commit their time to supporting. They are tireless and fearless – even though it sometimes means stepping outside of their comfort zone.
These women are a living testament to George Burn’s quote: “you can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old”.
Do you have some thoughts on not growing old? Let me hear from you.
How much do you know about the lifestyles of older people, especially those over 65? How often have you made stereotypical comments about older people? Or embraced some myth that has been around for decades and perpetuated by television, magazines, newspapers and virtually every aspect of society?
Here are some commonly held myths about people over 65.
- The majority of people over 65 are senile (disoriented or demented).
- Most older people have no interest in, or capacity for, sex.
- The majority of older people feel miserable much of the time.
- At least 10 percent of the aged are living in longstay institutions (nursing homes. Assisted living facilities, etc.).
- Most older workers cannot work as effectively or efficiently as younger workers.
- Most old people are set in their ways and unable to change.
- As we get older, we have more illnesses, which is part of the aging process and should be expected.
- In general, most older people are pretty much alike.
- Most older people are isolated and lonely.
- People tend to become more religious as they age.
“Age is just a number.”
Once upon a time, I stereotyped people over 65 – i.e., until I joined the group. Do you have some unfounded myths about people over 65? Let me hear from you.
This month, I celebrate my 65 birthday. I am now on Medicare. And, that is a good thing. Now, I fully understand what seniors mean when they say, “Don’t mess with my Medicare”. Senior power ROCKS!
Here are five more ageless beauty tips.
- Embrace your age. Ageless beauties don’t go around trying to “hide” their age. In fact, they broadcast it. They are so grateful to be among the living; and to be feeling and looking good. They understand that age is just a number; that age is about attitude, lifestyle, and the willingness to embrace change.
- Set goals. For the most part, I am goal oriented. I begin each year with something I want to accomplish. Goals give me a sense of purpose; something to look forward to. And, when accomplished, a sense of pride.
- Smile. A healthy smile is your million dollar asset. You can work miracles with a smile. Smiling is a way to write your feelings on your face. It communicates that you are friendly, positive, and happy. A healthy smile is bright and radiant. So, don’t neglect your teeth. Ageless beauties have great looking teeth. They brush, floss, and visit their dentist at least annually.
- Embrace change. The only thing constant is change. Commit to making the necessary changes in your life. Stop saying, ‘I can’t”. The only legitimate can’t is something you are physically unable to do. Even then, don’t rule it out. Since anything is possible, there may be a way.
- Make thankfulness a habit. Or as Andre Crouch sings in his song, Let the Church Say…Amen, “No matter how you’re feeling…or how your world is reeling…just say amen.” In other words, give thanks. Give thanks for little things. Every day and in different ways, give thanks or just say…AMEN.
Are you an ageless beauty? What is the one beauty tip you can share with me?
Ageless beauties... Do you know women who are healthier, happier, more confident and more beautiful today than they were 5, 10,
or 15 years ago? Are you one of those women?
I am. My hair is no longer long, black and thick; my skin is no longer tight and smooth. I don’t move quite as fast. I don’t even think I am as tall. Yet, I am, without a doubt, an ageless beauty.
Being an ageless beauty isn’t something that’s reserved for a few. Anyone can be one by practicing these 5 easy-to-implement beauty tips.
- Exercise. Most ageless beauties have one thing in common: exercise. We engage in some form of physical exercise at least 5 days a week. Our routine falls into 3 categories: cardio, strength training, and flexibility (stretching). And, we engage in activities that we enjoy. For example, I love to dance. So, I dance at least 3 days a week – at home or at my gym. Whether at home or at my gym, I dance as if no one is watching.
- Eat and drink more consciously. This doesn’t mean that we don’t sometimes overindulge. For the most part, however, we watch what we eat and when we eat it. We include more fresh fruit, vegetables, and fish in our diet. And, we limit our intake of fried foods, red meat, prepackaged foods, sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeine.
- Establish and stick to a beauty regiment. Clean your skin before going to bed, use a moisturizer daily, wear sun screen and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Make drinking more plain water a vital part of your beauty regiment. It does wonders for your body, especially your skin. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturize skin and increase skin elasticity. It flushes out impurities in your skin, leaving you with a clear, glowing complexion; a more youthful complexion.
- Update your appearance. Don’t let your wardrobe date you. While I don’t obsess about it, I love to look fashionable – even when working out. I keep abreast of fashion trends. And, once or twice a year, I add a trendy yet classic item to my wardrobe.
- Cultivate an empowering relationship. An empowering relationship is a nurturing, supportive relationship that can show up in different ways: spouse, partner, boyfriend/friend or simply a bff (best friend forever). Not just anybody, but a person who shares your enthusiasm for living; and is willing to do things – like go dancing. For example, my 80 year old friend – an avid runner, golfer, and ageless beauty – has a boyfriend who runs with her at least 2 days a week. They even trained for and ran a half marathon (13.1 miles). This new relationship has literally added even more “pep” to her step.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Being an ageless beauty isn’t dictated by one’s genes, it’s about one’s attitude, lifestyle, and the willingness to embrace change.
If you’re an ageless beauty…and you know it, please let me hear from you. What is one beauty tip you can share with me?
Here are a few more things I know about aging.
It’s never too late. Technically, the aging process begins at birth. So, the sooner you start engaging in healthy lifestyle habits, the better. However, whether you start at 30, 40, 50, or you’re just getting started (in your 60s or 70s); it’s never too late. You will still reap tremendous benefits.
Take care of yourself. If the goal is to age with dignity and confidence, it’s imperative that you take care of yourself. This means making fitness, health, and wellness your top priorities. Taking care of yourself means caring for your mind, body, and spirit by: making better food choices, exercising, getting enough sleep, associating with right-minded and positive people, staying active, and just having balance in your life.
Accept and embrace the aging process. Don’t fight it; embrace it. Contrary to what we have been told (by ourselves or the media), aging is not a disease to be avoided at all cost. It’s not about gloom and doom. It’s something to look forward to. If you don’t think so, consider the alternatives. When you accept and embrace the aging process, you can make an informed decision about how you want to live out the rest of your life.
Feel good about yourself. When it comes to aging gracefully, feeling good about yourself is at the very top of the list of things I know for sure. I know for sure that if you don’t value, appreciate and feel good about yourself and what you have accomplished, the aging process can be daunting. Feeling healthy and feeling good about yourself is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.
Never stop learning. Learning is vital to aging well. Embrace technology. Thanks to technology, the whole wide world is just a click away. Technology makes life easier, more comfortable, and it helps you to stay connected and to maintain your independence. Plus, you can learn something new every day without even leaving home. And, if you really want to step it up a notch, become a part of the social media network: tweet, blog, use Facebook.
It’s never too late to start!
What are some things you know about aging? I would love to hear from you.
How often do you hear “aging gracefully” and think….“blah, blah, blah”? A friend once remarked annoyingly, “Such an overused phrase”. While it may be a cliché, if we live long enough, it happens. And, since it happens, why not do it with style, dignity, and confidence. And, to me, this is what “grace” is all about. Agree?
While aging gracefully means different things to different people, the bottom line is this: there is no way around it. We get older, we age. Aging is simply another stage in our lives; a stage that can be exciting or humdrum. Whether it’s exciting or humdrum is entirely up to you. On this, you are 100% in control. For that stage to be exciting it requires energy, stamina, and the right mental attitude. For it to be humdrum, it requires virtually nothing. Just be still and watch life pass you by.
For some, aging gracefully means: staying active, not fighting the idea of biological aging, and moving forward in a manner that doesn’t deny who you are. For others, it means accepting the inevitable changes of aging, finding meaningful activities, and being optimistic. For me, it means all of these things. However, it also means accepting myself for who and what I am; accepting and embracing the aging process and the changes it’s bringing; and making the necessary adjustments – emotionally/mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and otherwise – to adapt to those changes.
While there is a lot about aging I don’t know, there are some things I do know. For example, I know that aging gracefully is focusing on those qualities that accrue with maturity and make you attractive at any age. I also know that aging gracefully isn’t just about looking good; it’s about feeling good in every way – physically, psychologically, intellectually, occupationally, socially, and spiritually. And, finally, I am convinced that the three most important ingredients to graceful aging are: attitude, lifestyle, and the ability to accept change.
What does “aging gracefully” mean to you? Let me hear from you.
Welcome to 2013! My motto this year is…be heard and seen in 2013. This year, resolve to: let your light shine a little bit brighter than it did in 2012… and have a stronger presence in your community. To do this, here is what I am suggesting.
- Exercise. You don’t need 1 or 2 hours, you only need 20 or 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, to see results. Shoot for cardio, balance, stretching, and resistance training. For cardio, mix it up – walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, biking.
- Eat and drink consciously. Be more aware of what and how much you eat and drink. Your food/drink choices can affect your body, mind, emotions, and overall well being – now as well as in the future. Making better food/drink choices isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Drinking consciously means adding more plain water to your daily diet.
- Volunteer. To add some real excitement to your life, volunteer. The benefits are too numerous to list here. Just know, however, that your community AND you reap tremendous benefits when you give the gift of your time and expertise.
- Listen more. This is one I am going to work hard on for I am an interrupter. Listen without interrupting, without giving advice, and without telling your own story. You can tell your story, later. Oh! And, listening does not mean giving advice unless asked. Even then, be careful what you say. Sometimes, people just want to be heard.
- Connect. Have one person you connect with every single day. This is especially important as you get older. This let someone know that you are alive and well. And, it lets the other person know that they matter. And, it demonstrates your commitment to being seen.
- Be positive. Every day, resolve to do these three things to maintain a positive attitude: smile, focus on what you have not what you don’t have, and expect only great things to happen to you.
- Be authentic. Everything is easier when you are relevant, helpful, authentic, and “do you”. To “do you” is another way of saying, be yourself.
- Be thankful. Make thankfulness a daily habit. Each day is a gift. So, be gracious and grateful.
What are some of your plans for being heard and seen in 2013? Let me hear from you.
2012 was an exciting yet intense year for me. I spent 9 months volunteering as a Neighborhood Team Leader (NTL) to help re-elect President Obama. And, with the help of many people, mostly senior citizens (65 or older), I am happy to say, “Mission Accomplished”! Winning was… ooh so sweet!
As NTL, I, again, got to use my leadership skills. This experience – though awesome - reminded me of why I decided to teach leadership vs. “do” leadership. Nevertheless, I met and worked with some amazing people who truly epitomized what it meant to “age gracefully”. These people, mostly women, were unlike any seniors I had ever met; or even read about. They were focused, tireless, fearless, committed, and determined. They were the busiest, most active senior citizens I had ever met.
One key lesson learned was: Never piss off or fire up (unless it’s in your best interest) a bunch of informed seniors, especially women. Don’t be fooled by their age. They will get you; they will make you pay.
These women helped me redefine the way I view senior citizens. And, they showed me what it meant to embrace aging with dignity, style and confidence. On several occasions, I thought to myself, “If this is what a senior citizen look and act like, then, I want to be one of those.”
A few weeks after having this thought, I received my Medicare card. This was as weird as receiving my AARP card. Initially, I thought it was a mistake. Then, it hit me! I am a senior citizen, fast approaching 65. I am already “one of those”.
Ever since that Medicare card came in the mail, I have been pondering my next move; asking myself, “what’s next”? I am simply too young to retire. I have not yet decided on “my next” big move. I have, however, decided how I will approach 2013. This is what I intend to do: make thankfulness a habit; be more authentic and “do me” (i.e., be myself); be kinder, gentler, more tolerant and more forgiving; listen more without interrupting; be more accepting and nonjudgmental; reflect on my past year, looking for the lessons learned; and lighten up on myself. Oh! And I intend to “get a date”!
How do you intend to approach 2013? Let me hear from you.