6 Mindful Tips For Staying Happy And Healthy As You Age
Getting older is a privilege denied to many, so please don’t bemoan your next birthday. Many of the negative effects of aging remain within your control. Taking the right steps can help you grow older gracefully and enjoy life every bit as much as you did when you were younger.
However, you need to put in a bit of effort to develop the right habits to support your well-being. Here are six mindful tips for staying happy and healthy as you age.
SEE ALSO: Breaking Or Making A Habit Loop
Stay physically active
Did you think that growing older meant slowing down on fitness? Not according to one 88-year-old yoga instructor who credits her practice with keeping her agile at her age. Her doctors often marvel at her physical abilities when she hops on and off their table. Here’s the thing: you can’t store fitness. Even if you were a star athlete in high school, you need to keep moving to maintain your physical abilities. The good news is that as long as you do, you can stay healthier at any age.
Aches and pains can indeed make some exercises more uncomfortable. However, you have plenty of options. For example, hydrotherapy has many health benefits, and the buoyancy of the water takes the pressure off arthritic joints. One study found that participants with physical ailments used an underwater treadmill two times a week for 40 minutes. They reported decreased joint pain, improved sleep, and a better overall quality of life.
Grow your social network
This tip doesn’t necessarily mean hopping on Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok, although you can use social networks to connect with others in your community. Services such as Meetup and Nextdoor keep you up-to-date on upcoming events in your neighborhood where you can mix and mingle with friends and meet new ones who share similar interests. Doing so is vital to your mental and even physical health. Loneliness can kill. Researchers found an increase in all-cause mortality among patients who reported feeling isolated and alone. Social interaction may even reduce your dementia risk by providing positive interactions with others while honing your communication skills.
Learn something new every day
Do you want another way to stave off dementia? Keep your mind active by learning something new every day. You don’t need to enroll in a degree program that leaves you with student loan debt. However, there’s a world of learning for free or next to it online. Sites such as Udemy allow you to master anything from coding to animal reiki, often for less than $50 a class. Have you failed to parlez vous since you left French 101 behind in high school? You can find no shortage of language learning apps that let you study anything from Japanese to Spanish, all from the comfort of home on your phone.
Explore your hobbies
Your sunset years belong to those activities that delight you the most. If you’re approaching retirement or cutting back on your work schedule as you age, use that time to explore the things you could never find a spare hour to enjoy when you were younger. Even hobbies like golf might not be as pricey as you think. While greens fees can soar at certain clubs, you can often find short 9-hole courses that cost a fraction of the price. Many clubs have lesson packages to learn to drive and putt for less than $150.
If you’re one of the many who doesn’t have enough savings to retire, why not consider making one of your hobbies into a side hustle? You might shy away from the idea of monetizing your hobby. However, setting up an Etsy shop or launching a YouTube channel can provide a secondary income stream for your sunset years while allowing you the time to do what you love instead of slogging through a shift working for someone else.
If you’re retired, the world is now your oyster. All those tourist attractions in your hometown that have lines stretching from Los Angeles to New York each weekend? You can now explore them during the workweek and pass on the maddening crowds. Best of all, it doesn’t take a dime to explore. Even wandering the streets of your hometown instead of driving will give you a whole new appreciation and perhaps let you find a favorite new coffee shop. Throw a dart at a state map and plan a spontaneous road trip.
Be reasonable with your diet
Everything you put in your body impacts your chemistry, and it’s important to eat a healthy diet as you age. However, monitoring every bite can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, even leading to an eating disorder. Instead, take a reasonable approach. Practice 80/20 eating to stay nourished without losing your mind. 80% of the time, you stick to nutritious whole foods close to their natural form – meaning lots of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins like nuts and fish. For the other 20%, you can indulge in whatever makes you smile.
Staying healthy and happy as you age
Your sunset years can be your happiest. However, you do need the right habits to safeguard your wellness. Fortunately, staying fit as you get older doesn’t take too much effort. Follow the six mindful tips above for staying happy and healthy as you age.
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