How to Age Gracefully: Exercising to Stay Active
Exercise for Elderly
The old adage says that nothing in life is certain, except for death and taxes. Eventually we will all pass away, what we do with our time here on Earth is hopefully up to us.
Millions, if not billions, of dollars are spent each year by men and women taking their best shot at preserving their beauty for as long as they can. We all know that aging is a gradual process, one that we simply cannot win, but we still do our best to slow it down.
Aging gracefully is something that the vast majority of us aspire to be able to do. Young married couples see that older couple still together, holding hands and somewhere inside you hope one day to have that. To age gracefully there are a few things that we can do in our lives; nothing will stop the aging process completely but we can try to slow down the clock a little bit.
One simple step to staying healthy is watching what kinds of food you eat. With so much of our food being processed or preserved in some way it adds different chemicals into our bodies. Since these chemicals are not natural to our bodies we have to learn how to digest them. This might help explain why some people feel the way that they do after eating a fast food meal from a place like McDonald's. Fast food possesses so many preservatives it can really bog down your body while it attempts to digest the meal.
Another easy thing to do is to reduce soda consumption. Soda is basically sugar in a can and really provides no nutritional value to you at all. I’m not suggesting that you completely cut out your favorite soda but reducing how much you drink most certainly will have some positive ramifications.
Pressure has been put on our public school system to not make it so easy for students to purchase soda at school. Unfortunately our schools are hurting for funding and the soda manufacturers pay handsomely for the privilege of installing a few vending machines on campus.
Smoking can also affect how you age. Studies say that for every cigarette smoked you lose a few minutes off of your life. I prefer to look at it from a slightly different angle by seeing how long term cigarette use affects people. I know that my uncle died at a very young age because of what a combination of heavy cigarette use and high blood pressure did to his heart. I also know a few people that have contributed serious illnesses to their smoking habit. We have all seen the ads on TV showing people that smoked for a long time and what health issues they have had because of it; people with talking voice boxes, parts of their jaws removed, etc. It is very difficult to ignore this kind of visual evidence.
As I mentioned earlier we cannot stop the aging process. There is no magic fountain of youth that we can drink from and suddenly become younger again, at least that I am aware of. Aging is something that we all will endure.
Everyone will experience aging in some way, even though not at the same rate. It all depends on your lifestyle, diet or where you live among numerous other factors. If your diet is healthy it can help stunt the aging process. Exercising can also help keep your body healthy and delay the effects of aging from seeping in.
For many people you will notice a gray hair or maybe a wrinkle somewhere on your face; these are signs of aging. If you have kids go ahead and name the gray hair you found after them; that is what my parents did with me and my brother and that is what my wife and I plan on doing with our kids when we see something gray peeking out of our normal hair color.
My wife has been a licensed Aesthetician for over ten years now and specializes in holistic approaches to skin care and acne treatments. I have watched her analyze clinical studies and make different topical skin care products for years. The stuff she makes is way over my head but the fact that local colleges pay her to teach her methods to students proves she knows her stuff. It also validates the point that people will do what they can to make their skin look as young as they can, for as long as they can.
Aging Well and Mental Exercises
We all want to age well. Being physically active as well as eating reasonably well are great starts to aging well, physically. I would suggest some attention be given to how well you are aging mentally as well.
If our minds aren’t exercised too we can increase the chances of Alzheimer’s or Dementia as we get into our later years. If you haven’t seen first-hand what these two terrible disorders can do to a person be very thankful. I don’t think there are too many people left out there who hasn't known someone who has to endure the effects of them.
My Grandma had Dementia for the last few years of her life and it was very hard to see her struggling to understand who her family was or who she even was sometimes. My wife and I have talked about these disorders and we agree that it is one of the worst things that can happen to a person as they reach their later years.
Any kind of brain engaging activity works for exercising your mind. The old fashioned staple of doing a crossword qualifies, as does the newer Sudoku puzzles. Of course the digital age needed to get involved and a few apps have been created for smartphones, so you can exercise your brain on the go.
Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder; I believe that a person’s age can be much more than a number. People mature at different rates so it is only fair to expect them to age differently as well. Proof of this is when you see someone in their early thirties balding or with a head full of gray hair. They might look “old” but if you ask them I’m sure they would tell you they feel way younger than they might look.
Your ethnic background can also be a factor of how you age. My wife’s side of the family has a bunch of Portuguese blood in it and all of the women look much younger than they really are. On more than one occasion people have thought that she is our son’s older sister instead of his Mother. These harmless mistakes make my wife feel great, while irritating our son at the same time.
Signs of Aging
The physical signs of aging are pretty easy to spot. As we get older things start to surrender to gravity or that little premature wrinkle on our face starts to get deeper and a little bit longer. Maybe our hair isn’t its original vibrant color anymore or it has started to thin. Again, everyone starts to show signs of aging at a different pace.
Many stores feature over the counter products that can help conceal the signs of aging. These are simple steps that we can take to help keep our youthful looks as long as we can.
We will all ultimately lose the war on the battle against aging but any small victory should be welcomed and enjoyed. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of these products and hide those signs of aging; all of us will do it at some point sooner or later.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2012 David