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Successful Keys to Aging Gracefully: Exercising to not feel Old

Updated on February 14, 2013

Elderly Exercise

An elderly man exercising
An elderly man exercising | Source

Successful Aging

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. We all know this is a gradual process 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 and 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.

Healthy Aging

One simple step to stay healthy is watching what kinds of food you eat. With so much of our food being processed or preserved in some way it introduces different chemicals into our bodies. Since these chemicals are not natural our bodies 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 your body down digesting 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 at all. I’m not suggesting that you completely cut out your favorite soda but reducing how much you drink can has 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 very young 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. Here in California we routinely see ads on TV showing people that had 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.

Aging Process

As I mentioned earlier we cannot stop the aging process. There is no 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 amongst 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 both of 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.

Premature Aging

Aging Well

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 thankful because I don’t think there are too many people left out there who haven’t.

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. 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.

Aging Definition

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 way 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.

First Signs of Aging

Now that the first signs of aging have been discussed, what are you going to do to stay young?

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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 wrinkle on our face starts to get deeper and a little bit longer. Maybe our hair isn’t its original color 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.

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    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      This has always been a interesting topic for me, 'how to beat the grim reaper?'. We all have to be determined to pull back one step for every two that the reaper drags us.

      Wasn't it Ben Franklin that said that only death and taxes were inevitable parts of life? Well I know plenty that do not pay taxes, but no one cheats the grim reaper

      Stress is a source of physical distress and subsequently accelerated aging.

      I subject my face and scalp to a daily massage to increase blood flow and extend the life and supple appearance of these areas.

      Being well into middle age, I have retired and jump start everything in the morning with orange juice rather than coffee. We have a diet that centers around fish and salad, with chicken as a break with occassional beef.

      But alas, As you say we have to lose eventually, I refer you to the hub I wrote in regards to the late Jack La Lane, I thought that he was primed to live forever, not just into his nineties.

      The "systematic poisoning of people goes on with most not knowing the wiser. I have waged war years ago in the public school system over middle school children being able to access Burger King or McDonalds in the cafeteria area. Who is going to turn down a "Whopper" in favor of handful of carrots? Bad habits can begin early and we have to protect our young people from impeding doom, even though they are not yet aware of the dangers, they will thank us later. While the school board cannot dictate what students eat or not eat, I expect them to set the example.

      This has been a most interesting article

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Great information and advice on aging. I do agree that the hispanic population does show signs of aging much later in life. Also, exercise and diet to help to slow the process. Interesting hub.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Northern California

      Credence2 - Thanks for sharing your insight on this issue. You are correct that we can help guide our kids down healthier paths, if parents are up for the trip. We are very fortunate that both of our kids eat a bunch of different healthy foods because I know plenty of other parents that struggle to get their kids to eat a veggie.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Northern California

      teaches12345 - Our ethnic background does play a factor in our long term health. I know a few people that have Filipino backgrounds and they look way younger than they say they are. Thanks

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      I'm not so sure I've embraced the idea of aging gracefully. I'm more along the theory of kicking and screaming! It's sad to see people who have aged far beyond their years and are more fragile and sedentary than they would be if they embraced healthier habits early on. Voted up and up!

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Northern California

      Marcy - I don't think anyone will object to your kicking and screaming method. Thanks

    • Spartan Training profile image

      Spartan Training 4 years ago from 985 W. Chandler Heights Rd. Suite 12 Chandler AZ. 85248

      Living a healthy lifestyle will pay off in the later years. The key to slowing the aging process is a strong immune system. A strong immune system is the result of maintaining healthy Ph. balanced cells, through proper nutrition, exercise and supplementation. The essence of living a healthy fit lifestyle is born of the discipline developed through a conscious effort to manifest into physical reality your vision of optimal health.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Northern California

      Spartan - Your comment went deeper than I did on keeping our bodies healthy. If we can keep our bodies operating the best we can than living to an old age is certainly a possibility.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I enjoyed reading your balanced viewpoint on aging. I agree that eating right and getting exercise are important for healthy aging, also mental exercise to keep the brain young. Thank you for answering my question in the forum. Voted up!

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Northern California

      vespawoolf - It was a great question and putting the hub together was fun. Thanks for the comment and voting.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 4 years ago from Northern California

      James - Thanks and the distance you power walk is very impressive. I'm a firm believer that age is just a number and you are living proof!

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