Most of us want to live long and strong, right? We want to experience health and a high quality of life right into old age.
Today, the average life expectancy for those in the United States is around 80 years. I think we can all agree that’s a decent length of life. A few reasons life expectancy is so long is that aging adults are doing better at keeping their minds and body active, there’s better healthcare, and a healthy lifestyle is highly encouraged.
Gone are the days when people think that getting older means life is going to boring or they can’t be physical. Just do a quick search on social media for active seniors and you’ll see a ton of people dancing, weightlifting, skiing, running, doing yoga, golfing, and much more.
Physical exercise is simply good for the body no matter what age you are. Add some mental exercise and you’re off to a good start for longevity.
How do you keep your mind active? How does it benefit you? As you probably know, most people keep their mind busy with thoughts running a mile a minute. This is not a bad thing in and of itself. After all, the mind’s job is to think.
But what kind of thoughts are running in there?
It is important to take control of your mind and learn how to keep your thoughts positive. A positive mind can help your body. On the other hand, negative thoughts can wear the body down.
Pay attention to what kinds of thoughts you think and if you notice negative ones, replace them with positive ones. Over time, you’ll notice that your attitude will change for the better and you’ll simply feel better.
You can also give your mind a workout by learning new information. Stimulating the brain keeps it from living in the state of apathy. Just as you work out your physical muscles, you can also work out your mind by doing things like reading, learning, and playing games that stimulate thought.
In fact, there are wonderful individual and group games that help stimulate the mind and give it a good workout. They’re fun too! Here are some things to try out:
Regardless of how old you are, physical health is important. If you want to live long and strong, you’re going to have to stay moving. How can you do this? By doing your best to move or exercise regularly. When you do these things consistently, you’re more apt to live a healthier and longer life.
Don’t be like those who think that because they’re getting older means they must tame it down. You can decide now that you will be proactive in your health and vitality as you age. There are 60, 70, and 80-year-old men and women out there exercising every day and eating healthy. They made it a lifestyle and so can you.
Here are some great ways you can keep your body active as you age:
Start off at a pace that works for you. It may seem like a monumental task if you are out of shape now, but if you take it in bite size chunks, you’ll see that it’s not as difficult as you think.
For example, if you’re out of shape, start off with a 20 minute walk each day around your home or neighborhood. Just 20 minutes. That’s something you can do. It might be tempting to make an excuse as to why you can’t, but most people have 20 minutes per day that they can use to exercise. Just decide and do it!
Eating healthy foods certainly makes an impact on your health as you get older.
This may be challenging for some people, as they’re used to eating unhealthy foods. If your diet could use some cleaning up, start small and begin incorporating healthy foods into your diet little by little.
At the same time, stop buying so much junk food. As you cut back on junk food and add healthy food choices, you’ll make good progress toward a healthier lifestyle.
I’m not saying you have to only eat what’s considered healthy. Think of it as moderation. You can still eat some of your favorite sugary or processed foods, but keep it in check. Eat one or two cookies instead of six. Eat two slices of pizza instead of five.
It’s not all or nothing. It’s committing to living a balanced life, including what you eat.
A great way to begin is to start eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. Also, increase your water intake each day, while cutting out soda, alcohol, or other sweetened drinks. Begin to learn about what foods are healthy and what foods are not. Make eating healthy a worthwhile goal and enjoy the benefits of a healthier and longer life.
It may be tempting to become lazy and apathetic, especially as you age or put on those extra pounds that tend to show up around middle age. We encourage you to refuse to settle. Don’t let your mind and body become lazy or bored. Make the effort to keep them stimulated and moving, even if it’s just 20 minutes per day.
Your mind and body matter, and how you take care of them matter too. Be proactive an keep them active in ways that work for you.
May 25, 2022