I’ve heard it all my life:
It’s not fun getting old.
I remember when I used to be able to do that.
Aches and pains are only the beginning – wait ‘til the bad genes start kicking in.
My cholesterol is through the roof.
High blood pressure has always run in my family.
I’m just so tired of being tired…
Arrrggghhh! There’s nothing – except for one other tiny, little thing (which I’ll share later) – that bothers me more than these self-defeating comments. Aging doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re saying these same things, you’re falling into the age-old habit of self-limitation.
Whether you're 30 or 70, if you're saying these things, please, listen up.
There are 7 easy steps you can take to debunk the stereotypes of aging and defy what you think your genes are dictating. And the perks are aplenty – feeling vibrant, staying balanced and sharp, maintaining independence and living longer. None of these benefits require the daunting process of extreme diets, vigorous exercise or spending exorbitant amounts of money on wellness products and services.
Quite the contrary:
1. Eat real, whole foods most of the time
The kind of food you can look at and tell what it is. Strive for organic and locally sourced foods when possible. What’s more expensive, quality food or quadruple by-pass surgery? Avoid packaged and processed foods. But, if you can’t…
2. Always read ingredients
If you buy packaged foods, again, strive for organic. If the cost of organic is not an option, go for items that use familiar ingredients. Start learning about the names you can’t pronounce – sometimes they’re bad, sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they’re tricky to know, so understand. Do some light research. Invest in what you digest. Eat for your genes and your jeans.
3. Keep moving
Find a physical activity that you love and keep doing it. Ideally, try running (if you’re not already doing it). You may not like it, but research is showing that running at any age is extremely beneficial. If you’re new to it, start slow or ease into it by power walking.
4. Take your daily vitamins
Supplement your body with a good multi-vitamin; add a splash of Vitamin D, a dash of fish oil and anything else you know your body needs an extra pinch of. Remember to eat real vegetables and fruits. Oh, and don't forget Vitamin P!
5. Stimulate your brain regularly
Learn something new, read, and live outside your comfort zone. Have an attitude for gratitude in all you do. Even try pausing. Find a few minutes to close your eyes, meditate, say daily affirmations (out loud or to yourself), or just daydream.
6. Stay connected
Make new friends, keep the old, and never stop fostering those relationships. Help, share, and make someone’s day, even if they’re a complete stranger. Our world is full of lonely people, so reach out whenever you can – life will expand exponentially.
7. Don't waste your precious time feeling guilty
If you don't eat right all the time. If you miss a workout. If you have to cancel plans with a friend. If your work-life balance gets a little out of whack. If you lose your temper because you’re stuck behind slow people in the passing lane (my #1 pet peeve!). Guilt-tripping yourself is so yesterday. Just get back up on that horse and keep moving forward.
Consider these steps the pathway to aging gracefully. The daily practice to staying young. You’re not a sitting duck to your genetics. Your lifestyle choices can make a difference. Put step #6 into play right now by sharing ideas you have on debunking the stereotypes of aging.