Stay Young: 12 Tips on Feeling Younger
Let’s face it: most people dread getting older. We tend to focus on the unpleasant things: new aches and pains, changes in our appearance, loss of energy, lapses in memory. But growing older doesn’t have to be so distasteful: with attention to your physical and mental health now, you can ensure that you have the energy, good health, and youthfulness to enjoy your retirement, to travel, to keep up with your grandchildren, and to live these years to their fullest.
Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep yourself feeling young, vibrant, and ready for the new adventures that growing older brings! A healthy lifestyle also ensures that you will live a longer, fuller life. Here are 12 ways to help you do just that:
Staying strong is extremely important as we age – our bodies weaken over time. Doing a little bit of exercise each day will help keep you in shape, and help protect you against various health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and arthritis. Exercise is also important for the health of your heart. Try incorporating 20-30 minutes of exercise into your day: brisk walks; bike rides; weight-lifting, etc. Choose activities that will make you sweat, but that don’t overexert or put too much strain on your body. These days, exercise can come through many different mediums: the Wii Fit for example, can function as a highly productive addition to your workout plan.
- Eat Right!
Maintain a healthy diet, eating foods that have high nutritional value, such as leafy greens (spinach, kale); fruits (blueberries are high in antioxidants); lean proteins (choose fish and chicken over red meat); and whole grains (such as oats and brown rice.) Avoid fatty foods as they contribute to heart disease. Try and control your calorie intake as well – obesity causes a range of health issues and puts more strain on your body. You don’t need to follow a strict, no-fun diet, but be conscious of what you eat, making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs.
- Get outside!
This goes along with staying active and fit – when you are outdoors, you are naturally active, both physically and mentally. Your body, senses, and mind are stimulated by what you see and interact with. Walking around in nature, in sunshine and fresh air, will physically and mentally rejuvenate you. Nature hikes and bike rides are fantastic ways to interact with nature and keep up your energy levels. Staying indoors on the couch will only contribute to feeling old. We are meant to be active beings, and our minds and bodies suffer when idle.
It’s not just your body that needs exercise: your mind needs to engage in mental activities to stay keen and sharp. Reading is the best exercise for this, particularly if you have a diverse reading list, with books on a variety of topics. Reading keeps your mind sharp, and up on the latest thoughts and ideas – not to mention improving your vocabulary, teaching you new things, improve your writing, and help you express yourself more eloquently and clearly. So make a trip to your local library or bookstore and start reading!
- Try New Things!
Incorporating new things to do or try is an important way to keep your mind keen and eager. you have hobbies? If you do, why not add a new one? If not, look around – what interests you? Hobbies give us focus and enjoyment, contributing to our physical and mental health by keeping us active and engaged. Take a pottery course, join a book club, break out the canvas and try painting – the choices are endless. You might find you have a knack for a new activity, and might even be able to sell what you make at local craft and art fairs, stores, or online.
- Take Risks!
Just as you try out new hobbies, you should also try out new activities. As we age, we tend to limit ourselves, becoming more conservative in what we do and try out, less willing to take on new things. But pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will keep you alert and engaged wih the world, helping to keep you from slipping into an uninspiring routine. Fear only holds us back, and you are never too old to try new things. Travel! Look into starting your own business! Try out a new activity! If you’ve always wanted to do something and haven’t yet, there’s no day like today. Life is all about change.
- Engage with Young People!
Want to feel young? Surround yourself with young, energetic people. Their enthusiasm, liveliness, and zest for life is contagious – it’s a shot of energy to the heart! Go out with your family and other young families – you’ll get exercise and feel young. Play with children, talk to young adults – you’ll soon be feeling lively!
- Be Positive!
No one wants to become a bitter, cynical old person. Don’t allow yourself to slip too deeply into past regrets, disappointments or depression. How you perceive yourself and what you think has tremendous impact on how you live your life. Stay positive and enthusiastic in attitude, and you will see positive things in your life.
Just as you need to stay positive, you need to keep a sense of humour. Laughter doesn’t just make us feel good: laugh more and you will experience other health benefits, such as protection against heart disease, boosts to your immune system, a more balanced blood pressure, and decreases in your stress levels. It also helps keep you looking young: what would you prefer: wrinkles or laugh lines? Maintaining a lively wit and charm draws people to you and helps you build lasting relationships, and lasting relationships, with a healthy dose of laughter and good humour, help us cope with stress that otherwise ages us.
- Teach and Encourage Others!
This goes hand in hand with having strong relationships. Your experiences and wisdom can be of great help to others, and sharing it will help you feel significant and valuable. Nothing keeps us young like knowing you are making a meaningful contribution to the life of another. As we get older, it’s easy to lose self-worth: if you teach others – whether practical skills, mental concepts or sharing personal philosophies – you’ll feel useful, young and still valued.
- Be Grateful!
Remind yourself that you have much to be thankful for: it will help you stay positive and happy. It is important to cultivate and practice gratitude at any age, but as we grow older it becomes even more important that we look back on our lives and appreciate just how fulfilling they have been. This practice is important to our mental health, which in turn affects our physical help.
- Get the most out of life!
Each day presents a new opportunity and challenge to live life to its fullest, to wring out more joy and experience from this world. Keeping yourself focused on having a fulfilling life will help keep you young at heart – be curious, be interested, be spontaneous! Life doesn’t have to end or become a boring chore as you age – you can keep accomplishing things whether you’re 40, 60, or even in your 90s! The years will go on, but you’re only as young as you feel – live for the good times, and keep your spirits up!