Active Aging: How to Stay Young at Heart
Age is but a number. You're only as old as you feel. Think young, stay young.
You've certainly heard one or more of these clichés before. But, did you know there may actually be some truth to these sayings?
A study published in 2015 found that those who think of themselves as being younger than their age actually lived longer. The group of people in the study who felt younger than their age had a lower mortality rate than the group that felt the same age or older.
So, maybe staying young at heart will actually make your life longer.
How to Stay Young at Heart
Forget about the number. Don't let yourself feel like you're too old for the activities you want to do. You shouldn't let your calendar age dictate how you live your life.
Keep learning. It's important to keep your mind engaged, especially into retirement. Just because you're not going to work every day doesn't mean you should stop learning. Whether it's art, book clubs, online classes, yoga, or any other hobby, learning helps to keep your mind sharp.
Get enough sleep. Most people don't get enough sleep. Experts recommend that people over the age of 65 get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. No matter your age, your body needs the time while you sleep to rest and recuperate. Sleep also helps keep your body healthy and free of diseases.
Stay active. In the same way that you should exercise your mind, you should also exercise your body. Moving your body for 20-30 minutes a day stimulates your metabolism and elevates your mood. Additionally, exercise reduces the risk of falls. Try adding a daily walk, yoga, or water aerobics into your schedule. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise routine.
Stay social. Maintaining social ties helps avoid social isolation and loneliness. Look for communities to become a part of. This can include things like a book club, exercise class, or your retirement community.
Embrace the new. Instead of trying to wave away or ignore new technology, embrace it! It's fun to be a part of what's happening. Instead of feeling left behind when people discuss pop culture or new technology, you can join in on the conversation. You don't have to keep up with every new thing, but you should be open to new experiences.
Staying young at heart and aging gracefully is the goal for many seniors. Most importantly, don't take yourself too seriously. Do what you love and shrug off your mistakes. What matters is how you feel, not how you look.