“Aging well is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” ~David Bowie
From the moment we are born, we begin to age. Getting older is inevitable. The years come with predictability and regularity that cannot be altered. It is only after we reach a certain age that we begin to wonder, if we’ve done all the right things. We can’t stop the aging process, but we can influence how well we age. You are not defined by your age. And, acting old now, well that’s just optional. Aging is natural and should be embraced. Aging well is our responsibility and what we should strive for. Aging well is a choice for most people. The decisions you make, your habits, and your lifestyle all affect how you live your retired years. Woody Allen once observed that no one gets out of this world alive, but for as long we are here, we might as well stay as healthy and happy as possible.
Perspective is Important
Your attitude goes a long way toward defining at what age people will perceive you. Aging well is a choice. Even if you have made poor health choices earlier in life, now is the time to change your direction. It is up to you. Your perspective, what you think will impact how you age. Because this is true, you can have a positive impact on things that are within your control. Things such as outlook, your social networks, and your sense of purpose all have a positive impact on how well you age. While you might not be able to control the aging process itself, you can control your outlook on life.
The second half of your life can be some of the most rewarding decades. Sure, your hair sprouts more grays, but you can age gracefully with your body and mind as healthy as they can possibly be. While there is no shortage of advice on how to age without feeling like we are getting old. Some see age as a state of mind, some cite social engagement, while others emphasize diet and physical health as essential to keeping us young. When in reality, it is all of these things combined. Healthy aging means continually reinventing yourself. It means finding new things you enjoy, learning to adapt to change, staying physically and socially active, and feeling connected to your community and loved ones.
The Choice is Yours
Exercise, diet, even attitude can be as important as genetics when it comes to aging gracefully. Aging well can be as simple as adopting these (mostly) easy everyday habits. Maintain a positive attitude, it goes without saying, you are what you think when it comes to aging. Feed your body good food that fuels it, nutrition plays a major role in how your body ages. Exercise regularly, staying active is a vital part of aging well. Stay social, the truth is close connections to your family and friends help you live longer. The choice is yours, so what will you do?