Let’s talk about aging gracefully.
Do you like this vision of aging gracefully? Imagine you are 80 years old with long silver hair and bright eyes. You walk on a beach with the wind in your face. Your legs are strong and your heart is beating so hard you can hear it go thump thump. Grandchildren, covered with wet sand, run up to you squealing with laughter.
Children can’t seem to walk or talk quietly so the scene is messy and loud and lovely at the same time. Aging with energy, good health and joy is what we all can wish for.
An attitude of anti-aging isn’t a bad thing.
In fact, the terms anti-aging and aging gracefully do not need to be mutually exclusive. You can age gracefully and still fight certain aspects of aging every step of the way. While we may have normal visible signs of aging such as a wrinkled forehead, laugh and lip lines, we don’t have to make them worse by not taking great care of our skin.
To me, the concerning signs of aging are both mental and physical. The physical part is how we look and feel. The most important part, in my opinion, is the quality of stretching out our longevity. Add precious years to your lifespan while enjoying them fully.
A motto to live by is:
Add life to your years as well as years to your life.UpYourGameGirl.com
Let’s keep this party going for 100 years.
In my case, both my mother and grandmother passed away from cancer at their age 71, the goal of living a long and vibrant life hits me right smack in the face. If I could have an “extra” 10 years where I was healthy enough to enjoy them, I’d be over joyed. If I live to 100, even better.
We certainly aren’t guaranteed another day. Two of my good friends took ill and each passed away before they reached age 55. One had a brain tumor and the other a rare form of leukemia. Both of them were younger than me at the time and I think of them often.
Do you know someone who passed away young? Do you think, “It could’ve been me?” The fact that my friends had a short life, adds fuel to the fire to reframing aging goals. Let’s fight the aging process AND age gracefully both at the same time. How do we do that?
Here are five aging gracefully tips for Midlife Women:
1. Get in the best physical shape possible.
One common denominator of super agers I know is physical activity. My mother-in-law who passed away at 97, played golf until she was 85 years old. My friends who are in their 70s that are vibrant and healthy exercise regularly. They walk or jump on the elliptical or peloton, and do some kind of stretching exercise daily.
Numerous studies show exercise slows down the aging process. A 2018 UK study at the University of Birmingham found staying active keeps the body young. Not only did exercisers maintain muscle mass and strength but their immune systems were stronger. Who doesn’t want to prevent illness especially with Covid-19 and it’s variants as well as colds and the flu?
2. Nutrition – Feed your body the best food possible.
A good start is to limit sugar intake and increase water consumption. Giving up sugar helps to reset your taste buds to better enjoy your foods. After I gave up sugar for 40 days, I noticed the cinnamon on my oatmeal and even my homemade bread crusts bursted with depths of flavor.
Choose the most nutritious foods especially high fiber foods. Studies have shown that people who eat foods such as oats, beans, broccoli and kale control their weight and prevent type 2 diabetes.
A year ago, I made a commitment to losing weight and eating better. Since then, on most days, I eat at least 2 cups of veggies as well as a big salad. The salad is full of good stuff like cucumbers (seeded), tomatoes, bell pepper, onions and spinach. With fresh herbs growing in my window, I snip a few leaves and add them.
3. Try new things to exercise your brain.
Stay mentally sharp by trying something new every week. Learning new things literally keeps your brain young. Besides, viewing life as an adventure is a great way to live.
- Learn a language or some new words in your own language
- Get an advanced degree
- Take a hike on a different trail
- Go to a museum
- Make art
- Take a class
- Read something on a topic you know nothing about
- Cook a new recipe
- Make a new friend
The possibilities are endless.
4. Nurture strong connections with family and friends to age gracefully.
Studies have shown that people are happier, healthier and live longer when they have strong social connections. Friends, family and community not only make us happy but these connections help us live longer and stay healthier. Isn’t that what we are looking for?
In example of aging gracefully above, notice my vision was of a woman connected with people she loves. In this case it was family, but it could easily be a woman on a road trip, a cruise or an outing with girlfriends.
Choose to spend time with people that lift you up. Life is too short to be around people who are constantly negative. See you later Debbie Downer or Negative Nancy!
Notice I said, constantly. Of course, we humans get down from time to time. That’s normal.
5. Feed your soul to age gracefully.
Do we have a higher purpose? Are we living this life for a reason?
I don’t know about you but I do think life is more than “girls just wanna have fun.” What is that purpose? I don’t know. There isn’t a daily email direct from God telling me where to spend my time and energy.
We have to try to figure it out. How can you feed your soul and possibly connect with your higher purpose? Here are some ideas:
- Helping others
- Listening to your inner quiet voice
- Connecting with your inner self – child and wise woman
- Watching for external clues – learning from others
- Being in nature
- Long walks
The main take away is to create time daily for prayer, meditation, stillness and listening to our inner voice.