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Aging Well: Making Smart Choices Back
For many people, aging well is a choice affected by daily decisions, habits, and lifestyle. During your senior years, making smart choices for your body, mind, and spirit enriches your life and brightens the aging process. Of course, there are many things out of our control when we get older, and these changes are inevitable. For example, mental sharpness and reaction time may decline, we lose muscle and bone mass as we get older, digestion slows, balance may become impaired, and vision and hearing may decline. These and other age-related changes may sometimes occur whether we want them to or not. However, there are many smart choices you can make to not only maintain your physical health, but to let your natural charisma and charm radiate.
Smart Choices for Your Body
There are many steps you can take to be proactive when it comes to your physical health. Exercising daily, maintaining a healthy weight, eating fruits and vegetables, staying out of the sun, and decreasing salt intake are a few measures you can take to nurture your body as you age. Dr. Patricia Harris, a geriatrician and professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA says that, “Time and again studies show true benefits of not smoking, keeping weight down and keeping major health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes well controlled.” Take time to visit your doctor, follow their orders, take medication as prescribed, and be intentional when taking care of your body.
Smart Choices for Your Mind
For many people, staying mentally strong while aging is a choice. These regular (if not daily) choices to keep mentally alert definitely take energy and planning, but the benefits are worth it! Studies have shown that mental alertness increases when you maintain good social relationships with active, regular friends. Friends that show you love and provide you with purpose and care improve your mental health. Another smart choice for your mind is to challenge it! Try a new hobby, learn another language, take a class at a community center or local school. Dr. Harris reminds us that,” staying mentally active in some way staves off dementia. It has to be something that continues to engage your brain as you get older.”
Smart Choices for Your Spirit
Many people view aging as an opportunity for inner transformation. This opportunity may be accompanied by joining a church, club, or organization that allows you to deepen your perspective. Decisions such as having gratitude in your heart, being generous and giving back, having a curious attitude about the life around you, and trying to be flexible are choices you can make to nurture your spirit as you age. All of these choices are yours to make, and guess what? It’s never too late to start! You can quit smoking, or start eating healthy today. You owe it to yourself to stay as healthy and happy as possible as you age well.