Another Birthday? Don't Groan! Here Are 5 Simple Keys to Help Us Age Gracefully by Charlene Torkelson
Have you ever gone to your class reunion and desperately needed to look at your classmate’s name tag with their graduation picture to find out who they are? We all do that because, let’s face it, not all of us age gracefully. I often find myself in a crowd of people I would consider “older” only to find out they are actually younger than I am. That’s when you ask yourself, “Do I actually look as old as they do?” Let’s not kid ourselves, some people seem to hardly age at all while others look as if they might kick off any minute. What are the secrets to aging more gracefully?
- Diet: If you remember your eating habits as a child, when you were lithe and slender, you might remember how picky you were at mealtime. As we age, we become more adventurous with our food choices. While there is nothing wrong with expanding your menu selections, you might consider all the extras you have added to your meal plans – extras that may not be healthier but are actually not quite as great a choice as you might possibly make. Society has added more foods that are processed, not as fresh, but are easier and less time consuming to prepare. We trade healthy choices for convenience. That makes a big difference in our weight and our overall appearance. To age more gracefully, turn the clock back to those eating habits you enjoyed as a child. Become pickier! Make choices that are worth the calories rather than just something to pop in your mouth.
- Movement: When younger, we all seemed to have more energy. We ran and jumped and threw the ball and danced. Whatever happened? We stopped allowing ourselves to bounce around and tried to be more “dignified.” Stop it! Get up and move your feet to the music. Try to make that basket. Give yourself a “recess” just like you had in grade school. Get out and play! Enjoy the outdoors just like you did when your mother said, “Go outside and play!” Move away from that TV, push back from that computer, get out of the easy chair. Move it!
- Have Fun: Smile more. Laugh more. Stop talking to people about the “world situation.” Get away from the dreary and move on to the comedy. Remember the funny things you’ve experienced and give yourself a good belly laugh. Grumpiness and gloom do nothing for our appearance. It is the great ager! Have some fun. A cheerful and happy personality shines through beyond any outer physical appearance. It is a beacon that draws people to its light. And that light gives us true beauty.
- Dress the Part: Remember going through your closet to find the perfect outfit for that special date or party? Well, that should be your norm as you get older. Dress for success. Pick out the right color that flatters you. Choose the style that works best with your body type. Coordinate your shoes and jewelry. Put it all together rather than grabbing the same old pair of sweats. Experiment to find the pieces that make you feel the most comfortable. When you look and feel your best, your personality comes through. So much better than grimacing as you tug down your shirt or pull up your baggy pants. Put together your own personal fashion style and work it! Walk that walk with confidence.
- Be Yourself: Find who that self is by determining what your passion(s) might be. People who are doing what they love, show that love when they meet others. Too many people do what they “should do” rather than what they want to do. Don’t give yourself boundaries. If you love to make pottery, make pottery. It doesn’t matter that people might think it silly. If you enjoy music, play an instrument or sing. If you love to dance, then dance. If you enjoy sports, follow your favorite teams and get out and play your sport! Age shouldn’t stop you from doing what you enjoy. If you haven’t quite decided what that love might be, try some new activities. Find your passion.
The keys to aging gracefully:
- Eat healthy with a few special treats.
- Get up and move around.
- Laugh a lot.
- Dress for a successful you.
- Be yourself.
- Find your passions.
The puzzle pieces all fit together to make a better YOU.
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