To have great time in later years means keeping mind, body and soul not just functioning but literally bursting with vitality. How do you achieve this? By planning ahead, looking at where you are now and asking “am I healthy enough to get old”?
The reason why aging has such a bad press is because it is generally recognised as a time of frailty and illness. However this is not everyone’s experience which means it’s not a given to be that way. Whilst you may ultimately find yourself incapacitated at the end of life, the ideal is to reduce the period of time you are in this state.
I believe it is important to embrace the aging process. Like pregnancy, I also feel we should prepare for this life stage in advance. We all have the option to acknowledge where we are, make changes and to start contributing to a healthier future.
What does this actually mean?
Start with an assessment of where you are now and asking the question: am I healthy enough to get old? Do I feel energetic? Am I as active as I’d like to be? If you are having problems recognising where you are now, think back five years ago; what changes have occurred to your body since then and what are you doing differently?
With this information, identify what you need to address and prioritise it. In reality it will probably be several things such as weight loss, increasing flexibility, regaining some brain power and finding more energy.
Then look at the fuel you are giving your body. Despite the fact that nutrition is still the poor relation in the NHS, there is plenty of empirical and research evidence to connect the importance of food to health. The aging body sometimes needs help with being nourished so learn which foods to choose to get the most benefit.
Armed with this information decide to make different decisions on a daily basis, with your food choices and activity levels.
A recent study reported on the BBC showed that even 70 and 80 year olds could improve their health by taking up an exercise regime. Like training for any event, to age well needs thought and planning. The changes you make day after day, week after week all add up to a healthier more active future.
Finally, really engage with your thoughts around getting older. If you believe that you have no influence and will be a victim of Time, then so be it. However if you embrace aging as a natural and malleable process then you are in with a good chance to influence how you do it. Give me a call if you would like to chat about how I can help.
You will know that you have the right attitude toward aging when that voice in your head asks “am I healthy enough to get old”, the answer will be a loud and affirmative, “yes”. Instead of being fearful about the future you will feel excited at having more time to live your life!