Think young and feel young! Aging or getting older is something we can’t avoid. No matter how hard we try each day of our life, we are getting older. “Age is just a number,” and it is to a certain degree. Some people reading this may be in the best shape of their lives in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. Others may feel like each day they creak, ache, and hurt more than the day before.
Chronological age is simple to figure out. You’ve been alive a certain amount of years, months, and days. This is your chronological age. The age of your brain may be a bit different to figure out. Memory, cognition, speed, and other factors come into play with brain age.
Aside from some of the standard physical indicators of aging like grey hair and more wrinkles than you ever recall seeing, aging can affect you psychologically, behaviorally, and socially. The mere thought of being old or feeling those first aches and pains can cripple certain people. On top of the mental effects, they may also be experiencing a loss of mobility, which can lead to physiological problems like depression.
Aging happens, it is inevitable, and there is not much we can do to stop the clock from moving forward. The question becomes, how can we slow down our aging and think young and feel young?
7 Powerful Secrets to Think Young and Feel Young
Your brain is like any other “muscle” in your body and needs to be worked out regularly. Cognitive function improves when you keep your mind busy with crossword puzzles, sudoku, or reading. Sitting in front of the television every night will not help to keep your brain active and provide the brain exercise necessary to slow down aging and keep you thinking young. Train your brain to think and use it regularly to keep it up to speed and slow down the decline.
Get off the couch and participate in some form of physical exercise. Not only does physical exercise help with the obvious like weight loss, but it also helps to improve your mood and strengthen your muscles and bones. Exercising helps release endorphins, which boost your mood as well as clear your mind. You don’t have to participate in an hour-long exercise class every day to see the benefits. Something as simple as walking 10-20 minutes a day will provide you benefits. Think of incorporating some form of strength training along with cardiovascular exercise like walking or biking to reap the maximum benefits. Start slow and build up as you go.
Physical exercise can help with conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stress, and depression.
My parents were more social when I was younger, getting together with neighbors regularly for BBQs or just a weekly drink at our house in the summer while the kids played out front. My father has since passed on. My mom is now in her 80’s and she is not very sociable. Mom decides to spend most of her time alone, and it is a depressing thought for me. My wife and I have a strong network of friends, and I couldn’t imagine being older and not having a network of friends to lean on for support and fun.
Remaining social can be as simple as getting together once a week for coffee or a drink or game. Just being around other adults your age and having engaging conversations keeps your brain functioning and provides a level of comradery that leads to longevity.
It goes without saying that to think young and feel young; you need to fuel your body with the right foods. Eat a well-balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, fish, whole grains, and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and peanut butter. While supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals isn’t a bad idea, you should attempt to get most of what you need nutritionally from the food itself.
Avoid fast food and processed food at all costs. They may taste good, but these types of food are providing you no real nutrition. Also, avoid too much salt or sugar in your diet.
Stay within healthy weight limits
Whether you gauge weight by Body Mass Index (BMI) or via a traditional scale, ensure that you are not overweight. Excess body weight can cause health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Being overweight can also lead to fatty liver disease and hypertension.
Keep an eye on your calorie intake and make sure you eat healthy meals avoiding junk food and fast food.
Flexibility begins to decrease with age. Our muscles get shorter, and joints start to dry out, causing us “to creak” when we move. Lack of flexibility can lead to bad balance, which can be dangerous for anyone as they age. Daily stretching is essential to your routine. Something as simple as not being able to bend over to tie your shoes can be disheartening and cause a loss of independence for an older person. It’s never too early to start adding stretching to your day, and it can certainly help keep you moving and feeling young late into life.
As important as it is to stay active with exercise, it is also equally important to take time for yourself to relax. Whether you relax with meditation or listening to music, take time each day for yourself. Stress is dangerous and can lead to severe conditions such as cardiovascular disease and stroke. Avoid it at all costs and do the best you can to kick back every once in a while and “just be.”
You shouldn’t have to dramatically change your daily habits to make improvements to any of these areas discussed above. Take it slow and work on an area at a time until you’ve taken care of all of them and then keep it up. Your body will feel healthier and young, and your mind clear and sharp.
What do you do to feel young? Comment below.