Age is Mind over Matter
AGE IS MIND OVER MATTER
I really do believe “Age is Mind over Matter” and.... if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter! Ageing is inevitable, a depressing thought and nothing we can do about it. Or is there? No... We can’t add years to life. But yes, we can add “life” to the years we have! Maintaining good health could enable you to pursue some of your ambitions, hopes and dreams and many people continue to lead interesting lives in their older age. Good health will help you enjoy the increase in longevity, experience a sense of wellbeing, feel relaxed and more confident of yourself.
Being fit is about being able to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them. Maintaining fitness should be a necessity of life - not just an option! For those people who get it right, there may be a decrease of some physical ability in their 60, others later, whilst some - not at all! Many individuals enter advanced old age still performing at the level of younger adults.
Pensioners now outnumber children for the first time in British history. “Grey power” is growing and without the social and economic restrictions of past generations, our generation has the opportunity to travel, make new relationships or continue with further education, irrespective of our age, gender, colour, class or creed. So youth had better start realising that there is life after sixty!
Ageing and inability is not the same thing, trouble is that today we use our brain instead of our brawn, to the detriment of our physical well being. We sit around too much both in work and at home. Heart disease, joint problems, osteoporosis and digestive disorders are just some of the results. We need to get out of the habit of disguising physical and some mental problems as "just old age creeping on".
It is common sense to keep fit and you could help yourself by being more active, by doing something you enjoy for half an hour a day. Just simple walking is excellent whole body exercise that will improve your health and keep you mobile. We should all get up off our bottoms and walk ourselves away from ill health and into a state of well being! Importantly, walking strengthens the big front muscles of your leg (the quadriceps) helping you maintain mobility and physical independence as years go by. The quadriceps enables you to get up from a chair unaided and to climb stairs. Since walking is a “weight bearing” exercise it can also help prevent osteoporosis.
Research by the Mental Health Foundation recently revealed that just 10 minutes brisk walking can improve one’s mental state too. The report stated it increases self esteem and reduces stress and anxiety. And it concludes that people who regularly exercise have a 20 – 30% lower risk of depression and dementia. It’s a fact that when we take exercise, chemicals called endorphins are released, giving us the “feel good” factor.
Keeping your body fit and active improves circulation, digestion and keeps the heart healthy. Exercise builds strong muscles and bones; it can increase your flexibility and co-ordination, helps control weight and improves your shape.
Regular, moderate exercise is essential for your wellbeing, combined with a well balanced diet. I hate diets and counting calories, however we need to be aware that a calorie is a measure of energy in the food we eat, and drink. Ideally you need enough food to provide sufficient calories (energy) to go about your normal daily tasks, plus some left over for body growth and repairs. Get it right and you’ve a healthy “balance” but consume too many calories and you disturb this balance with excess calories getting stored around the body in the form of unsightly fat deposits. So how much energy (calories) you need depends on your individual lifestyle. If yours is sedentary - eat less!
But wellbeing is not just about the Body, it’s about the Mind and Spirit too. It’s known that being active can help reduce feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress and worry, so just get yourself out there, and get talking. Talking through personal worries with others will often half your problem, or at least put it into perspective! One blessing of older age is grandchildren. I’m lucky enough to have four, but not everyone is so fortunate.
However, I now find myself living alone, and like many of you this is not through choice. It often follows divorce or the death of a partner and can lead to loneliness, isolation and depression. Social interaction can reduce the feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress and worry and can lift your spirit. Climbing out of the spiral of depression takes a lot of effort and self-motivation, and sadly the problem is set to increase the longer we live.
But here’s a way to help others. If you see someone today without a smile, give them yours. It will cost you nothing, but you will make that person’s life richer!
But now it’s time to help yourself, making small changes in your lifestyle could make a big difference to your wellbeing. It’s never too late to make a start, and remember the one thing you can never recycle is - wasted time! Age is but a number – its Attitude that counts!
If you are unable to walk or find it difficult to take part in physical activities ask your doctor or physiotherapist for their help and advice.
To help maintain mobility and keep some muscles strong, you might benefit from the seated exercises included in my “Easy Fit” DVD available from AMAZON.