The aging process begins as soon as we are born. We start living and we start dying at the same time. Much research has been done in a quest for ways to stop the aging process. There are various theories as to why we age. Some are listed below:
1) Slowed production of the human growth hormone
2) Cells die at a rate faster than the generation of new ones
3) Unstable oxygen molecules, called free radicals, are responsible for aging
Regardless of the cause we all agree that aging is a part of life. But we can look around at the people we know and determine that not everyone ages at the same speed. I personally know some people in their sixties that look and act younger than some of my forty(ish) friends.
Let me describe what one of those remarkable men (sixty something) said when I asked him what his secret is to “aging gracefully” (his words!).
My friend, Jim Henson exercises 4 days a week. He has been doing this since he was about 40 years old.
Quick Fact: Exercise builds strength, endurance, and stamina. It helps to control the loss of muscle and bone density.
Jim makes an effort to avoid the sun. He says that he always applies a protective cream before long-term exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.
Quick Fact: Sun rays can be very damaging…not only can more wrinkles earlier be a result, but skin cancers are also a concern.
Jim has always tried to maintain a healthy weight.
Quick Fact: It’s no secret that being overweight puts more burdens on your body – including your heart. By eating a healthy diet, limiting fat and calorie intake and consuming adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables one is more likely to maintain a healthy weight.
Jim drinks lots of water. He said that initially he had to force himself to drink the recommended 8 cups of water per day but now he drinks that and more without any problems. In fact, water is his preferred drink.
Quick Fact: Well hydrated skin not only looks healthier it is healthier!
Jim says that he tends to avoid negativity whenever possible.
Quick Fact: Being happy and unstressed results in better emotional health. Emotional health is directly related to our physical health.
It seems Jim has found some secrets to slowing down the aging process so my suggestion is to learn from him. If you’re over-weight, start now, eat healthily. If you live an inactive lifestyle start exercising. Use a sunscreen when you’re out in the sunlight and drink plenty of water. But perhaps most importantly, minimize the stress in your life – strive for sound emotional health.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself to increase longevity and live a happier, healthier life is to learn how to develop and keep a positive mental attitude.
The process of developing an attitude that will help you later in life should be nurtured during the younger years. How you learn skills when you’re young to help cope with adversities and strategies through life will become all important when you reach a time that requires those skills.
We now know how important it is to our mental health to figure out a mission for our lives. Then, as you go through the stages and hurdles of life, you can reassess that mission and reconfigure it for where you currently are on life’s path.
Living a full, rich life should be a goal that you not only strive for, but work toward by doing everything possible to make sure you’re healthy, both in body and mind to withstand the ravages of time.
The Most Important Tools to Keep a Positive Attitude
Scientific research indicates that “retirement” as our ancestors viewed it really isn’t a good thing for us to keep a positive mental attitude about life. Below are some helpful tools for you to live by if living a full, rich life is of concern to you.
Keep Busy – A rocking chair isn’t the way to achieve “Fountain of Youth” effects during the aging process. We now know that keeping active, both in body and mind is the best way to live a long and productive life.
Write Your Own Road Map – Baby boomers entering their 60s never expected to age, so they’re now looking for ways to keep their youth – but most are trying to retain their youth with cosmetic surgery, pills or surrounding themselves with youthful “things” such as a bright red sports car. Writing your own road map for the rest of your life is empowering and can also help to build your mental aptitude just as you would build your muscles through exercise.
Cultivate Healthy Relationships – The relationships you cultivate with family and friends can make the difference in how you view the rest of your life. Taking trips and learning new things are all better done with someone you care about than alone.
Take the necessary steps to develop a positive mental attitude that will help you through the aging process gently and optimistically.