5 Inspirational Quotes for Healthy Aging
If you feel like you’re not aging as well as you should be, you’re not alone. Old age presents a number of challenges, and it can be difficult to stay motivated. But along with these challenges comes more opportunities.
When you take the advice below to heart, you’ll find yourself aging more gracefully. Plus, you’ll begin to realize that the benefits of aging far outweigh any drawbacks.
“Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
A recent survey found that 55% of Americans take at least one prescription medication, and the percentage of those taking multiple medications is higher than ever.1 But with more medications comes greater risk of side effects.
Healthy food, on the other hand, has no risk of side effects and can provide better results for overall wellness than any drug—especially over an extended period of time. For example, fresh vegetables and fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals, lowering the risk of major illnesses. Foods can also be effectively used to manage a myriad of health conditions.
Our bodies need fewer calories as we get older, making getting nutrients from the calories we do consume even more critical. To help you hit the mark with key nutrients as you age, look to foods such as fatty fish and nuts in addition to those fruits and vegetables. Also keep in mind that nutritional needs vary from person to person, so you may want to get more information about your bio individuality when it comes to making diet choices.
“One can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”
Many people believe the adage that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” In reality, this is far from the truth for dogs or humans. Just like their younger counterparts, older people are also adept at learning new things and adapting to change.
We also don’t have to accept that memory loss or not being as mentally sharp as we used to be is just a part of getting older. By cultivating intellectual curiosity and learning new skills, you can be mentally healthy regardless of age.
A few ideas for maintaining strong mental health as you get older include:
- Try cooking a new recipe
- Learn an instrument
- Learn a new language
- Do crossword puzzles
- Engage in a hobby or sport
- Read regularly
“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, mental, and emotional state.”
Here’s a simple tip to increase longevity and combat chronic disease: just keep moving. An active lifestyle not only benefits your physical body, but also improves your mood and enhances brain function.2
Being active doesn’t mean that you have to follow a rigorous workout routine. It can be as simple as going for a walk or working in the garden. Once you’ve added some basic aerobic exercise, it’s a good idea to add some moderate strength training as well to keep your bones and muscles strong.
Lastly, staying active doesn’t have to be a chore. Find activities that you love doing and you’ll reap all the rewards of exercising without if feeling like it’s just something you need to check off your “to-do” list. This may mean joining a group, pursuing a more individual activity, or both.
The best part here is that activities such as sports typically incorporate elements of aerobic and strength exercise, as well as bringing the additional benefit of keeping you mentally engaged.
Work at your relationships all the time. Take care of friendships, hold people you love close to you, take advantage of birthdays and celebrate fiercely.
Along with a healthy diet and exercise, social support is key when it comes to living longer and having a better quality of life. As Tasha R. Howe, associate professor of psychology at Humboldt State University, stated, “People with social support have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems, and lower levels of cortisol—a stress hormone.”3
Life events such as the death of a spouse or retirement can lead to isolation for older individuals. At these times, it’s more important than ever to cultivate relationships with your family and friends. Make sure to put spending time with loved ones into your schedule. And if you’re feeling lonely, reach out to those around you who are in a similar situation and share similar interests. To that end, support groups offer a number of health benefits including reducing distress and increasing self-understanding.
“Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.”
Everyone seems to be searching for the fountain of youth, but often people who age the best are those that actually enjoy getting older. With more life experience comes greater wisdom. Stress and worry also decline as we age, and many find that their relationships also improve.4 If you focus on these benefits, old age turns into something to be welcomed rather than feared.
When you consider all the benefits, it’s not surprising that people are happier and more satisfied with their lives than they’ve ever been by age 70.5 But in the end, age is just a number. You can be happy and healthy at any point in your life. All you need is the right perspective.
1. Preidt, Robert. “Americans taking more prescription drugs than ever.” Medical Xpress. Medicalxpress.com.
2. Kirk-Sanchez, N.J., & E.L. McGough. “Physical exercise and cognitive performance in the elderly: current perspectives.” Clinical Interventions in Aging, No. 9 (2014): 51-62.
3. Valeo, Tom. “Good Friends Are Good for You.” WebMD. Webmd.com.
4. Morris, M. “10 Unexpectedly Awesome Benefits of Getting Older.” ListVerse. Listverse.com.
5. Robson, David. “What’s the prime of your life.” BBC. BBC.com.