Aging well is not an impossible goal for 2022.
Many people use the start of a new year to evaluate themselves.
Some people take stock of their finances.
Others look at their relationships.
Many even consider their health as they are another year older.
According to a recent Forbes article titled “10 Pieces of Expert Advice on Aging Well In 2022,” a number of factors can influence how people age.
What are some steps you can take this year to age well?
Start Some Brain-Healthy Habits.
Your brain does a lot of work for your body.
It is stores memories, processes information, and oversees the functioning of body systems.
Taking care of your brain is essential to aging well.
Sleeping, exercising, eliminating “hurry” from as a lifestyle, and eating fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help your mind stay physically healthy.
Yes, your mother was right.
It turns out fruits and vegetables are good for you.
Who would have thought?
Engaging in a new hobby or learning a language can also benefit the neurological functioning of your brain.
Take Care of Your Ears.
Hearing has been connected to cognitive health.
Hearing loss has been linked by research to anxiety, dementia, low self-esteem, increased social isolation, and poor balance.
Trade Limits for Rewards.
It is often easier to focus on what is challenging or what you should not do.
That can stimulate more negative mojor.
Instead, go positive by focusing on the rewards of your behavior.
Choose to incorporate activities you know provide physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits.
Consider the difference in outlook between “limiting screen time” and “enjoying a walk outside.”
Not to turn you life into a series of “positive” versus “negative” binary decisions, but sometimes “good” can be better than “best” once in a while.
Can you say “oreo ice cream” versus a “honeycrisp apple”?
After all, you gotta live a little.
Get a New Take on Fitness.
Your fitness is not fixed.
You can improve your cardiovascular health, flexibility, and muscle tone through exercising and focusing on the next achievable goal.
A little bit every day is a lot better that a lot once and a while.
As we have more birthdays, the positive effects of exercise have a shorter shelf life.
Telehealth can help you track your health goals and symptoms while also providing easier connections to your doctors.
Scheduling a video visit with a physician or an e-consult can help you to prioritize the medical aspect of aging well without having to worry about driving to an appointment.
In addition, the commuting time you save can be redirected into a little exercise.
See how this works?
Maintain Mental Stimulation.
Mentally engage in what interests you and stimulates your mind.
You can continue long-time passions and hobbies, or you can learn something new.
By engaging your mind on a daily basis, you can generate new brain cells and improve neural connections.
Do Not Fear Assistive Technologies.
Are you having a hard time hearing your loved ones?
It is better to get your hearing checked and use a hearing aid, than to lose your relational connection.
However, my wife and daughters seem to say the funniest things when I am not wearing my hearing aids.
Lots of mondegreens.
Exercise Your Brain.
Aging well involves giving your brain something to do.
When your brain is stimulated by the sounds it receive from the ears, it works harder.
By using your hearing aids when listening to music, audiobooks, the radio, or the television; you are take steps to improve and maintain your mental comprehension and overall cognition.
Take a Balanced Approach to Health.
Aging well is not all about what you cannot do.
It also involves incorporating healthy habits.
Adequate sleep, exercise, and sustained sexual health all can help improve your immune system and mitigate the aging process.
Invest in Your Body.
You cannot plan on aging well and ignore your body.
Instead, you need to take care of what you have been given.
Focusing on your diet, your physical activity, and your mental stimulation can help you prioritize supporting your body as you age.
When you reach a point where there are things you truly cannot do, shift your focus (and gratitude) to the things you still can do.
Reference: Forbes (Dec. 28, 2021) “10 Pieces of Expert Advice on Aging Well In 2022”