How to walk the road of health, vitality and youthfulness and age gracefully?
All of us time to time worry about getting older, but rarely we make some conscious efforts for that time until all the time fly by. The truth is that aging process is not the same for everyone, some people age better than others do. While some of this is beyond our control, we do have a choice in the things we do, the precautions we take and our mindset in making the aging process another new and exciting chapter in our lives, instead of something we dread and fear.
The fifty aging pitfalls below are serious considerations to give you the greatest chance of experiencing the most healthy and vibrant you in your older years.
50 Pitfalls of aging to avoid & remain vibrant, healthy and strong in the golden years in ways YOU can control!
1- Thinking: “I am too old to…” A common pitfall, where people mistakenly think that they are too old to do something, or many things. WRONG! You are never too old, it’s all about your mindset, think young, and you will act young.
2- Not enjoying the opportunity to do whatever you want. Retirement gives you the gift of time, so take advantage of that fact and do anything you want.
3- Not getting proper age-related medical screenings. Every man and woman requires various diagnostic tests to screen for certain diseases that’s risks increase at certain ages. Talk to your doctor.
4- Not getting regular lab tests. Your doctor will clue you in on these important blood tests that can provide early detection of high cholesterol, cancer, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and many other chronic diseases, especially those that are preventable and associated with lifestyle choices.
5- Not spending enough time socializing. Having a vital and rich social life supports brain health, emotional and psychological wellbeing and also better physical health. Many studies have shown this to be true, as well as the fact that isolation actually promotes aging of mind, body, and spirit.
6- Acting like your age. Did you know that age and years are very different things? You can be timeless and infinite and in that mindset change your perception of how you feel, what you believe and what you are capable of doing.
7- Not eating a diet that supports your good health and wellness. Dr. Bradley Wilcox, professor of geriatrics at the University of Hawaii who co-authored The Okinawa Diet Plan suggests that eating a diet rich in fresh whole food, including vegetables, fruit and legumes provide key antioxidants and nutrients that reduce the cellular effects of aging and delay the effect of free-radicals that cause premature aging, as well as counteract environmental effects, such as those from the sun and pollutants.
8- Not being grateful. Gratitude improves your mindset, promotes happiness, inner piece and contentment, all of which make you better emotionally and psychology. Challenge yourself and make a daily gratitude list for one month, you will love the results.
9- Not exercising, including aerobic for heart health and weight management, strength training for muscle tone and overall strength and balance training to avoid falls, the number one cause of injury in seniors. Of and don’t forget the flexibility training, as inflexibility is the cause of many injuries and chronic conditions like back pain and muscle strains as well as atrophy.
10- Not getting proper sleep, which supports healthy immunity, reduces stress and overall supports the health and wellness of mind, body and spirit.
11- Not enjoying life to the fullest. Do you know that the most important part of healthy aging is joy, fulfilment, and happiness, or else you may as well lay down and wait to die. Chase those things that fire you up, and do them! Your zest for life is key in healthy aging.
12- Not taking relaxation seriously. Take walks, smell some flowers, take a dip in a hot tub. Relaxation reduces stress, calms the mind, and makes you more well overall.
13- Not laughing enough. Laughter offers you a ton of benefits for mind, body, and spirit. So laugh and laugh often.
14- Not doing what you love. Personal fulfilment supports emotional, mental, and physical health. Do things you love every day, whether it’s knitting, boating, golfing, mountain climbing or going to a movie. Enjoy your life!
15- Not appreciating all you have to give. With age comes wisdom, and you have plenty of it. Revel in this fact and take pride when younger people seek your advice.
16- Thinking life is over. One of the greatest pitfalls of aging is the mentality that life is over, the fact is that while you are still alive, life is most certainly NOT over. There are thousands of seniors enjoying vibrant and energetic lives; doing all the things, they love. Why? Because they believe they can, and you can do the same.
17- Not making a bucket list. Yes, a bucket list! This is a list of all the things you have ever wanted to do before your die, make a list, and start doing all these things.
18- Not eating good fats everyday. Omega-3 fatty acids, from fatty fish, avocados, olive oil, and nuts support the growth of hair and nails, jeep the skin glowing and most important support and promote brain health and according to the Alzheimer’s Association play a key role in preventing dementia by reducing beta-amyloid plaques.
19- Worrying about the future and not enjoying the moment. For some, the idea that “time is running out,” places too much focus on the future, which only results in missing out on enjoying the moment. Stay in the moment, and enjoy each and every one you have, every single day, this may ultimately be the key to contentment and happiness (no matter your age).
20- Taking society’s and younger generation’s views to heart. There are many preconceived and mythical notions about the older generation. Don’t pay any attention to any of the disrespect or dismissals, keep a strong and healthy sense of self, appreciate your worth, and know that you are strong, valuable, and perfect!
21- Eating junk food instead of whole food. Eating a diet rich in whole real food supports your body’s and mind’s need for nutrients that keep you vibrant, energetic, and healthy.
22- Having a negative attitude. Negativity breeds dysfunction no matter your age, but can become your worst enemy, as you get older. Positive thinking helps you to have the right attitude towards aging, all that you can do and your life in general. Optimism promotes happiness, and research has shown that positive thinkers live longer than pessimists do.
23- Missing opportunities for growth. Just because you are a certain age does not mean that you should stop seeking opportunities for growth and personal development. In fact, it’s a time when you should do so even more. It keeps you young, keeps the brain humming, and provides purpose in your life.
24- Not drinking enough water. Hydration helps keep your skin soft, and prevents dry skin, brittle nails and even wrinkles, Furthermore, proper hydration promote digestive health, helping to flush out stress and age causing toxins.
25- Not wearing sunscreen. The risks for skin cancer increase with age, so take the time to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
26- Drinking too much alcohol. Excessive drinking has so many serious repercussions for the body, including heart disease, cirrhosis and fatty liver just to name a few, and of course there is a vast amount of hazards for your mind, and emotional health. In truth, too much alcohol makes you look, feel and be old.
27- Smoking cigarettes. Smoking is bad news, causes lung cancer, respiratory problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, and wrinkles!
28- Skipping breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, calcium and vitamins and minerals provide you with ample energy to face your days.
29- Not using moisturizer everyday. As you age your skin begins to naturally get drier, using a moisturizer everyday all over your body helps counteract this to keep your skin more smooth and supple and protecting it against wrinkles.
30- Not taking time to help others. Volunteering and helping others helps make you healthier, gives you purposes, raises self-esteem, and provides you with a natural sense of pride, accomplishment, and identity. Moreover, a study out of England’s University of Exeter Medical School found it to help improve mood when they examined groups of volunteers and found that those with a giving spirit had lower risks for depression, and even helped improve depression in those suffering from it.
31- Not having a purpose. Purpose gives you a reason to live, and wake up in the morning, it maybe more critical than ever in your older years, when work stops, and your days may become too empty.
32- Not practicing Tai Chi. Tai Chi, one form of mind-body exercise has been shown to slow the aging process, and this is a practice that is widely popular in the East. A team of researchers, (Shinn-Zong Lin et al) studied two groups of people for a year, one engaged in walking and the other in Tai Chi. The study subjects were young because younger people have better cell-renewing abilities than those of older years, and because using younger people helped to eliminate variables such as disease and mediations. The results showed that those who engaged in Tai Chi had a “significantly higher number of CD 34+ stem cells.” CD 34+ cells are “cluster markers” for blood stem cells that are capable of self-renewal and growth, so Tai Chi was able to improve cell regeneration and slow the aging process.
33- Not checking your blood pressure regularly. As we age, the heart arteries begin to harden, which raises systolic blood pressure, so it’s important to keep track of this reading and see your doctor for treatment as needed. Hypertension increases risks for stroke, and may cause degenerative changes in the blood brain barrier’s small vessels.
34- Not practicing yoga. Yoga offers you more than 40 different and very powerful health benefits for mind, body, and spirit. Besides its ability to train flexibility and promote muscle strength, it offers calm for the mind, and since it incorporates meditation, you will benefit from its aging benefits as well.
35- Not meditating. Besides being one of the greatest stress management techniques, which of course greatly improves the aging process, and reduces risks for various chronic diseases, such as that of the heart, several studies have shown mediation to increase gray matter in the brain, something that improves cognition and brain power to keep the mind younger than its age.
36- Not taking care of your dental health. Studies find that oral health is connected to hear health, specifically, gum disease risk factors for heart disease.
37- Holding on to grudges. Grudges breed stress and internal havoc, and this results in an increase of stress hormones, which wreak havoc in the body and mind. Repressed anger that results from resentment can lead to depression, anxiety, and general negativity that impacts your emotional and mental health wellness. Do yourself a favor and forgive and forget, your aging body will thank you.
38- Putting yourself last. As we rush through life, we often take care of everyone else, and forget ourselves. This is a big mistake, and you should make yourself a top priority so you can maintain a high level of good health in your older years. Commit to self-care take care of your body and mind, and you will be rewarded as you get older.
39- Ignoring stress. This is possibly the biggest pitfall, as stress results in avoidable consequences for your mind, body, and spirit. Chronic stress is a killer. Take care of it now, or increase risks for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, just to name a few.
40- Sitting too much. Sitting disease is a well-documented pitfall at any age, and as you get older, its effects become more pronounced. A study (Associations of Accelerometer- Measured and Self-Reported Sedentary Time With Leukocyte Telomere Length in Older Women, Shadyab, et al) found that women between the ages of 64 to 95 who sat for more than 10 hours a day without any type of exercise to counteract those effects were eight years older biologically than women who led an active lifestyle. The study’s researchers noted that those women who sat too much had shortened telemores, which are the caps on DNA that protect chromosomes. Telemores do shorten naturally, as we age, but this process is accelerated by lack of movement, and other unhealthy lifestyle choices.
41- Eating too much sugar and refined carbs. Type 2 diabetes is at epidemic levels, with 1.4 million new cases being diagnosed each year, which means more than 1 in 10 adults age 20 and older are afflicted. Type 2 diabetes is preventable and is mostly caused by lifestyle choices, such as those that result in obesity including unhealthy diets filled with sugar and junk food, and lack of exercise. Type 2 diabetes presents various complications as you age, including increased risks for heart disease, neuropathy, and premature death, just to name a few.
42- Not having a solid retirement plan. Whether it’s finances, what you will do you’re your time or even how you will handle life’s transitions, make a plan and stick with.
43- Not challenging your mind, which builds cognitive reserve, and keeps you brain sharp and working at its best.
44- Not protecting your head. The Alzheimer’s Association reports “a strong link between future risk of Alzheimer’s disease and serious head trauma, especially when injury involves loss of consciousness.” So make sure to protect your head at all times. Wear a seat belt, make your home fall-proof, and always wear a helmet when riding a bike or playing sports.
45- Not taking the time to travel. Travel is not only fun, but studies find seeing new places provides new experiences for the brain, which promotes elasticity and keeps it strong and working at its best.
46- Giving up. Some people “lay down and die off” when they hit a certain age. This is something of their own doing, a mindset that results in a tragic ending to a life that is still ongoing and holds many opportunities. Embrace aging and hone in on the positives, set your mind to thrive!
47- Not knowing you have a choice. How well or how badly you age can come down to your own choices. For example, those who believe that they should be a “certain way at some age” will act as they believe, conversely, those who do not believe that age limits them in any way, will behave in a different manner, usually in a more healthy and uninhibited way, where nothing stands in their way. What is your attitude towards age? Do you believe that age is just a number? You should.
48- Living with regrets. Are there things that you have always wanted to do, see or say and never have and now you have regrets? Why not do them? Make a list, and start tacking it today!
49- Worrying that your style is not “age-appropriate.” Okay, so for some bizarre reason, some women think they need to cut their hair short, as they get older, as if someone put this code into some imaginary law book of aging. Be yourself! If you have always had long hair, then keep it that way. If you love flashy earrings, wear them! If red heels make you feel sexy, alive, and vibrant, put them on! Make your own rules that satisfy who you are!
50- Worrying constantly about death. We all have to die sometime, worrying about it will not change a thing except make you unhappy, anxious and miss out on all the opportunities that await you today!