My dad always has said that he wants to live until he dies. At face value that seems obvious, of course you will live until you die. But he means he wants to live life to the fullest. And once he is unable to, he would like to die. Sounds morbid, but it is actually a great philosophy.
I work with many seniors who lament that aging is not for the weak. And I believe that. Getting old is hard. Our bodies will change and slowly stop working the way we want them to. As dramatic and sad as it sounds, aging does not have to be awful.
Here are some common annoyances of aging, and how to fix them now.
- Bone replacements. It seems like seniors are always getting something replaced: hips, elbows, knees, etc. Old age is not kind to your joints and joints tend to take the biggest hit. Getting your joint replaced is harder than it sounds. It requires surgery and weeks, if not months, of rehab until you are ready to start walking again. If you want to avoid replacing your joints later in life, you need to start acting now. First off, drink your milk. Milk is fortified with calcium which is a must for healthy bones. No milk for you? Start taking calcium pills or eating other calcium rich foods (spinach, for example). It really will do your body good. Also, keep your weight in check. Extra weight puts unnecessary pressure on your joints.
- Diabetes. This disease has become the poster child for aging. There are many contributing factors as to why diabetes has taken over the aging population. Bad diets, extra weight and sedentary lifestyle has made diabetes more prevalent. Type II diabetes, or also called adult onset diabetes is entirely indicative of lifestyle choices. Thankfully, you can prevent and avoid type II diabetes. The first step is to eat healthy. Stick away from super sugary foods and eat a well-balanced diet. The second is to exercise regularly. Starting this while you are young will help you keep the habit throughout the rest of your life. Exercise is good for your heart, bones and your mental outlook. A good diet and exercise combined will help you keep your weight in check, which is a big contributing factor to Type II diabetes.
- Wrinkles. While this side effect is completely external, it is the most tell tale sign of aging. There is no fountain of youth, but my great aunt- who has no wrinkles- swears by petroleum jelly. She slathers it on every night before bed and she has the skin of a baby’s bottom.
- Mental deterioration. Some mental diseases cannot be avoided. However, you can do your best to keep your mind active as best you can. Start now to keep your brain active by being constantly engaged. Visit with friends, read a book, do crossword puzzles and get involved. Sitting around in front of a screen is the worst thing to keep your mind active.