Healthy Aging

 

Healthy aging is about more than staying physically healthy–it’s about maintaining your sense of purpose and your zest for life. A key ingredient in the recipe for healthy aging is the continuing ability to find meaning and joy in life. As we grow older, we experience an increasing number of major life changes, including retirement, the loss of loved ones, and physical changes. How we handle these changes, as well as regular day-to-day stresses, is the key to aging well. It’s not too late to take control of your health or start something new. Try to think about the positive aspects of aging instead of the stereotypes and negative aspects.

 

Healthy aging means continually reinventing yourself, finding new things you enjoy, learning to adapt to change, staying physically and socially active, and feeling connected to your community and loved ones.

 

Everyone has different ways of experiencing meaning and joy, and the activities you enjoy may change over time. If you’re not sure where to get started, try some of the following suggestions. Here are 10 tips for re-inventing yourself at any age. We found these great tips on healthyaging.net

 

1. Go for that job you’ve always wanted – you aren’t too old to be an intern. You’re never too old to start at the bottom. Many employers now hire only after they’ve seen the quality of the employee, so an internship is your opportunity to show off your mature skills. Check for college and department websites that offer detailed listings.

 

2. Head back to school and take the classes you wished you would have taken but, “didn’t fit into your schedule.” Take courses to refocus your career, enhance your skill set and increase your earning power.

 

3. Take a volunteer vacation.  Visit New Places, Connect, and Give Back.  Many travelers today are opting out of the self-indulgent vacation and opting in for the chance to “give back” through a volunteer vacation.  These trips are a great way to try something new, fulfill a dream, or experiment living in a different place, for a short or longer time commitment. Volunteer Vacations Across America, (http://www.immersiontraveler.com/)  is a good resource with more than 200 trips for volunteering to help people.

 

4. Get moving. Dance like there’s no tomorrow.  Older adults getting regular physical exercise are 60% less likely to get dementia. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain and releases a protein that strengthens cells and neurons. Dance involves all of the above plus the cerebral activity present in learning and memory.

 

 5. Hit the road.  Travel is one of the top picks when people are asked what they would do if they had more time.  Sometimes the money factor  makes that dream fall apart.  Here are several travel sites for finding good fares and rates:  SmarterTravel.com,Travelocity.comExpedia.com, Kayak.com and  jetsetter.com.

 

 6. Become a rock star for a weekend.  Here’s a good one for the buck list.  Check out Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp (www.RockCamp.com), where mere mortals jam with rock legends, write/record an original song and play live on stage at a major concert venue. The Camp offers a great adventures in Las Vegas for those who are looking for the ultimate rock star experience:

October 10 – 14,  2012 MGM Grand, Las Vegas. Jam with Gene Simmons, from the legendary band, KISS.

 

7. Expand your artistic abilities. Learn to paint a landscape or still life.  Complete A Landscape, seascape, floral or still life painting. See if fine arts peeks you interest.  One day classes can be found at Michaels,  http://www.michaels.com/Fine-Arts-Class-by-Michaels/Fine-Arts-Class,default,pg.html#

 

8. Try a new sport or pick up on one you left behind in your early days. What about surfing, hiking or skiing?  It’s never too late and there are many locations offering courses, trips, and lessons.

 

9. Eat fresh. Make a commitment to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.  Seek out local farmers markets and buy local produce.  Make it a point to try to make foods from scratch… skip the processed foods as much as you can

 

10.  Travel to the famed wine country this Fall and take a wine tasting course  or  cooking course at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St. Helena, CA.  Or, check out the Napa Valley Film Festival, November 7 – 11, 2012. a five-day immersive, indulgent celebration of film, artisan food and boutique wines.

 

The possibilities are endless. The important thing is to find activities that are both meaningful and enjoyable. For more information on healthy aging, pick up the October copy of Here’s to Your Health Magazine.