On February 1 of this year, my mother turned 95 years old. She lives in an assisted living facility in Huntington Beach, so this necessitated another visit to the once Golden State. My mom, who tap danced with a group in Oceanside, California, when she was in her 80s, played tennis and golf weekly, is now wheel chair bound and has difficulty speaking. While it is difficult for my sisters and I to watch this once athletic, vibrant and beautiful women stuck in a wheelchair and unable to express herself, we realize that getting older is inevitable and with age comes stiffness, soreness, weakness and frailty.
We know if we live long enough, we will all start showing the symptoms of age. The question arises, though, why do some people seem to age at a much slower pace than others? Is there a way, exercises or a routine, that may postpone or slow the aging process? There are exercises that will help maintain one's strength and balance. Any gym, YMCA, or senior center would most likely be able to provide such instructions and data. Common sense and psychology would dictate that a positive attitude and a sense of humor would put a damper on one's aging appearance.
One of the things anyone of any age can do is to smile widely and often. It doesn't matter how old or how many wrinkles one has, a smile will brighten and enhance even the homeliest face. Not only that, it hard to feel self absorbed and sorry for oneself if you are always smiling.
Another visual thing that we can do is to stand up straight. If one has osteoporosis or a curvature of the spine, then they can't stand up straight and there isn't much they can do about it. But for most of us, slouching has just become a habit. If you stand up straight, you look younger, your body works better and you have less chance of stumbling and falling.
After working out, I have found myself walking out of the gym slowly, head down and feeling spent.
Walk at a pace that shows you mean to get some place and not like you are one of the living dead.
When going to the supermarket or mall, park at the far end of the parking lot. It saves you from the frustration of looking for a space close to the entrance, or a conflict with other drivers over a close parking space. The longer walk to the store helps to burns off some of the calories from that donut you ate earlier.
If you take more than one medication, check periodically with your doctor, or better yet your pharmacist, to see if all of them are compatible. Some medications counteract the effects of other medications and some increase the effects of others. By managing your meds, you can maintain their effectiveness and minimize the ill effects.
Putting your focus on others, tends to lessen the little nagging pains and problems we all have. By volunteering and helping others you will find out that others pains and problems seem to make your's seem petty in comparison.
Get out of the house and interact with others. Minimize vegetating in front of the television. Record shows so you can fast forward through mind numbing commercials. Keep up with current events, but don't watch news and opinion shows all day and night.
Maintain healthy relationships with family and friends. These connections with others bring meaning, love and humor to our lives.