You’re Only Old If You Tell Yourself You’re Old

By on July 15, 2017
You're Only Old If You Tell Yourself You're Old

I help take care of two elderly individuals (my grandma and another in the senior living community). Both are in their early 70s. They are active individuals yet they’re quick to get winded and need frequent breaks in their day-to-day activities.

I make sure they follow doctor’s orders but I also encourage them to get active, eat better, and keep their minds occupied. I’ve seen a big change in well-being from doing these little changes.

Their willingness should be an inspiration to all those 50 and older, as it:

·  Improves the quality of life since they’re able to do all those things after they’ve retired

·  Adds years onto their life because they’re in good shape (for their age)

·  Helps with aches and pains from being sedentary

·  Keeps their minds sharp and alert

What do I get them to do? Glad you asked…

Low-Effort, High-Impact Exercise

It seems that pain is what holds people back exercise. Their bodies aren’t as strong so a lot of routines are out the window. What I’ve found effective is A) using compression sleeves found on OS1st.com to help with heel pain & swelling and B) sticking to low-impact exercises to take it easy on joints and muscles.

This would include:

·  Walking

·  Swimming

·  Cycling

·  Chair Exercises

It’s enough to get the heart pumping without becoming a chore or cause pain. A 10-15 routine of these boosts energy levels and keeps them active. If you can join a group that does this daily then you shouldn’t have trouble keeping with it!

Dieting (But Not Really)

They say you shouldn’t diet.

Instead, you make a lifestyle change which happens to include what you eat. Dieting is a temporary thing whereas changing your eating habits is something to stick with. You’re more likely to lose weight and get healthy if you’re able to commit vs chasing a fad.

Here’s what I’ve seen to have worked:

·  Dig out an old family recipe book and make it fun with home cooked meals from their childhood (with a few updated ingredients that may be healthier).

·  Try new restaurants and foods since they may have always stuck with the staples – this will help them discover new favorites

·  Use a slow cooker and a mix of meal prep to make cooking as easy-as-possible so relying on processed foods and take-out doesn’t become a thing

We have access to thousands of great recipes, ingredients, and tools so you never get bored. If you’re counting macros then you can eat anything and lose weight. Plus, you’ll have fun doing it!

Mind Games

The mind grows dull as you age if you’re not constantly stimulating it. It’s like my grandma says, “You only get old when you convince yourself you’re old”. Meaning that if you slow down and make excuses to avoid activities because you’re feeling “old” then you become just that.

There are very simple activities to keep a mind sharp in the later years:

·  Start or join a club for hobbies, card/board games, or debates

·  Work on puzzles, play video games, or the daily crossword

·  Take on a new learning experience by going back to school

·  Get out more to see your family & friends (exercise + food + stimulating talks!)

·  Taking afternoon naps or making sure to get a proper night’s rest

It sounds silly but playing casual video games (phone games work great!) has been a tremendous help with their memory and wit. Watching Netflix and discussing the plot has helped too.

Conclusion

Life doesn’t have to come to a stand-still when you’ve reached 50. There’s so much more to do and that will be possible if you take care of your mind & body. These activities may seem like a chore or outside the bounds of your capabilities but believe me… you can do it!

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You’re Only Old If You Tell Yourself You’re Old