Ageing is not about struggling through years of saggy, wrinkly skin and a host of diseases, but being healthy and happy together and for the rest of the years.
The word “ageing” has an absolutely wrong notion attached to it. What comes to your mind when you hear of ageing is grey hair, bad memory and loneliness, however, all of these depressive sides of ageing may not be true. Ageing means maturing as your chronological clock is ticking and maturing with experience, wisdom and a greater understanding of life as a whole. Do not consider ageing as a bane; instead, accept it as a stage of life which is as beautiful as your initial years of growth. Do not “deal with ageing”, but experience the phase with spirit of an eighteen-year-old along with grace and dignity. Your genetic make-up and susceptibility to all kinds of environmental risks around you contribute to premature ageing; hence, some changes made to your lifestyle will make all the difference in making the ageing process a pleasurable experience.
Healthy lifestyle changes can start from paying attention to your diet. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants can delay the ageing process. Free radicals are a group of unstable atoms that are responsible for ageing, tissue damage and other diseases. A diet rich in antioxidants prevents free radicals from attacking healthy tissues thereby, delaying the process of ageing. Free radicals are a natural byproduct of the body produced during metabolic processes, but are not produced in large numbers. Other sources of ageing include polluted environment, smoking, X- rays and ultraviolet rays from the sun. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in colour are a good source of antioxidants along with green tea and turmeric. Antioxidants not only delay ageing but also prevent the development of cancers and other diseases. A diet of low-fat and fiber-rich food is ideal as we age.
An exercise routine which consists of activities which strengthen, boost up endurance and aid in flexibility can delay ageing as well as sail you through in a robust shape. Endurance exercises are cardio workouts which improve heart health and more blood is pumped to the brain which improves memory, mood and sleep quality. Physical exercise can counter the need for antidepressants as it is a mood booster as the brain releases more endorphins while exercising which are “happy hormones” and keep your youthful look alive. Improved blood circulation aids all organs especially kidneys, which bear the weathering of age, by boosting its efficiency of purging toxins. Strengthening and flexibility exercises reduce susceptibility to degenerative problems such as osteoporosis and fractures. Exercises such as walking, swimming, light weight training and yoga are all equally beneficial like any other workouts.
Accept the inevitable changes of ageing and free your mind of unnecessary stress. Studies have shown how stress accelerates the ageing process by harming DNA and causing damage to tissues. Don’t let the uncertainty of life or old age bother you so much so that living becomes stressful. Anticipate the changes which happen with age such as changes in the body, changes in lifestyle, relationships and be mentally prepared for them.
Develop a strong social support network of family and friends from whose company you not only get emotional support but also develop positive outlook and get to learn new things. In times like today, family dynamics have changed as elderly parents are looked down upon as burden and hence, it is important to be in charge of your own life by maintaining good health, financial security and a social circle of one’s own. Engage yourself with activities that make you happy such as playing with your grandchildren, etc.
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