As we celebrate birthdays, the wisest of us stop trying to prevent aging and focus instead on learning to age with grace. This mindset shift promotes trying new things and enjoying life while taking care of your brain, body, and soul in ways that can help you live a longer, fuller life. It also means being mindful about how your habits and attitudes impact you and the people around you. Here’s how you can promote healthy aging in your golden years.
How To Age Gracefully
The process of aging gracefully doesn’t have to be overly difficult or complicated. You can take small steps every day to help yourself and others live a higher-quality life. Here are some tips for aging healthy.
1. Be Social
Staying in touch with family, friends, and social groups (including support and church groups) will yield more aging benefits than meet the eye. It’s never too late to make new connections, either. Socializing regularly can help you to:
- Maintain a support network you can rely on
- Boost your emotional health and brain function by avoiding the harmful effects of isolation
- Live a more active, enjoyable life (they’re not called the “golden years” for nothing, after all)
2. Stay Curious
The brain really is a use-it-or-lose-it organ, so it’s essential to stay mentally engaged as you get older. Consider taking a class, learning a new skill, trying a new hobby, solving a mystery, or having a go at some challenging puzzles. Being a lifelong learner can offer you:
- Better cognitive function for longer
- Less dependence on others for help with daily tasks
- More opportunities to grow as a person
- More interesting conversations with your friends, family, and community members
3. Stay Fit
As you age, it’s more essential—not less—to stay physically active. Choose low-impact workouts like swimming, stretching, Tai Chi, or ballroom dancing; exercising in a class or group will give you added social benefits. Alternatively, stay active in hobbies that require some physical exertion, like gardening, hiking, or lawn games. Exercising regularly can allow you to:
- Live longer
- Feel stronger and healthier, physically and mentally
- Look better
- Have fewer health complications, avoiding the need for additional doctor’s visits, medical procedures, and medications
4. Eat Smart
Your senior years are not the time to overindulge in junk food. Minimize your consumption of processed foods like frozen or boxed dinners, lunch meats, chips, crackers, and baked goods. Instead, eat as many whole foods and dark fruits and vegetables as you can, including berries, cherries, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens, like kale and spinach.
5. Be Vigilant About Your Medical Needs
Get medical checkups regularly and be sure to tell your doctor about any new symptoms or problems you’re experiencing. Don’t forget to get all recommended vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Finally, keep in mind that your medical care providers can’t help you if you don’t help yourself. Take all your medications faithfully, keep up with any prescribed physical therapy, and strive to live a healthy lifestyle.
6. Seek Spiritual Growth
As we age, it’s important to invest time not only in our social connections, health, and hobbies, but in our spiritual lives as well. Consider joining and being active in your church, and try other beneficial practices like praying, meditating, and reading scripture. Nurturing your spiritual needs can help you to:
- Have a closer relationship with God
- Build stronger bonds with your church members and community
- Enjoy better mental health
- Boost confidence and self-esteem
- Find hope in times of difficulty
- Feel more fulfilled and find more peace and meaning in your life
7. Stay Positive
In order to fully enjoy retirement and set a good example for your loved ones and community, keep a positive mindset whenever possible. This doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to be in a bad mood or complain about your problems from time to time, but it does mean not allowing yourself to be consumed by negativity.
You can practice a positive attitude by doing simple things like having a sense of humor, being flexible, seeking hope, remembering to be thankful for the good things in life, and forgiving yourself and others.
8. Give Back
You can gain multiple physical, mental, and spiritual benefits all at once by giving back to your community. This can be as passive as offering support to your family, friends, and neighbors, or as active as volunteering with a local nonprofit organization. Donating your time and resources can help you to:
- Get physical exercise
- Have a more active social life
- Deepen your spiritual life with an attitude of service
- Feel more connected to your community and region
- Find more purpose
- Set a good example and establish a strong legacy
- Have fun!
Enjoy Healthy, Graceful Aging With Chapel Pointe
Chapel Pointe is a faith-based continuing care retirement community. We commit each day to serving and helping people aged 62+ to age gracefully in Central Pennsylvania. We’re honored that our greater community sees the servant-heart of our nonprofit organization and consistently selects Chapel Pointe as “The Best of Cumberland County.” Learn more about our exciting options for independent living.
Or welcoming campuses in Carlisle, PA, are filled with interesting places to explore and amenities that make life easy and enjoyable. Bird-watch from the gazebo, take a quiet moment in the chapel, curl up with a book in the library, join a friend for games in the sunroom, explore downtown, or workout in the fitness center.
Since the beginning, our team's mission has been to ensure that every resident is treated with love and the utmost respect. Experiencing our core values—trust, integrity, faith, service, and innovation—lived out every day at Chapel Pointe reassures seniors that they are making the right decision by welcoming us into their lives. Contact us to learn more about our community or support our mission by making a donation today!