A baby boomer turns sixty every 7.6 seconds, but it’s not a reason to approach life’s later years with fear and trepidation. Most of us have a pretty good handle on the high price of an unhealthy lifestyle, but it takes more than a healthy diet and physical workouts to end up with a gold medal in living well.
By all means, hit the gym. Don’t just think about it – do it. The LiveStrong website has some great tools for enhancing your health even if you’re not a cyclist. Their Fitness Directory is useful for tracking calories burned with your favorite exercise and teasing you to try some other physical activities. Fun with Flamenco is now part of my fitness regimen, although my partner resists my olé!
Besides a physical life, optimum wellness includes among other things, brain fitness. Similar to the way muscles grow stronger and more adept with use, the brain’s structure strengthens every time it is engaged in a significant way. Consequently, mind exercise can drive neurogenesis and improve cognitive fitness. This mind-body link or mind-powered focus is what separates the gold medal caliber from the rest of us. Even something as simple as putting one foot in front of the other is beneficial and can increase the size of the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that’s key to memory.
Another part of this living well equation is preventive care like annual flu shots and an annual physical. Don’t forget your teeth. Dentists play a great role in overall health. Better yet, if you’re lucky enough to have a dentist in your town that cares about your teeth and your environment, go there. Don’t forget to have your eyes checked, as well.
Manage stress with an engaged lifestyle that includes an inner life to avoid a “long decline” to old age. Emotional well-being revitalizes and helps to reap the rich rewards of the final third of life. Don’t miss our next blog post by guest contributor Allison Quattrocchi who personifies that living well never gets old! As a “super senior/upper phenomenal” making waves and living large, she actively is staying in the mainstream and never retiring from life.