Taking Steps To Fight The Effects Of Aging

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Taking Steps To Fight The Effects Of Aging

I have just returned from my holiday break where I have taken a week to just recharge my batteries and refresh my creative mind. Yet as always fate played its hand and I was led to a decision I know that I won’t regret. I am going to turn a lot of my attention to the subject of anti ageing.

I got chatting with a great guy, a larger than life character from Wales. He had a wonderful funny personality and had me in fits of laughter. He was a sports fanatic which we had in common. His allegiances lay with Liverpool FC where mine is certainly with Arsenal, but both of us follow Cardiff as our second team. He had been a high level Rugby Player when he was younger but was now unable to walk at anything more than a snailes pace. Watching him walk was a sad reminder of what can happen to us as we go through the aging process.

One morning I was chatting with his wife who mentioned that he was 56. I tried to hide my surprise at this information because I would have guessed that he was more likely in his late 60’s. But I’m sure his wife knew better than me. It was shocking to think how badly he had obviously aged, going from a professional sportsman to a frail unwell man in probably less than 20 years.

This brought my thoughts back to something that has been bothering me for a while now. Every other day prior to my weeks get away I have been sitting at the bedside of my mother. She is still very much fighting for her life. But the life I’m talking about is one that was already really limited by what I regard as one of the worst diseases attacking the ageing process which is Dementia. Having seen the impact on my mum it’s natural for me to fear this happening to me.

I heard about a man who in his mid 50’s was going about his normal job, which was lorry driving. He had pulled up at the side of the road to take a break. The next thing he remembered was wondering where he was, why was he in this lorry and what he was doing. Worst still sitting in the driving seat of his lorry he couldn’t remember how to drive. The next thing he knew was that he had done something, probably taking off the break of his vehicle, because the lorry had tipped over the edge of a small cliff. He was ok, but this was just the first sign that dementia had arrived. Over the last 5 years he has forgotten more and more, is now unable to hold any form of conversation, remembers very little about his life, and can no longer walk without the support of another. He was diagnosed with dementia.

So as a blogger and author I see dementia affecting my mum and wonder what I could do if it happened to me. It would be life changing, so much of what I take for granted, so much of what I love to do would be taken away from me leaving … I don’t even want to continue with that thought.

If we don’t get active in looking after ourselves as we age then the things we have to look forward to for our aging years could include dementia, arthritis, rheumatism, diabetes, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on. I certainly know that I never want to be hindered by these type of problems.

Maybe I’m lucky in that I’ve always enjoyed playing sport, love going to the gym, and keep a relatively healthy diet. It must be doing something because I’m still a highly energised person, play to a good level badminton and many people comment on how much younger I look than my age. So many say ‘there’s no way you are in your 50’s. ’ So I must be doing something right.

I believe now that I take for granted my knowledge about what type of lifestyle will help lower the speed of the aging process. I was even more surprised how little you find when searching on line for information about the anti-ageing process. Unless you are looking for magical facial products to remove your wrinkles and make you look 30 years younger than you are you’re going to find very little. Being a man’s man I never have and never will use things like moisturisers. So my good looks and perfect skin must be due to a healthy lifestyle, but nothing to do with my obviously large ego.

I know that for me, at the age of 51, fast approaching 52, I want to do everything I can to look after my health in the best way possible. I can’t believe that others of a similar age wouldn’t be interested in the same.

We have it in our power to retain our health and vitality, whether we’re fifty or sixty and beyond. All of us grow older, but it’s a medically proven fact that how we age is a choice. With a few simple lifestyle changes, each of us can reap amazing visible and tangible benefits by doing the right things. I see it as my path through this blog to turn my attention more and more to matters of anti-ageing.

As we age it’s important that we become smarter, wiser and focus more on looking after ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to pay more attention to ourselves and our overall wellbeing. In this post let me briefly mention some of the things each of us needs to be doing to slow the ageing process.

Follow a healthy diet

There is a lot you need to know about the right foods to eat. Diet is crucial the older you get. There are many foods that are essential for anti-ageing purposes. One example is Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil offer many anti-aging benefits such as protecting your heart, reducing your risk of stroke, and may even lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Exercise on a daily basis

Aerobic workouts promote longevity by strengthening the heart and lungs while resistance training helps slow down decline in muscle mass, bone density, and strength that were once considered inevitable consequences of aging. If you want to combat aging then exercise is essential.

Keep a youthful state of mind

By thinking yourself as an old person you will affect everything you do. Accepting old age and thinking you have no control over it will bring on the negative consequences you should be fighting against . When you feel young at heart, maintaining your positive youthful outlook you will come to realise age is just a number.

Keep our minds active

You are as old as you feel. Cognitive stimulation is one of the lifestyle habits that affects the ageing process. Growing older does not mean that your mental abilities will necessarily be reduced. There’s a lot you can do to keep your mind sharp and alert. Researchers believe that many of the supposed age-related changes that affect the mind, such as memory loss, are actually lifestyle related.

Get rid of bad habits

I’m talking about things such as smoking and drinking alcohol. You surely know that poisoning yourself is not going to help you through the ageing process. Smoking is a definite no no, while moderate drinking may be good for you  particularly Reds Wine but heavy drinking can rev up the aging process.

Drink plenty of Water

No major secrets here: we all know plenty of water is an important part of staying healthy. For starters, plenty of water keeps your kidneys functioning properly. Water also plays a crucial part in the elasticity and appearance of your skin – increasing your water intake is one of the easiest ways to take years off your age.

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight can take years off your life, while obesity can take even more of those precious years away from you. The more overweight you are the more likely you will be to struggle with your health.

Keep a check on stress

Stress can wear our bodies down and increase blood pressure, the risk of heart disease, and affect the way we think, our moods, our ability to remember. You can’t afford to let stress interfere with your life. Adopting stress relieving methods is essential for the anti-ageing process.

Never stop trying to fulfil your dreams

In my opinion it is essential to have something spurring us on, bringing excitement so that we can enjoy life pursuing new dreams and endeavours. I love chasing goals, because to me the only time I will is when life’s over. Every day I wake up thinking what can I do today to take a step closer to my dreams . To me old age doesn’t mean I just have to live day by day accepting what I’ve got.

Maintain healthy relationships

It’s important to find ways to reach out and connect to others, particularly if they don’t treat you as some frail old thing. I love having people to talk to, debate with, discuss all sorts of things keeping my brain alert. I also believe in the importance of making the most of my time, and this is particularly so with my two daughters and granddaughter. I want to enjoy as much time with them as I can, while I can.

Get enough sleep

Sleep helps keep our bodies healthy and our minds functioning. It is essential to rest and rejuvenate our mind and bodies every night.

I will expand on each of these in future posts.

It’s never too late to starting taking steps to fight the effects of aging. A healthy lifestyle is the critical factor in determining how your health will fare as the years go by. By taking care of yourself, you can look forward to a long and healthy life. I plan to help others learn how best to do this.

Who doesn’t want to live a longer, healthier, and happier life?

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
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