Thursday, April 21, 2011

Want to stay healthy in retirement? Rule #1: Don’t Act Your Age

This morning, while preparing my breakfast, a segment came on the morning show that I typically watch, that really got me thinking. The discussion was all about how “You’re only as old as you feel,” how “age is just a number”….and “a state of mind,” and how really believing that you’re still young and that you still have all of the physical and mental capabilities of youth, can make anything in your elder years possible.

The idea from the segment itself wasn’t anything new, but now at this point in my life, it seems to be even more relevant than ever. While many people might disagree, arguing that there are physical limitations to getting older, I am a firm believer that there really is incredible value in “not acting your age”.  Going out and engaging in activities that you’d might typically have been involved in your teens, twenties and thirties, can truly allow you to live a healthy, fulfilled retirement life.

The proof in all of this is clear. I genuinely feel the difference when I’ve been inside all day - inactive, lethargic.  I forget where I put things. I feel weak and tired. I feel…well, old. But when I get myself out - take a walk with a neighbor around the neighborhood or participate in a group spinning class, it’s as if I’m given back my twenty year old body and mind again. I’m sharp - thinking faster, clearer. I’m quick to remember things, in a better mood, and I have a ton more energy. My 60-year old brain and muscles are flooding with liveliness, and every moment I walk into brings on a whole new clarity and possibility. The difference between my older, inactive self and my youthful, active self is truly remarkable.

The reality is, life isn’t over when you reach 55- it gets even better. Now, in retirement- we can still participate in the activities we’ve always loved- and actually have the time to really enjoy them! So, stay young. Stay strong. Stay happy, healthy and fulfilled …and whatever you do, DON’T ACT YOUR AGE!

Livin’ the good (active) life,
Get in On It

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