As a society, we seem to have accepted the idea that aging necessarily equates to a slower-paced lifestyle, rife with bodily aches and pains that appear out of nowhere in the blink of an eye. But this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, many aging men and women have found that by treating their bodies well and not giving into this notion that they need to slow down, getting older during their golden years are some of the best yet!
If you’re starting to feel that you need to hang up your running shoes or tennis racket due to your age, take a look at these ways that you can do exactly the opposite and keep on living an active, healthy lifestyle well into older age.
Address Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation has become a public health epidemic, regardless of age. Chronic stress, poor dietary habits, and lack of exercise are the top three contributors to rampant inflammation at nearly all stages of life (New Scientist). When our bodies are functioning in a state of constant inflammation and high stress, they are not able to perform regular physical and mental tasks at an optimum level. In fact, long-term inflammation can result in a large variety of health concerns, ranging from an increased risk of heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease (Cleveland Clinic).
Moreover, one of the biggest reasons the aging population begins to slow down their physical activity when they get older is to avoid aggravating aches and pains. However, the less physically active we become, the worse joint pain and muscle stiffness will be. Thus, this becomes a catch-22 of sorts, where we stop moving because our joints and muscles are hurting us, and then this inactivity causes our joints and muscles to hurt even more.
To help calm joint and muscle pain so that you can stay active, no matter your age, try using a topical product like Enduras Recovery Cream that relies on naturally-derived essential micronutrients like vitamins A, C, and E. It does not contain harsh synthetic ingredients that can cause serious side effects like many other treatments for joint conditions.
As mentioned above, sitting still is one of the worst things you can do for your body, especially as you age. Lack of physical activity accounts for a large part of decreased strength, stamina, and balance in older age (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). If you’re not using your muscles on a regular basis, they begin to weaken. Similarly, joint pain and stiffness is made worse by inactivity and non-use. Even on days where you don’t feel like going for a long jog or hitting the slopes with your skis, you can still stretch and perform light exercises at home to help keep your body limber, strong, and pain-free.
Adjust Your Mindset
Many very interesting studies have uncovered a link between our mindset and the way that our bodies age. Perhaps most notably, psychologist Ellen Langer performed a series of studies examining the effects of a mindset of dependency on the way that our minds and bodies age. For example, for the purpose of the study, 70 to 80 year old men who were accustomed to walking with canes and being totally dependant on the help of their families were asked to perform duties to aid in their care. They would help to set the table, clean up their rooms, and carry their own bags.
The results of this series of studies showed a significant improvement in the men’s physical ability, flexibility, balance, and even memory function (Smart Living 365). Thus, the power of having a positive and youthful mindset should not be underestimated when striving to live a full, active life well into older age.
The Bottom Line
Don’t blindly accept the idea that aging has to mean confinement and limitations. Ease inflammation, stay active, and shift your mindset to a more positive outlook, and you’ll be surprised at just how big of an impact changes in these three areas can have on your overall quality of life, at whatever stage of life you’re currently in!
About the Authors
William Goolsbee has spent his career in Life Sciences including leading roles in drug development in immunology and genetic medicine. Recent senior positions include Chairman of the Board at Sarepta Therapeutics and Founder and CEO at Metrodora Therapeutics.
Dr. Gil Price
Gil Price M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at the Propharma Group, where he provides medical supervision for all clinical trials. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Drug Safety Solutions, where he oversaw safety monitoring for drugs in clinical development. Dr. Price also served as the Director of Clinical Development at Medimmune Oncology and Director of Medical Affairs at Glaxo.