There’s no doubt about it, getting old, in America at least, carries a certain stigma. People spend millions every year to slow or reverse the effects of aging on their bodies. Between 1997 and 2007, cosmetic procedures increased from two million to nearly 12 million in the United States. The skin care industry is estimated to be worth $43 billion. Even men have jumped on the bandwagon with the men’s skin care (and makeup!) market booming.
But hold on – aging does not have to send you running to the cosmetics counter and plastic surgeon. It’s not all bad news. Aging brings wisdom, for one. And perceptions are often worse than reality. A Pew Research Center study reported that 57 percent of Americans aged 18-64 thought they would suffer memory loss as they aged, verses 25 percent of Americans 65 and older actually suffering from it. Similar statistics covering things such as being able to drive or suffering a serious illness had coinciding results.
And so, without further ado, we present 5 reasons getting older is kind of great:
1. Fewer responsibilities – the house is paid for, those troublesome kids are long gone, and no more work. Sounds like a good deal!
2. More “you” time – work on whatever’s always bothered you or that you didn’t get enough of earlier in life. Sleep and exercise more, eat healthy now that you have time to cook, go out with friends, and spend time with the grand kids.
3. More confidence – You’ve been around the block once or twice, so you know things. You’ve learned how to just be yourself. How to project confidence. How to speak to strangers to learn what you need to know. Younger people have to figure this all out, but you’ve got it covered.
4. This one’s just for women – No more childbearing! And everything that goes along with that. You don’t have to worry about the pill or PMS. Feel free to feel great!
5. Time to slow down – you know not to rush, to enjoy the simple pleasure in life, and to treasure your memories.
Our registered dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD agrees: “Many of the ‘young old agers’ (65 – 74 years) are relatively healthy, affluent, and free from traditional responsibilities of work and family. Getting old doesn’t suck one bit if you have your health.” She recommends some tips to make sure you get to enjoy these things.
1. Get regular exercise. Hartley stresses doing strengthening, stretching and cardio as part of an exercise regimen. Athletic facilities have many interesting classes to keep you active, many tailored specifically for seniors. Zumba is a group dance class, or there’s water aerobics, yoga or tai chi. Take up ballroom dancing, pickle ball, or Wii bowling. The possibilities are many and they make exercising fun.
2. Socialize. Meet up with friends, and even better, do something active while you’re at it. Travel and meet new people. Learn a new language while you’re at it!
3. Don’t overeat. “The need for food decreases with age, yet people in the ‘clean plate club‘ continue to eat when they are full. Bloating and belching ensue. There’s no need for that,” said Hartley.
4. Meditate. It has many health benefits, costs nothing, and promotes tranquility. Having peace of mind is important for anyone.
5. Get involved. Use your talents for the betterment of others. Help out at a homeless shelter, the humane society, or the local children’s club. You know your talents, and have experience, so help others while helping yourself feel healthier and fulfilled.
This post sponsored by GetOld.com
July 2nd, 2012