Aging gracefully today for a better tomorrow
Recently, a few people I know have broken barriers, not the kind they were looking forward too however, they broke past age 50 barrier. Breaking into the golden years is a scary time and also something to celebrate. The golden years are for exploring all the finer things in life except now you can do it at a discount with your AARP card, there are advantages and disadvantages to everything we do in life.
If you believe or think that your physical age dictates how you should look or feel then you might be fighting a losing battle. To better explain what I mean when I say this let me share with a recent conversation I had with someone who just recently started their menopause journey, it went something like this:
Sue: (name changed to protect the innocent) I am feeling really bloated lately and I don’t know what might be causing it. I just feel so tired and drained all the time, I’ve lost all my youthful energy.
Me: Have you cut back on your sodium intake and have you been drinking enough water during this recent heat wave?
Sue: Yes I drink about two glasses of water a day and a couple cans of soda. I told my doctor that I don’t eat or use any salt when cooking so she didn’t think that was an issue. My doctor thought that now that I am in menopause I might start getting bloated; I guess this is all part of aging.
Me: Did you know that the recipe for soda is lots of salt plus enough sugar and flavoring to cover up the brine. I have also noticed that each day for lunch you eat processed meat sandwiches on white bread along with a baggie full of pretzels, chips and crackers and are eating peanut butter cracker snack packs for breakfast with your soda, did you discuss that with your doctor.
Sue: No, I did not and I really didn’t think about that as being a large source of sodium but I don’t cook with it at home or use salt on my meals so I thought I wasn’t eating much salt.
Me: Sodium can be hidden in many processed foods as it is used to enhance flavor and as a preservative. Most people aren’t aware of exactly how much they ingest daily until they really start investigating or track their nutrition for a week or so to get a better feel for what they truly are eating.
Unfortunately this is a very common situation with many people who are suffering from the symptoms of poor nutrition. Without thinking about it they are eating foods that are a direct cause of their poor health; due to habits or lifestyle they don’t see that their diet could be the cause of their health problems and instead attribute it to their age.
On the other side of the spectrum I was introduced a couple in their 70’s of ours during a recent boating trip. We had a wonderful conversation about all the long distance bike riding they were planning and some trails we might explore when we take our summer vacation. I was very clear that this couple had spent their lifetime taking care of themselves and keeping in good physical shape.
As the water settled down it became smooth and glassy, soon the water skiing began. After everyone had their turn this older gentleman decided it was time for him to give it a go and donned a slalom ski. I was amazed to see someone with snow white hair pop out of the water with ease, he jumped the wake and started cutting enough to send a huge roaster tail up and out with his single ski barely touching the water.
Aging is a route we all travel, our journey down this path determines how well we will handle the process. If you believe that aging means you need to sit back in your rocking chair watching life pass you by then that is exactly what you will get. I choose to take the alternate route, staying healthy and fit so that I can amaze the next generation and perhaps inspire them to remain fit and to believe that age is just a number and not a condition.
What about you, where are you in your life journey and what steps are you taking to ensure your golden years are full of joy and exploration?
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that life is all downhill after a certain age and live your life to it’s fullest potential.