You’ve been told to respect your elders, and with good reason: After all, oftentimes they’re the ones who know what it takes to live a healthy and prosperous life. Take it from these five older adults – the key to staying healthy and happy is to follow a few simple life lessons.
Did you know more than 10,000 baby boomers are aging into the over-65 population every day? And if the adage of “With age comes wisdom” holds true, that’s a lot of wisdom out there, from which we can all glean valuable insights. The thought of getting older might feel unsettling, but aging doesn’t have to hold you back or prevent you from living life to the fullest.
Just ask the boomers. They’re not taking the transition to senior citizen sitting down. Instead, many are trading in that rocking chair for backpacks, active wear and a refreshing, can-do attitude.
Meet five advice givers who share their inspiration for healthy aging:
Here’s some everyday advice on how you can stay busy, active and healthy as you grow older:
- Lend a helping hand: Grace Shoenfeld, longtime Renown Volunteer
Volunteer. It can help you develop new talents, and research has shown it also benefits your body. According to Forbes, the Corporation for National & Community Service reported that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who don’t volunteer. Not sure where to volunteer? Consider Renown. Renown Volunteer Services offers opportunities for service to fit just about any ability and schedule. “I think you just have to be active. You have to keep your brain going and your muscles,” says Grace. And volunteering helps Grace achieve better health.
- Do what you love: Betty Barats, Renown Home Care Nurse of 48 years.
Working at a job that helps people in need is also good advice. You’re not only helping those you serve, but you’re also helping yourself. Keeping your passions front and center throughout your life is important — but did you know it’s good for your health?
Betty shares her advice:“Care for people. Literally, let them know you care for them.” Caring for patients for 48 years, Betty has witnessed the health benefits of helping others. It reduces stress, you feel more confident and energetic, it enhances your relationships, and you simply enjoy life more — all of which have a positive impact on your health.
- Stay active: Eva Recker, Reno Senior Recreation Center regular
The baby boomers started the trend of exercising regularly. From Jane Fonda workout videos to organized sports to the widespread popularity of running to stay fit, our boomers led the charge for maintaining an active lifestyle while aging.
“Keep active, be honest and enjoy life,” advises Eva. “When you’re young, you don’t really absorb it, you just do it. Even when you’re old, you just do it!”
Take a lesson — get active and stay active throughout life and your body will thank you later. For seniors who aren’t active, start now. There are great senior-focused sports taking the country by storm such as chair volleyball, pickleball, chair yoga and Qigong. The City of Reno offers all of these great physical activities at its senior recreation centers.
- Step outside your comfort zone: Mike Carson, Renown Volunteer
We live in a world where we strive for comfort and the least amount of stress. We strive to make things easier and more efficient by developing a routine. But, what would it be like to feel more alive? Research suggests that trying a new activity, traveling somewhere you’ve never been or meeting new people may feel uncomfortable at first, but committing yourself to new experiences, adventures and ideas works wonders for your body, mind and spirit.
Do yourself a favor and try something new every day. As Mike explains, “It’s real easy to sit down in your chair and do nothing – or be around the same sorts of people every day. I think it’s important to be around different sorts of people – young, old, the wealthy and the less fortunate.”
Next time you’re wondering if you should try something new, look at it this way: The stress you experience with being outside your comfort zone can be healthy. And that healthy stress can actually be your catalyst for growth and wisdom to be comfortable with who you are.