You’re growing old, there’s no denying it.
And that’s okay.
Aging is inevitable and there isn’t anything you can do to stop it.
There are proven interventions you can do to slow the aging process, but not stop it altogether.
Those interventions that help you to thrive in middle and post-middle age are shared lower within this article.
Not everyone gets to experience all four of life’s seasons. To do so is a gift. Here’s how to receive the poignant beauty of wisdom and maturity from life after the age of 50.
If You Can’t Embrace Growing Old, At Least Accept It
Growing old is a lot better than the alternative.
Few of us arrive at the age of 50 without knowing at least one person who wasn’t also able to make it to middle age:
- Though sometimes difficult, being in your body on this planet at this time is an opportunity to viscerally experience life, moment to moment.
- To be both alive and healthy is an astonishing feat and is best not taken for granted.
Even if your life feels at times flawed and challenging, if you’re alive and healthy then anything is possible. You are pure potential.
The best way to have an adventurous and meaningful life is to experience each of life’s metaphorical seasons – the spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each of these seasons has its unique challenges. At times those challenges might feel painful or even insurmountable – but there is almost always the potential to experience fulfillment and joy in your future.
It’s good to be young at heart, but if you overly resist the idea of aging, you might miss out on having a fully dimensional experience during your autumn and winter seasons. If you can’t embrace growing old, at least accept it.
You Are As Old As You Feel
While a year does represent the amount of time it takes the earth to make one revolution around the sun, it does not have to represent or determine your level of vitality or happiness.
Though by now, you might have started to experience some of the effects of growing old on your body and mind, you can still choose to feel younger by adopting healthier thoughts and habits.
How to Make Your Own Health More of a Priority
As you get older, your body will change and so will your mind.
Some of these changes can be hard to accept, but they’re a normal part of growing old.
You might start to gain weight or lose muscle mass as a result of aging or other health conditions like:
- pre-diabetes or diabetes
- arthritis and stiff joints
- skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea
- increased risk of heart disease or stroke.
By eating a healthier diet and exercising smartly and consistently, you can help prevent some of those gains in weight and decreases in strength and muscle tone that often come with age.
Some cancers grow or shrink based on the number of excess carbohydrates or sugar in your daily diet, while other cancers are impacted by the amount of excess protein you consume. This means that you can reduce your risk of cancer by eating an anti-inflammatory diet that contains only the amount of carbohydrates or protein that you are earning through physical activity.
Reduce the Pace of Growing Old with an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
An anti-inflammatory diet provides a strong foundation for a healthier lifestyle and can help slow the pace of growing old.
If you want to feel good, look good and stay active throughout your life, then eating well is one of the most important things you can do.
When a person is relentlessly exposed to modern foods for which their body was not designed to ingest, the immune system can become fatigued, confused – and then become either overactive or underactive.
An anti-inflammatory diet involves a daily menu of foods to which your body responds positively and therefore reduces the risk of an inflammatory response.
What a body finds inflammatory is slightly different for each person. Generally, a body tends to thrive when it’s not exhausted by a constant onslaught of flour, sugars, fried food, alcohol, seed oils, or too much caffeine.
For example, the lectins and oxalates in certain foods can be irritating to some people, which is why some thrive when they remove foods containing high levels of lectins or oxalates from their daily menu (such as peanuts, wheat flour, navy beans, soy, and nightshades).
Similarly, industrial seed oils (used in many of today’s “conveyor belt” food items) contain oxidized fatty acids which can damage molecules, including DNA. Some people do better when they remove these oils – such as canola, corn, cottonseed, soy, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, rice bran, and peanut oils – from their weekly diet.
For many, what works particularly well – both for overall health and body composition goals – is a diet very high in vegetables.
The micronutrients and cofactors found within vegetables help to support the body in important ways, and the high fiber content helps to keep the bowels regular so that waste materials move smoothly through the body without being absorbed into it – this reduces risk factors for heart disease such as high cholesterol levels in blood vessels which can lead to blockages or narrowing.
In addition to a high vegetable intake, an anti-inflammatory diet might also include meat and fruit – however, what amount of meat and fruit is beneficial is determined primarily by one’s physical activity level. A sedentary person might require relatively small amounts, while a relentless athlete might need significantly more.
Reduce the Pace of Growing Old by Exercising Smartly and Often
It’s wise to exercise regularly, if possible five days a week for at least 30 minutes each day.
You don’t need to run marathons or lift heavy weights; moderate exercise such as brisk walking will help keep your heart healthy and reduce some of the effects of aging by keeping muscles strong, bones dense, and joints mobile.
In particular, many people receive abundant benefits by cross-training, which means doing a bit of everything throughout a typical week – such as Pilates, resistance training, anaerobic drills, stretching, yoga, swimming, and low intensity, steady-state cardio.
Other Ways to Slow the Pace of Growing Old
Here are other self-care tactics that can help slow the pace of growing old.
Get enough quality sleep, about 7 hours per night – more if you’re an athlete. Make some improvements to your bedroom to make it even more restful.
Rampant mouth bacteria can weaken your heart. Take care of your mouth, gums, and teeth so that the bad bacteria is kept at a minimum. Brush carefully twice daily, floss daily, and see your dentist regularly for cleanings – at least twice yearly.
Drink ample water, it helps keep organs running smoothly as well as regulates the temperature inside your body. Dehydration can lead not only to fatigue but also reduce cognitive abilities. Dehydration, by the way, is not just about not getting enough water, it’s also about electrolyte depletion, so make sure you’re getting enough trace minerals – particularly if you’re eating a lower-carbohydrate diet or exercising a lot.
Stay out of boring ruts by periodically challenging yourself. Learn something new. Get involved with a group that interests you or take up a new hobby. For instance, you can:
- Take a hike in your area and explore the natural beauty of nature around you.
- Learn how to speak another language, even if it’s only one new word a day.
- Start volunteering at an organization near you where they need help. For example, if you love animals, find out about local shelters or animal rescues that are looking for volunteers who can do things like walk dogs and clean cages at no cost.
- Take up cooking classes or sign up for one of the many online courses available today that teach everything from basic knife skills all the way through advanced cooking techniques.
Growing Old Helps You to Reflect on Your Purpose
Growing old helps put you into a more reflective state of mind. You’re now more able to give deeper thought to your life and the reasons you are here.
When you’re younger, it’s easy to be motivated by what other people expect of you. But in your fifties and beyond, that changes. You’ve probably achieved many things that were important to you during your life.
Now it’s time to start thinking about what else you want out of life — what else will fulfill your purpose?
Many people have achieved fame and success in earlier parts of their lives but were never content, or statistfied.
As they grew older they realized their true purpose in life.
Make an effort to ensure that most of your habitual thoughts are positive. It’s important to remember that aging is a process, and like any other process, it can be approached with a positive attitude. Growing old is a part of life, and it’s something we all have to do. But it’s not a bad thing.
Take Precautions to Avoid Slipping
More people are severely injured or killed by head injuries from simple falls than you would believe.
Have a strategy for avoiding falls. Wear non-slip shoes or slippers at all times. Sliping and falling can happen to anyone while walking, even young people. But it’s a common problem for mature people. Falls can result in hip and leg injuries, too. If you don’t want to wear your work shoes around the house, invest in a pair of non-slip slippers that will allow you to move around more safely. Don’t let your pride prevent you for using a cane or walker if that ever becomes necessary.
Slipping is an obvious risk factor for falls, but there are many others as well: tripping over uneven surfaces like carpets; not paying close enough attention while walking; having poor balance because of muscle weakness; or wearing loose clothing that may catch underfoot while walking (this includes socks with holes).
Still Smoking? You’ll Be Growing Old a Lot Faster
Still smoking? Take the money that you would have spent on cigarettes for the rest of your life and invest it instead in a residential treatment program to help you quit smoking once and for all (if you have health insurance, it might even pay for part of it).
Smoking is among the top leading causes of preventable death and can make it much harder to live a physical, healthy life as an older person. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, and also increases risk for lung cancer. It’s also a contributing factor in other cancers such as mouth, throat and stomach cancer – not to mention various types of skin cancer and excessive wrinkles. It may even lead to erectile dysfunction.
Focus on Longevity and Quality of Life
In today’s world, people are often more focused on short-term gains than long-term ones. Most people are concerned about losing weight or getting in shape for an upcoming event. However, these goals may not be as beneficial in the long term as we think they are.
In order to achieve true longevity and quality of life, we need to focus on our overall health rather than just a few specific aspects of it. While it is important to get in shape, losing weight quickly can actually do more harm than good if you’re not careful.
The key is balance and moderation. You don’t want to go overboard with your dieting efforts in order to lose weight quickly — that’s not sustainable.
Instead, try making small changes over time that will help improve your overall health without sacrificing too much fun along the way.
If you’re feeling like you’re aging too fast or feeling like you’re not young anymore, remember that there’s nothing wrong with being older — it just means you’ve lived long enough to get here.
Additional Sources on How to Slow the Pace of Growing Old:
Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease – https://www.deltadentalil.com/your-health/general-oral-health/gum-and-heart-disease-link/
Dietary Interventions for Cancer – https://chriskresser.com/dietary-interventions-for-cancer-vitamin-d-walking-tocotrienols-sleep-apnea-adhd-in-kids-mental-health-and-nanoplastics/