AGING GRACEFULLY ON A BUDGET


In the yo-yo economy that has recently been the plight of most Americans, many of us have had to make some painful adjustments to our daily regime.  One thing you should NOT have to compromise is your personal health and longevity.  America’s promise to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness doesn’t have to be a lifelong financial struggle.  The achievement of a balanced mind, body, and spirit is not out of reach for you.  Here are a few helpful suggestions to assist you in your journey.

MIND

We have all heard the saying, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”.  This statement couldn’t be more true.  Your brain is a muscle that must be maintained, especially after the age of thirty.  As a person grows older, the brain undergoes some major changes.  Certain parts of your brain shrink, and blood vessels can become restricted slowing the everyday processes of the mind.  The news isn’t all bad, though, most people actually improve some cognitive functions as they grow older.  Vocabulary and other forms of verbal knowledge actually tend to expand with age.

Suggestions for keeping your mind physically healthy include controlling risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, engaging in intellectually stimulating activities, and maintaining close social relationships with family, friends, and your local community.

With technology being so readily available these days, there is no short supply of mind game apps.  Cell phones, computers, and tablets bring brain exercises right to the palm of your hand for little to no cost.  Use them!  Physical exercise is not only applicable to your body.  Working your brain daily increases neuroplasticity keeping your brain sharp and agile.

BODY

Stay active!  This is the number one way to keep your body running smoothly, and it costs little to nothing.  Membership dues to your local YMCA facility are fairly reasonable.  If public exercise isn’t your forte, your neighborhood and backyard will always be a free alternative space to keep active.

Activities such as gardening, nightly walks (to avoid the heat of those scorching summer days), and yoga not only strengthen your body, but your mind and spirit as well.  As little as twenty to thirty minutes a day can make a vast difference in your lifespan.  Also, treat yourself from time to time.  Therapeutic massage and chiropractic medicine offer a relaxing finish to day full of restraint.

Second, the dreaded accomplice to exercise is a balanced diet.  Stay hydrated, and avoid high sodium foods.  Limit your intake of high cholesterol meats and cheeses.  Chicken and soy meat products offer plenty of flavor variety and leave you feeling light and satisfied as opposed to feeling sick and heavy after a meal loaded down with carbs and sodium.

SPIRIT

Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget to maintain your spirit.  Researchers have found several factors that reliably increase happiness as we age.  Gratitude, generosity, curiosity, and flexibility are just a few of those suggested factors.  Giving back and helping others has been scientifically proven to increase our self-esteem and general level of contentment in life.  Curiosity keeps us young and keeps us learning.  Flexibility provides an outlet to a new solution.

No matter the issue, there is always another way you can frame the situation for the positive.  Worry only brings it’s unhealthy partners like stress and exhaustion.  Both of which are counterproductive to your health as a whole.