Our culture often associates aging with a slow decline of body and mind. While change is inevitable, loss of health is not. In fact, at least 70 percent of how we age is dependent on lifestyle and environmental factors such as diet, exercise, psychology, environment, and life events, rather than genetics or our body’s natural processes. As our focus shifts from earning a living, it can rest on other life-enhancing pursuits such as relationships, giving back to others, and spiritual growth. The passing years bring wisdom, perspective, and reduced anxiety as we come to understand more about life and what’s truly important.
Regardless of our age, a healthy lifestyle will enrich our life and keep an optimal body mind spirit. Some common sense healthy aging habits include:
1. Exercising regularly.
2. Reducing/Minimizing stress.
3. Getting enough sleep.
4. Eating healthfully.
5. Giving your brain a workout.
The ways of engaging in these healthy aging habits are as varied as the number of individuals trying to do them. The most important factors, however, are listening to your body and challenging yourself. Experts have said with regard to both body and mind health that if you don’t use it, you lose it. For example, one study performed at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine showed that the more stimulating and intellectually challenging we make our lives, the better are our odds of keeping our brains vital, sharp, and agile. Just as with muscles, with lack of use our brains atrophy, failing to create new neural connections and replace dying brain cells.
Engaging in integrative body mind training such as yoga, ki gong, tai chi, and brain fitness exercises such Brain Wave Vibration can help you be in tune with your body, so you can know what kinds of food, types of exercise, and amount of rest it needs at any given time. It increases the flow of oxygen to your brain and the rest of your body, and stimulates and integrates your mind to make it more flexible, focused, open to new ideas, and able to learn better so you can keep your body and mind in shape throughout your life.
But healthy aging goes beyond keeping in shape. Once you have this basic level of health, you can then consider how to make your life more fulfilling, creative, and productive. Ask yourself, “What do I want to create? What do I want to learn? What do I want to give back? What vision of the future do I have?” Envisioning a picture of your life and the world you would like to live in will keep your spirit motivated, and give you the drive to stay healthy, vital, challenged, and productive. Because really, healthy aging involves body, mind, and spirit.