Today is August 21, is Senior Citizen’s Day…a day to honor senior citizens…and also face the fact that you yourself will probably be a “senior citizen” also…especially now that the age to start calling yourself a senior citizen is 55, which is only seven years away for me.
Aging gracefully and feeling healthy requires looking at the whole picture, every aspect of your life-physical, mental, and social.
Any steps that can be taken now to improve your health and sense of wellbeing, both now and in the future, are steps well worth taking. Here are a few steps that you can do now to move closer and closer to the Fountain of Youth, and the Age of Reality…
1. Detox your home…We may not be able to control how many toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, but we can take steps toward detoxifying our own homes, such as…
- Filtering water.
- Leaving windows open as much as possible for better ventilation.
- Replacing beauty products with less toxic and chemical-free options.
- Switching from standard household cleaners to environmental friendly versions.
- Using glass instead of plastic whenever possible.
2. Dry-brushing your skin….Dry-brushing your skin not only smoothes, exfoliates, and detoxifies your skin…but also improves blood flow, increases energy, reduces cellulite, and supports the lymphatic system. Working this five-minute, health-boosting practice into your daily routine is well worth the effort.
To dry-brush your skin…Using a brush with firm bristles and a handle, brush towards your heart with long, smooth strokes…starting at your feet and working upwards.
3. Eat more greens …One of the best things you can do for your health is to eat more greens-spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula, broccoli or bok choy. Your skin, mood, digestive system, and every other organ of your body benefits from your simply eating more greens. This can be done by…
- Asking for extra vegetables instead of potatoes.
- Opting for a salad instead of fries
- Selecting recipes full of greens that inspire you, and ones that you will actually be excited to eat
4. Eat more healthy fats. …Increasing the number of “fatty” foods-avocado, coconut oil, eggs, fish and nut butters, and olive oil-that you consume can decrease your risk of disease, help fight depression, improve your cognitive function, and strengthen your bones.
5. Eat without distractions...Eliminating distractions and being mindful when we eat, instead of sitting in front of the TV or mindlessly looking at your phone as we eat, not only reduces anxiety and overeating, but also promotes weight loss.
6. Go to bed earlier.…Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Develop a bedtime ritual-such as meditating, journalling, taking a leisurely bath-that actually works for you. Avoid screens-particularly phone and TV-for at least an hour before going to bed.
7. Make a meal plan.…Set aside time each week to create a healthy meal plan and grocery list. Even preparing one healthy meal or snack ahead of time will help you save money and keep you from making poor food choices.
Try a meal or grocery delivery service. This may cost more, but will save you money spent eating out every meal.
8. Practice gratitude….Gratitude shifts your focus from the negative-fear, anxiety, anger, and depression-to the positive. Gratitude has also been scientifically proven to have the ability to change your life–relationships, self-esteem, mental health, and even sleep.
Commit to a consistent daily ritual of writing down three things that you are grateful for each day. Negative emotions will become harder to feel when you are mindfully practicing gratitude day-after-day
9. Read food labels…Read labels. Look for foods that contain fewer ingredients and no added sugar, chemicals, and fillers.
10. Schedule workouts....The hardest part of making sure your workouts actually do happen is to schedule them into your calendar ahead of time, instead of leaving it up to a time that is convenient and then making excuses not to go.
Fitness classes that charge a cancellation fee, recruiting a friend to exercise with you, and signing up for a long-term class will help hold you accountable and keep you focused.
11. Up your fiber intake….Foods with high fiber content-ground flax seed, beans, raspberries, almonds, kale-is imperative to keep things moving along our digestive tracts.
12. Volunteer your time...Ghandi once sa that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Volunteering shifts our focus on helping others instead of remaining caught up in our own problems and isolating ourselves
Finally, your mother was right…Don’t forget to floss your teeth, sit up straight, and wash your hands.
Flossing not only keeps your gums clean and removes plaque, but also helps you avoid bad breath and heart disease.
Sitting up straight can instantly boost your mood, improve your confidence level, and open up the lungs to receive more energy.
Washing your hands is a simple habit, but single-handedly the best way to avoid picking up viruses.