We’ve all heard the saying, you’re only as old as you feel. While we may think this is just something people say, there may be some truth to it. Not every middle-aged person feels the same, even if their personal information such as age matches. While age may just be a number, there are specific changes you can make to start the year feeling strong and young.
For some, finding adventure is as easy as breathing. Others need a little push. It's easy to become wrapped up in work or tell yourself you don't have enough time to try something new. Research suggests that if you challenge yourself and stretch out of your comfort zone, it improves your social and emotional well being.
Now, doing something adventurous doesn’t have to raise your blood pressure, at least not in a bad way. It can simply be trying Cambodian food for the first time or discovering something old, like riding a bike. Getting out of your comfort zone is an easy way to feel alive.
It's easy for people in their 60s or at any age to not feel alive. Some research indicates that feeling youthful may stem from having close friends. But "connection" can be challenging to maintain over time, and the lack of tribe may cause you to feel sad.
For the New Year, make it a priority to reconnect or find your tribe. Some people need many friends to feel loved, but science-backed evidence shows that you really only need a few strong friendships to create a supportive community.
Call a friend you haven't spoken to in a while or organize a virtual wine party for those far away. All it takes is the first step. You may be surprised by how easy it is to connect if you make it a priority.
Social media in the last decade has pushed front and center in most people's lives. Yet, it has a damaging effect on mental health. The documentary, The Social Dilemma on Netflix is a thought-provoking look at the damaging effects of social media on society.
Not only do you use your feed to connect with family and friends, but the information presented to you is curated, creating your ideas and reinforcing opinions. It poses real questions about how you want social media to "sell my personal information" because people are now the product being sold.
Taking a break from social media is a smart move for your health. Or at least limit the number of hours and understand that it can have damaging effects on how you view yourself and the people around you.
Nothing fights the aging process more than engaging in physical activity. Exercise increases happy hormones in your body while improving your strength and mental well-being. Walking is a great way to move without having to plan.
However, you can try a new exercise program or hire a personal trainer online or in-person to push you to exercise more. Check upcoming events that might interest you—for example, a running or hiking club. Exercise not only helps you lose weight, but the rejuvenating effect it has on how youthful you feel is well-documented.
Fad diets and strict food programs can have adverse effects on how you feel about eating. One New Year goal may be to simply make better eating choices. Or eliminate excess sugar or trans fats from your diet.
Most people change eating habits for weight loss, but really eating healthy is about aging gracefully and supplying the energy you need to feel alive as much as possible. Write down what you're eating each day and see what you can eliminate to feel great.
One sure-fire way to improve your mood is to spend time with your family. Okay, it may depend on your family, but in the end, the closest people in your life, the ones who show up, are the ones you call family. This may mean actual blood relatives or your chosen family.
In either case, making the time to share daily activities with, big or small, can have a powerful impact on your life.
Youthful energy is never more personified in a group of kids. The sound level is indeed to double. What else may double is how young you feel. Children learn relatively young how to play and find even the simplest activities amusing.
Social and emotional development changes as we grow up, but if you hang out with your kids, they can remind you how to feel young again. Let them take the lead, and you'll be impressed by where your imagination can lead you.
Harvard Medical School, in the article Trade Bad Habits for Good Ones, outlines that changing your daily choices comes down to the three Rs— reminder, routine, and reward. If you apply this concept to your health, then you can make it a priority in the new year.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States. While genetics play a role, lifestyle choices have a considerable impact on cardiovascular health. Making decisions to improve your health may be as simple as eating cleanly, or it may mean making an appointment for a health checkup.
Sometimes you need additional help to increase your energy level. You may have a hormonal imbalance or have a vitamin D deficiency. Sleep deprivation may be causing you to eat more. Perhaps, a melatonin cream may boost your sleep quality. Making a commitment to improving your health is probably the best way to start the year feeling strong and young.
Looking and feeling young is easier than you think. After all, it's just a number. But everyone needs some help, and taking the time to feel great is really the first step.
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