We all have some level of anxiety about aging on how we will look, how it will change dramatically our thinking or what we enjoy doing. But the fact is, aging is something we cannot stop from happening. We will all go through it or going through it for that matter. Let’s correct some of the aging myths we’ve built up in our heads over the years.
1) Aging will make me unproductive and uncreative Being productive is a choice! Retirement is actually the best time to become more productive than ever and develop one’s creative side given the freedom of time. Take up a class and learn something new. If you are a social butterfly,
then you can do volunteer work in a lot of areas, join a choir, a hobby group or if you are an introvert, then find that place to go write that book you’ve been planning years ago, fix stuff around the house or go travel. The to-do list is endless so prioritize your wants.
2) Aging limits physical activities Aging will actually limit activities if you aren’t physically active! Physical activity is still important as you age to prevent sarcopenia (age-related muscle wasting) that can result in diminished strength and decreased activity levels and can contribute to mobility issues, osteoporosis, falls and
fractures, frailty, and loss of physical function and independence. The whole lot so never be inactive.
Strengthen those muscles. Exercise for 150 minutes a week (that’s just 30 minutes per day for 5 days) and eat enough protein, the body’s building block for muscles. Consult your doctor what type of exercise is best for you. And don’t forget to exercise the brain. Keep learning new things to
maintain its sharpness.
3) Aging will lower my libido and make sex less satisfying Sexual activity does not decrease with age! Differences in libido between partners are common among all ages. Age is therefore never a deterrent in maintaining an active and satisfying sex life despite the physical changes that occur. However, some illnesses, disabilities, medications and surgeries can affect your ability to have and enjoy sex but these can be addressed by seeking medical help. Make sex satisfying by exploring what is mutually enjoyable and acceptable like trying different positions and schedules. Take time to enjoy each other and to understand the changes you and your partner are both facing.
4) Aging will stop me from enjoying eating A denture there, becoming lactose intolerant or living with a lifestyle disease should not stop you from enjoying food! You certainly still can and it is a matter of making wiser food choices. Focus on fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy and products. Continue to include whole grains, fish, poultry, vegetable oils, beans, seeds and nuts. Eat red meat in moderation. Limit intake of sodium, sweets and sugary beverages. Use citrus, spices and herbs to flavor
your food if you are cutting down on salt or on maintenance meds which can alter sense of taste and
smell. Choose soft food for chewing problems and there are many food options like congee, rice, soups, stews with shredded meat, egg as omelet or hard boiled, pasta, instant oatmeal, steamed/cooked veggies, fruits, gelatin, yogurt and smoothies/frappes.
So how you’ll age is really entirely up to you. Aging is a mindset. Our bodies grow old but our minds and hearts should always feel young. Embrace it and age gracefully!