Let’s face the facts: our chronological ages will increase no matter what we do. With age, changes will occur; our bodies can limit the time and energy we can give to the things we love. Some people, faced with those changes, may feel their best years are over. However, by taking some proactive steps, you can make meaningful changes in your life. If you’re wondering how to stay young and useful all your life, here are some suggestions that may give you the motivation you need:
Supplementing Your Skin
As we age, our skin becomes thinner. Ultraviolet rays from the sun and gravity can cause the skin to sag and wrinkle. If you smoke, it will cause more wrinkles. Our skin also becomes dryer since it loses moisture as it ages. Irregular discolorations, called ‘age spots,’ can be seen.
If you wonder how to stay young and useful all your life (or at least have skin that looks like you are), follow the example of those who receive anti aging treatment. Medical spas nationwide offer laser treatments, such as carbon dioxide laser resurfacing. According to thedermspecs.com, recent studies with carbon dioxide lasers showed more than a 40% reduction in wrinkles. (1) Another trending anti-aging treatment is photofacials: using pulses of light to target wrinkles, and smooth out your skin.
If aging has made it difficult for you to lose some stubborn areas of fat, try body contouring treatment. Although this procedure isn’t intended to result in weight loss, it targets excess fat cells to tighten your skin. Users have reported minimal pain and a quick return to their regular activities.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
When people meet you for the first time, your smile is often the first thing they notice. If your self-confidence wavers because you have crooked teeth, you may consider visiting an orthodontist. You may be surprised to learn that older adults can have orthodontic treatment, like braces, any time. If an orthodontist examines you and feels you’d benefit from braces, you should invest in orthodontic treatment.
According to orthodontist Dr. Dale Featherington, your teeth may still be shifting within your mouth, during your 50s. If you lose teeth as an adult, your teeth will drift into the empty spaces. This misalignment can cause chewing problems, and may cause more problems in the future.
Orthodontic braces work relatively quickly on children and teens – because their jawbones are still growing. Although it will take longer for braces to move your teeth into place, the treatments will still work. A repaired smile could be your answer to how to stay young and useful all your life.
Staying Loose and Limber
As our bodies age, our muscle fibers gradually decrease in number. Any lost muscle tissue is replaced with tough, inflexible tissue. According to Texashealth.com, a study with participants over age 55 showed a 6-degree decrease in hip joint flexibility per decade. (2) If you feel as though your mobility is severely limited, this is why.
If you want to become more limber, try a growing popular service: Thai bodywork. This practice is based on the Aryuvedic principles of maintaining the balance of the body’s energy system. The practice is like a massage, although no oils are used. The practitioner presses their palm and finger into your muscles, with a therapeutic motion, to prompt them to relax.
Next time you’re questioning how to stay young and useful all your life, look for a facility that offers chiropractic services to help you regain your balance flexibility. Chiropractors know how age can reduce body flexibility and can help you with exercises designed for senior clients. A chiropractor can also help you strengthen and build your muscles.
Guarding your Heart
Statistics show heart diseases – and other cardiovascular disorders, like strokes – are the leading cause of death in the U.S. (3) Part of the natural aging process is a decrease of flexibility in blood vessels and an increase in blockage of those vessels. Although these factors are inevitable, there are things seniors can do to reduce the impact of those risks.
Lack of exercise is one of the most prevalent factors in heart disease risk. Doctors recommend that senior adults increase their activity to 30 minutes per day, five days per week. (4) Exercise increases the amount of oxygen in your veins, strengthening your muscles and endurance.
Adopting a heart-healthy diet is another strategy if you want to know how to stay young and useful all your life. Eating saturated fats can put you at risk for bloody vessels filled with fat. Try substituting healthy fats (like olive or canola oil) instead of saturated fats. Choosing lean proteins like fish, poultry, and non-animal products will decrease your risk for heart vessel.
Releasing Jaw Tension
One of the most common causes of jaw pain is TMJ Temporomandibular joint syndrome. In addition to jaw pain, TMJ can cause headaches, jaw clicking when eating, or inability to open your mouth. According to the National Library of Medicine, 45-70% of Americans over age 65 have evidence of some TMJ problems. (6) Part of learning how to stay young and useful all your life will include finding relief from chronic problems like TMJ.
Medications prescribed for TMJ vary by severity and cause. Over-the-counter pain medication or anti-inflammatory medication will be tried first. Doctors may offer stronger pain medication for a limited time. If the doctor believes the jaw muscles are compromised, they may prescribe a muscle relaxant to help your jaw move properly.
Other TMJ treatments may include wearing a soft splint (mouth guard) over their bottom teeth. Physical therapists can assist you in increasing your jaw mobility with exercises or by applying moist heat or ice to your jaw. At the time of your diagnosis, your doctor will tell you about some practices to stop – such as biting your fingernails or leaning your chin on your hands.
Learning to Use Coping Mechanisms
Our mental health is an integral part of our overall health. If we have mental health challenges, they can also affect us physically. When someone has mental health problems, it often interrupts their sleep or increases their stress levels or risk for cardiac disease. Some of the most frequently reported mental health challenges are anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
We all feel sad at times or worry about bills or the future. Older adults may feel hopeless due to the changes in their bodies, the loss of their jobs, and the number of friends or family members who pass away. However, when these feelings interfere with our desire or ability to perform routine self-care activities, it’s essential to seek help from a professional counselor to learn how to cope with these challenges.
As you learn to stay young and useful all your life, don’t forget to ask for the help you need. Mental health challenges may seem less important than physical ones, but they might improve your life quality. In addition to seeking a counselor, you should consider joining an emotional support group. Sharing your story with people with similar challenges may help you feel like you’re not alone in dealing with your problems.
Avoiding Inflammatory Substances
If you drink too many alcoholic beverages, it can harm your health. In addition to the risk of alcoholism, excess alcohol can cause harm to almost every body system. The two organs that alcohol most significantly affects are the brain and the liver. Excess alcohol can change your mood, behavior, and reaction time. Too much alcohol can cause cirrhosis, fatty liver, or alcoholic hepatitis.
If you wake up with a hangover, you might try a traditional hangover remedy. Typical hangover symptoms include headache, dehydration, nausea, and fatigue. However, a popular trend for hangover remedy is to use IV therapy to relieve hangover symptoms. These IVs include fluid to correct dehydration and vitamins B12 and B6 to help the body regain nutrients. A hangover IV injection often contains glutathione, an antioxidant, to help flush the liver and remove toxins.
In addition to helping with hangover cures, some medical spas now offer customized IV therapy treatments to promote wellness. There has been an increase in these IV ‘spas’ or lounges, providing hydration or vitamins to combat fatigue, alleviate chronic pain, or improve your immune response. IV treatments can be helpful when you’re wondering how to stay young and Caring for an Animal
Caring for a pet is a positive experience for most people, but research shows that pet ownership can be even more beneficial for older adults. With the increased risk of depression and loneliness for elderly people, a pet can provide essential companionship. According to seniorcareauthority.com, pet owners have lower blood pressure, lower pulse rate, and a decreased risk for cardiac disease.
If you have a dog, it will provide more opportunities for exercise – since you’ll need to take him for a walk several times a day. Owning a dog also allows one to play active games, like chasing a Frisbee and fetching balls. These activities will help you learn how to stay young and useful all your life.
For seniors with mental health problems – especially depression- a pet can be the perfect solution. Pets give unconditional love and affection to their owners, which will go a long way to boosting their owner’s moods. One possible drawback of pet ownership may be the need for visits to veterinarians. But although these are costly, by taking good care of your pets, you will reduce the frequency of their visits.
Becoming a Volunteer
One of the biggest challenges for an older person is their reaction to retirement. For some people, retirement may be a relief. Other people may have found a sense of identity at their jobs and feel they’re no longer a vital part of their community without the job. These feelings can add to a client’s feelings of depression.
Another reason to volunteer can be to make friends. If an elderly person feels isolated due to physical or mental problems, getting out of the house a few hours a day and talking to others can be a big boost to someone’s mood. Depending on the activity you do, you might invite a child or grandchild to volunteer with you. If you have a grandchild in high school or Boy Scouts, volunteering may help them meet their community service requirement.
If you’re active in your faith community, a volunteer assignment with a church group may be a way for you to express your faith. Part of learning how to stay young and useful all your life includes your spiritual expression. As we age, our thoughts on spiritual matters may increase due to the realization of our mortality. By volunteering for a faith-related activity, you can provide help for someone else and explore your relationship with your Higher Power.
Managing Your Health
When you need to lose weight, it can be challenging for a person at any stage. However, losing weight can be more difficult for older adults due to the normal aging process. You don’t burn calories at the same rate as a younger person. However, there are some things you can do to lose weight at any age.
When losing weight, doctors often recommend increasing your activity level while reducing your weight. As previously mentioned, this can be challenging. Although older adults should still participate in conventional activities like walking or swimming, they can also practice strength training exercises. Yoga, Pilates, or strength training machines at the gym can help you do these exercises.
To add weight loss to your strategy for staying young and useful all your life, consider a center that provides medical weight loss. Medical weight loss programs don’t involve surgery, but they require the supervision of a doctor. The doctors in these programs may prescribe weight loss drugs and closely monitor the patient’s condition. Patients who go to medical weight loss programs are also provided with mental health counseling and the services of a dietitian.
As we age, we’ll encounter many physical problems and may also need help with our mental health. Knowing some of the above ways to seek and receive support can be helpful. Take good care of yourself, and remember that with planning, your older years may be the best years of your life.