Last update: 22 March, 2018
No matter how much we don't want to turn years or how much we worry about the first wrinkles, time continues to pass and old age catches up with us. However, although we cannot choose whether to age or not, there is instead a choice that is in our hands: aging healthily.
Many times I have heard some young people say "When I'm old, I won't care if I look good". It's like age is throwing in the towel about continuing to like us when we look in the mirror. As if taking care of us, pampering ourselves and trying to please us were a waste of time when our face becomes full of wrinkles and the skin becomes thinner and more blotchy.
I have also heard some people say that now they eat well and play sports but that when they are old, they can indulge in all vices, any whims, because they will not care about their weight. They couldn't make a worse mistake. Because as we age, we will have to take care of ourselves and worry about our health more and more. However, as we have already said, how we age lies, in large part, in our hands.
Old age is not always synonymous with illness
The reason people sometimes say the above is because associate old age with a phase of life where diseases, problems and a whole series of difficulties limit our well-being. Suddenly, we get slower and have more limits, we have to take heart pills, our hair falls out ...
Knowing how to grow old is the masterpiece of wisdom, and one of the hardest things in the very difficult art of life.
-Henri Frederic Amiel-
Thinking that all these unpleasant things will inevitably happen to us when we get old limits our chances of enjoying this phase of life, to live this stage in an intense way and to be able to think that we will have a good life. Maybe senile dementia is waiting for us. It is natural to feel alone because the children have left home. However, it is within our power to do certain things, including constantly complaining about our condition.
It is possible to age healthily as long as you don't take refuge in self-compassion and victimhood. Reaching old age does not imply that life is over, as many young people may think. There are many possibilities and options. An example is the story of Miguel, which many newspapers talked about a few weeks ago.
Miguel is 80 years old and is a geography and history student at the University of Valencia, Spain. Some mistake him for a professor, others for the father of some pupil. However, he is a student: he takes notes, he really likes history and has even decided to go on Erasmus in Verona. His family supports him and is very happy. Because, as Miguel says, "Courage and do everything you can!"
Healthy aging is in our hands
Healthy aging is an opportunity we can opt for. We must not procrastinate this aspect, even if we are fine now, even if we have no disease or problem. Many times we forget that, when it comes to health, everything we do now will affect our future.
But, what can we do about it? To begin: pay attention to what we eat and perform physical activity, without forgetting the mental aspect. Cultivate a positive mentality will be essential to cope with all this pressure that we feel as we get older. However, there is also a solution for those who underestimate these aspects until they are elderly.
For example, we can lead an active life, perhaps doing physical activity. There are many workouts intended for people of a certain age and which promote positive emotional states, as they help to get rid of stress. At the same time, participating in group activities will allow us to meet new people and, finally, to meet new people to hang out with, have a drink and, who knows, if we are alone, even start a good relationship.
Universities offer different programs that allow people like Miguel to study what they love and keep learning. There are also centers where recreational activities are carried out and socialization is encouraged. As you may have realized, we have far fewer limits than you actually think and there are realities that we can continue to live by adapting them to current circumstances, no matter how old we are.
For all these reasons, therefore, let's not leave for tomorrow what we can do today to age healthily and live this stage of our life in a happy, intense way and without losing the desire. Getting older can make our bones more fragile, take some of our agility away, but we mustn't let it affect our enjoyment of getting up every morning and continuing to discover the world..