In search of the Fountain of Youth: Tips for staying young at heart
Jun 6, 2012, 8:33 a.m.
There's no law requiring people to withdraw and "act their age" as the years go by. An active, positive, other-directed lifestyle can help you defy the years and enjoy a happier, more zestful life. Here are 5 essential ingredients for making every day count, year after year.
Personal relationships. Giving and receiving love can make all the difference in anyone's quality of life, regardless of age, but for older adults it can prove especially critical. Strong, supportive relationships with loved ones enable individuals to face the special challenges of aging with strength, grace and humor. Even a beloved pet can supply a much-needed bond of mutual affection.
Helping others. Stepping out into the community and helping others in need can bestow a powerful sense of purpose and vitality on those willing to make the effort. Working with charitable organizations, feeding the homeless, extending a helping hand to children or animals with special needs -- these and other activities can keep you busy and boost your morale.
Physical activity. Regular exercise, sports or recreational activities can keep both mind and body younger and healthier. Regular motion enables joints to stay more limber and helps to maintain muscles tone, while the sheer joy of having fun helps keep older individuals from feeling their age.
Mental activity. People who regularly challenge their brains can stay mentally sharp for many years to come. This stimulation can take a variety of forms, from visiting a foreign country (and perhaps learning a new language along the way) to going back to school.
Celebrating life. Instead of sitting around waiting for an invitation to a social event or party, you can and should take the initiative to put on your own celebrations -- even if there's no particular event that needs celebrating. Raising the occasional ruckus can help keep that youthful spirit alive.
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