• Sunday, June 16, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

How to age well in 2023

clock

Ageing, getting older or the fear of it is the bane of many people’s lives.

The reality is, we have two options in life.

Option 1 is to age or grow old. Option 2 is to die at a young age.

Personally, I opt for Option 1 and I believe many do as well, so if you choose option 1, then carry on reading.

One of the reasons why people are afraid to grow old is because they associate being old with pain, frailty, suffering and poverty.

That need not be the case, and these are a few tips to help along the way in 2023.

1. Invest in your body

With a strong robust healthy body, everything we do over the age of 60, is much easier.

Keep your body fit and healthy in later life by starting now, whatever age ‘now’ is for you.

The 1st investment to make is to exercise. Exercise is good for you.

Not only does it help you keep your weight in check, it reduces your risk of developing diseases such as dementia, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The easiest way to kick this off, is by brisk walking, every day! Start with 15 minutes a day if you are very new to exercise and build this on week by week until you can brisk walk for a minimum of 39 minutes every day.

If you are a walker, then step it up by adding a 1 minute sprint to your walk after every 5 minutes.

Doing something, is far better than doing nothing so start off light.

Other investments you can make in your body, is to get adequate sleep at night (aim for 7 to 8 hours). Schedule it! Make it a priority.

Cut out sugar, completely! It is a tough one but start and keep at it. You will have some days when you can’t but preserve until it is no longer a challenge for you.

Sugar is the number 2 aging agent in the world.

“Growing old is inevitable, ageing is optional”

2. Change your mindset

“Keep your mind active, your attitude optimistic”.

Positive feelings and having an optimistic outlook to life have been shown to translate into a lower risk of frailty in more than one study.

A good amount of research suggests optimistic people have a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and declines in lung capacity and function. Optimism is also associated with a lower risk of early death from cancer and infection. And now a new study links optimism to living a longer life.

3. Get your finances in order

With no savings, many people feel unprepared, both mentally and financially, for retirement, and it’s quite common for retired people to get support from their children to pay their utilities and buy medicine or food.

As a Consultant Geriatrician with over 27 years’ experience in the specialty, I have found this to be a cause of regret and unhappiness in many older adults.

The loss of autonomy that being broke in old age brings is a cause of angst for so many of the older age group.

I have always said that “being young and broke is a problem, being old and broke is suffering”.
Having money solves money problems. Sort out your finances for a robust financial future now! Whatever age ‘now’ is for you.

My generation were brought up to look after our parents in old age and I see it day in, day out in my practice. Our children, the Gen Zs, are completely different.

So if you are aged 40 to 60, you need to start now to ensure you will have the financial freedom and independence to look after yourself and enjoy your later years. The Gen Zs are not like you. They will ask you why you didn’t save for retirement. The world has changed.

4. Invest in experiences – travels and so on

Experiences like travel build memories. Your memory bank is important for you to age well.

Money spent on experiences especially if it is with loved ones, trumps money spent on consumer goods like clothes, shoes and bags any day.

Build up your memory bank, indulge in self care and enhance your sense of well-being by investing in experiences. Go on that trip, that family holiday, that boy’s trip or ladies trip. Go to the cinema or theatre. Go to that party or concert. Memories matter and are important.

Hope this helps!