Social Health and Healthy Ageing

You are beautiful at any age: The Bible says, “Even though our outward (wo)man is perishing, the inward (wo)man is being renewed day by day.”

When I read it, my personal interpretation was that we are beautiful at every age. But, many people may disagree and may have a divergent view, too. I believe, these might be the ones who grow sad as they see the gradual loss of their youthful beauty, and continuously invest in beauty procedures to remain swaying in the high tide of youth again. They trim and tone their bodies to postpone the inevitable.

It is undoubtedly a good procedure that they follow. This is not a debatable topic because this regimen preserves and restores the natural firmness, and normal functioning of body organs in health. And, by doing these workouts they target legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms, core and full body, and keep these parts in control. However, according to Ben Franklin, “You may delay, but time will not.” So, staying true to yourself brings you to a realization that you will age, no matter what.But given a healthy foresight and acceptance, and embracing the conscious wisdom one gains with age, I believe one remains beautiful at any age.

Health and Healthy Ageing: According to World Health Organisation, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition entered into force on 7th April 1948 and has not been amended since. It is very relevant and has a lot of significance in today’s times. The key component of overall health which is included in the definition according to me is “social” health. This word struck me as very progressive. It is this aspect of health which promotes a well-rounded lifestyle. Evidences and researches suggest that elderly people might delay cognitive decline by being socially engaged.

Even though there is a lot of emphasis on exercise, mobility and its awareness for forty plus group. And, it is indeed extremely important to keep us fit and trim, but according to Patrick P. Coll, director, U Conn Health Centre, ”social activities and mental wellness have important roles as well.” September is designated as Healthy Aging Month. It is a national campaign designed to highlight the many ways, individuals can avoid declines in physical, mental and emotional health as they age. Healthy aging is not just about exercise and staying fit. Mental and social well-being too, is vital component of living well. It is the importance of this ”workout” that I would like to talk about here. I refer to it as ”Express Workout.”

1. Social Health: At this point many may not seem pleased with what I just said, but they will surely do, when they know its benefits especially in the afternoon of life – the life after 40. Let us see social health as a supplement to various therapies in keeping our body trim and toned.

Your best health is essential in all aspects of your life-from your body to environment around you. When we talk about environment it means friends, family, relationships, all these affect our health indirectly. This is our social health. According to me, much of our body’s agility depends upon this.

Our physical well-being is the key to enjoying a healthy life. We should always try to get the needed rest, exercise and nutrition to maintain. However, the environment that we get by staying in close contact with family and friends; enjoying a hobby; learning a new language; musical instrument; keeping up with current events; taking a class; doing brainteasers, and socializing cannot be undermined.

Appreciating and enjoying these healthy connections is paramount. As life comes close to an end it is the experience of these wholesome socially rich environment that seem to matter much more than personal possessions.

Our children fly to their new formed nests. And, life does not remain what it used to be. No matter what exercises and regime you undertake during these moments, it is very crucial to keep your social health blooming. If we are able to achieve this, our lives brim with bimini – what is termed as the fountain of youth!

2. Supplementary Tools: The benefits of looking good are feeling good, healthy and strong. No one can make a difference to your body. Only you can.

1. Celebrate: Getting up off the bed to get into “fitness mode” can be a mammoth feat in itself. I congratulate you if you have come this far! Below are some tips to help get you started with your own personalized express workouts. You are no more a sleepy head. Smile and catch up!

2. Do something: This could be any activity you find interesting. Whether it is reading, writing, photography, swimming, dancing, cooking, pot-making or gardening, it does not matter. You need to just do it.

3. Find a BEST: This defines: Buddies who Encourage Success and Truth. This is very important not only in fitness regime, but in every sphere of our lives. Keep a good mix of a counselor, listener and fix-it, and at least one who makes your ribs tickle to make you wash off your worries and laugh along the way. Learning or doing anything through fun is most invigorating. Prioritize your activities and create a definite niche to fit it in your fitness schedule.

4. Dump the downer: You guessed right -it is the weighing scale! You constantly get into the obsession of it. Why I could not weigh what she weighs. This will lead to your unhealthy state of mind. Limit the use of scale sparingly. It would rather be wise instead, to go in for body-fat index tests on half yearly basis.

5. Calm your nerves: Follow your fitness schedule like a marathon and not like a sprinter. Slow down! Do not burn out or hurt you along the way. Increase cardio time and weight training gradually.<

6. You are different: Do not compare yourself with others who do intensive work out and training. This will discourage and make you envious or depressed. We should compare us with ourselves. Keep your eyes on your goals and not what others are doing.

7. Enjoy every process: Remember one should enjoy the journey and not only look for the destination all the time. Talk, breathe have fun with your best buddy while doing. Do not grab an intensive level. Be yourself and follow comfortably.

8. Do not despair: Nothing is the end of the world. If you could not be regular because of some pressing matter -personal or official. Just get back on track, board the train and chug along!

9. Get into an autopilot mode: We feel we do not need to work on our bodies. Many a times we feel we are fine without it. We lax and coil ourselves in the myth of ”all is well” kind. For this legion of women, a word of caution: Whether you do, or you do not, it is wise to accept exercise (any form) similar to essentials like breakfast or taking a shower.

10. What to/how to: Hire a trainer to help you with a system. They are masters in this domain. Their knowledge is no exception. Use it to nurture and nourish your body.

11. Learn with fun: The importance of focus and any kind of learning when done with enjoyment brings out the best in terms of performance. When enjoyment is decreased, performance also decreases. A cycle ensues which prevents performance from ever reaching its potential. So, to ensure consistent fun and crazy spark keep widening your circle of friends. This helps new ideas generation, re-evaluation and new perspectives in your life.

12. STOP: When working is not fun anymore. Take a STOP. This is the most important of all the tools! I am sure you thought I asked you to stop. “No. This is not a full stop!” On the contrary it is an indirect tool to your mobility with a renewed vigour. This is an acronym inspired tool which means Stop, Think, Organise your thoughts and Proceed. Got it? This tool is very crucial in our mobility because after a burn out, this is the only tool, that if applied will help us achieve our full potential. This is required to make a conscious change. It can be of any duration. It may be only for a few seconds, at the beginning and end of each work day, and at the beginning and end of any work project.

13. Stay beautiful ever after: As the boomer generation (a person born during the demographic Post-World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964), is quickly reaching the high side of fifty, the majority expects to live to 85. So, plan to stay fit to enjoy coming years as much as possible.

With this list in mind, growing old would be easier and healthier. They say, ‘at 20 years of age, the will reigns, at 30 the wit, at 40 the judgment.’ So, by 40+ you will have gained enough wisdom and judgment as to how to stay healthy and fit past 50 with these resources of express workouts.You will feel yourself beautiful forever after. Good luck and take care!

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