How to Embrace Getting Older

Staying mentally and physically active after retirement is the key.

Staying active after retirement will help you age well.

(Ruslan Huzau /

People are living much longer today and many are still very active when they retire with no plans of slowing down. What’s their secret? It’s not an elixir promising eternal youth.

While youthfulness is valued in today’s society, and aging can seem like a negative, your value does not decrease when you add more candles to your birthday cake, according to The New York Times. You can embrace getting older and live a fulfilled life.

What age is old?
People start to feel old in their 60s, at retirement age, reported the NYT. A Pew Researchreport about growing old in America shows a gap in perception of aging from younger adults to senior adults. In fact, when it comes to memory loss and physical declines, many young people believe this will occur much earlier than seniors actually report.

But living to a ripe old age is really a recent achievement. “The average human life span gained more years during the 20th century than in all prior millennia combined,” Daniel B. Kaplan, an assistant professor of social work at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY told the NYT. He added that the life expectancy in the US is 79.1.

How to embrace aging
Aging doesn’t happen all at once; it occurs gradually from the first gray hairs to the creaks in your joints, according to Sixty & Me magazine. But how you approach aging will determine whether you can embrace the process.

It helps to have positive role models like parents or family members who approached old age in an optimistic way. If you don’t have family members to model, you can pick inspirational people like Queen Elizabeth II who never stopped working or contributing to society despite her advanced age.

Stay active 
One of the best ways to embrace getting older is to stay active, both mentally and physically after retirement according to a blog on the Acts Retirement-Life Communities website. Exercising is a great way to feel your best and to stay active. Focus on exercises like walking and swimming that improve flexibility, strength, and balance. If you need a reason to get up and move, get a dog to keep you company while you walk.

Stay socially connected by joining a book club, volunteering, or playing games. Playing scrabble, doing crossword puzzles, and card games are a great way to keep your mind sharp and may even improve memory and mental performance. 

Taking a class and learning something new like a language, or gardening will also help you age well. Your post retirement years can be a new chapter in living a fulfilled life if you embrace aging.

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