The Nobel laureate Dr. A Sholokhov said, “You don’t accomplish anything if you don’t have a definite goal. We are all ‘blacksmiths’ who have to hammer and shape our own happiness. People of conviction, people who are spiritually strong, can exert a definite influence on the direction their lives take, even when fate takes an unexpected twist.”
We hammer and shape our happiness in our own unique way by drawing up an active ageing agenda and continuously reworking priorities along the journey. The passionate pursuits of your life and the must do pursuits are integral parts of your active ageing agenda.
Let us look at the must do or essential elements in this post.
It is about being fit and healthy at any age and includes physical fitness, nutrition, mental and emotional health, social and spiritual engagement.
A gentle stroll in the park every day along with a group of friends is not enough. Interactions with friends is excellent tonic but gentle walking will not give you the benefits of keeping most age related illnesses at bay. WHO in its guidelines for adults who are 65 years or more, says, “Overall strong evidence demonstrates that, compared to less active men and women, older adults who are physically active have lower rates of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type two diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer. They have a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness.” WHO’s recommendation for the intensity of physical activity for adults who are 65 or above is to increase moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes a week or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate -and-vigorous-intensity activity. You can see that this is far in excess of a gentle walk in the park.
I have cover at some length about eat right for health and long life in previous posts and will delve into it again in later posts.
Excessive stress is a roadblock to wellness.
A certain level of stress is inevitable but prolonged stress has an effect on the body and mind. It causes changes to the brains structure and functioning resulting in difficulty in new learning and memory and becoming less capable of coping with stress. Exercise and relaxation techniques help in reducing stress. Deep breathing, meditation and yoga are well known relaxing techniques for calming the mind. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise and sufficient sleep are also important.
Family and social support are vital for a sense of well being.
The psychiatrist Sidney Cobb defined social support as a subjective sensation in which the individual feels, “That he is cared for and loved. That he is esteemed and valued; that he belongs to a network of communication and mutual obligation.” Social activity is as rewarding as physical activity and a healthy diet. People who are socially active are less likely to face declining mental faculties. A strong social network makes us less stressful as we have emotional support and assistance in times of need. Taking part in community development activities, volunteering for social work, participating in religious activities and joining clubs help in leading an active social life. Games such as bridge and other group sports provide social contact and mental challenges.
When you start putting in these essentials into your active ageing agenda you will see how full your plate becomes and how important it is to prioritise and organise your activities. And we haven’t yet got to the pursuits driven by one’s passion.
#well being #wellness #active ageing #healthy living #retirement #healing