Living Longer, Living Better
On the whole, we are living longer, with average life expectancy hovering just below 80 years for people born in the United States in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control. By the year 2050, there were be more than 2 billion people in the world who are age 60 or older, according to an economic and social affairs report from the United Nations.
However, living longer does not always mean living better.
“Sometimes women of a certain age feel invisible or less important, and sometimes we see societal messages equating youth with beauty. However, there is a lot of empowerment in living longer, a lot of wisdom and a lot of compassion. We know ourselves better and aren’t afraid to say what we mean. Sometimes living longer means appreciating the years behind and the years ahead equally,” said Dr. Donna Block.
If you want to put more life in your years, the following insight can help you join the notions of living longer and living better:
- Stay active – mentally and physically. “When winter sets in, it can be very tempting to stay inside and curl up on the couch, but countless studies have shown the benefits of exercise and mental stimulation,” Dr. Block added. Find a walking or yoga partner, join a Mahjongg league or book club, or set a New Year’s resolution of trying something new.
- See your doctor. So much of healthy aging has to do with disease prevention or management. Make sure you visit your doctor once a year for an annual exam and more often as needed. Get your flu shot. Check your blood pressure. Taking good care of yourself will make life more enjoyable.
- Stay connected. Older adults who maintain relationships and community connections report better health and greater happiness. You might have to get out of your shell to join a group or try a new venture, but strong, long-lasting relationships can bolster your mental, emotional and physical health and equate to aging with grace.
- Make good choices. Focus on eating well and staying hydrated. Take care of your will and health directives. Spend time with people who build you up rather than drag you down.