1. Love yourself enough to take care of yourself.
When you practice loving yourself enough to take good care of you, you will do the things necessary to become happier and healthier every year of your life. You will have success in aging!
2. Get good information about everything.
Laughter is a natural stress reducer. Stress oxidizes good cholesterol into bad, but laughter releases chemicals in our bodies that drive away pain and fear, two negatives usually associated with old age. Laugh often. Even better: Laugh with friends. Friendship is the flagship of positive aging!
4. Exercise and keep your feet in motion.
This is a two-parter: Daily exercise and daily foot health are extremely important in old age, especially for mobility and balance. Daily stretching exercises and walking are a must for aging well.
5. Feed yourself well.
Learn about antioxidants, phytonutrients and essential fatty acids; consume them daily! You can fight internal inflammation (the healthy body’s No. 1 enemy) by eliminating food intolerances from your diet. A top evidence-based tool in the fight against internal inflammation is the ALCAT test. You can eat your way to health!
6. Get your rest.
Sleep enough: seven or eight hours at night, in a dark room. Lack of sleep contributes to heart attacks, high blood pressure and internal inflammation.
7. Floss your teeth.
Taking the time to floss is beneficial because that simple act of selfcare will encourage you to more. Dentists who care for older and much-older adults agree: Floss for a better old age!
8. Fight depression.
Depression is the No. 1 illness of old age; loneliness, loss and grief are all too prevalent in the aging process. Fight back! Seek grief resources. When our grandparents got lonely, they volunteered. Volunteer. Stay connected to others who benefit from your presence.
9. De-clutter your space.
De-mess to destress! Organization of your possessions and papers will cause peace and patience to fill your life. Hire a professional organizer at www.napo.net if it overwhelms you on your own.
10. Worship God.
Research shows that people who practice their faith, read religious writings and are part of a faith community have better immunities and fewer heart attacks and strokes. Because we are made in God’s image, our value is immeasurable; it is the reason that old age is positive and valuable and good.
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Di Patterson (’04), MSG, CPG, is a noted gerontologist and creator of Success in Aging TV. Di is a pioneer in utilizing technology for promoting success in aging, with several National Mature Media Awards for her websites and the 2012 Orange County Outstanding Advocate, Gerontologist and Educator of the Year award from the Senior Care Hero Awards. Her book, Life, Camera, Action! is available at Amazon.com and her articles and videos are at DiPatterson.com.