Age is simply a chronological indication of how long you’ve been on earth; it has nothing to do with how young you actually feel.
Age is not important…unless you’re cheese – US actor Helen Hayes
I still feel like I’m in my twenties despite me now being a sexagenarian (in my 60s).
When I grew up it was very rude to ask a woman her age and while now it doesn’t worry me to say how old I am, there was a time in my media career when age was a serious factor when it came to staying employed in what’s been an ageist and sexist industry. I soon learnt to lie about my age or at least skirt around it.
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter – the Father of American literature Mark Twain
I’ve mainly dated younger men, which does keep you feeling younger and whenever I’ve been asked my age socially I’ve often jokingly replied;
‘I’m old enough to know better, too young to resist and over the age of consent.’
I might be young at heart but I’m somewhat older in other places.
The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age – US Comedian & Actor Lucille Ball
I’ve often heard talk about our biological age and according to The Medical Dictionary, it’s based on how healthy we are, physically and mentally, compared to the health of lots of other people of varying ages.
Our biological age can actually be a better reflection of our true age and can be higher or lower than our calendar age.
Disabled World advises that this concept of our biological age should be used loosely.
Obviously, if our biological age is greater than our true age then we are more likely to die sooner than if our biological and real ages were the same or less.
Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age – 19th Century Poet & Novelist Victor Hugo
How do we find out our biological age?
I recently took a biological test online at www.growyouthful.com to see where I stood and after answering their 120 questions honestly, I was delighted to learn that my biological age is 10 years less than my actual age.
You are never too old to become younger! – US actor Mae West
There are many current theories but the actual causes of aging are still relatively unclear. It is, however, pleasing to learn that research supports the concept that if you feel younger than your age then you are more likely to live a long and better life.
Three main areas have been identified for us to focus on to look and feel more youthful; an agile mind, an active body and a good social life.
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years – US President Abraham Lincoln
When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day – Author & Cartoonist Marty Bucella
The old adage; use it or lose it, is every apt in relation to our minds. We can visually see our muscles weaken when we stop using them but we can’t see the same atrophy when we stop using our brain.
Anyone who keeps learning, stays young – US Industrialist & Business Magnate, Henry Ford
- Crosswords, Sudoku and jig-saw puzzles can keep our brain active.
- Challenging ourselves to try new things is also most important.
- Laughter is still the best medicine to help us feel younger and we should not be afraid to laugh at ourselves.
- Learning new skills will help keep our mind and body active. There are many courses on offer at local community centres and seniors centres.
There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age – Italian actor Sophia Loren
There are so many benefits to getting your body moving and not just for your physical well-being. It’s proven to be a cornerstone to enjoying better mental health and feeling younger and invigorated.
Research shows that you only need to spend a minimum of 150 minutes a week doing aerobic exercise to experience the benefits. That’s only two and a half hours out of the 168 hours that are in each week. It’s not a big ask but when you do start moving your body regularly you’ll be less likely to suffer depression and anxiety or find it helps to diminish the intensity.
If you haven’t done regular exercise before or for a while, be sure to pace yourself and start with baby steps and check with your medical practitioner before you begin. As you get fitter you can either go further or faster.
- Strengthen your muscles.
In addition to regularly getting your body moving, a great way to stay physically younger is to keep our muscles strong.
Hand weights are a great way to help build muscle as is using gym equipment. You don’t need to use heavy weights to get results. You can also use our own body weight to do sit-ups and push-ups or do heavy manual labour.
- Keeping our body supple.
Stretching is an ideal way to keep flexible and supple and remain feeling young.
Yoga can achieve that as well as improve our blood pressure and cholesterol along with the benefits to our mind and spirit.
Yoga can be great especially if you can’t do more strenuous exercise and it’s easy to modify and adapt to your individual needs and can help immensely with your balance as well.
Tai Chi or some of the gentler movement arts are also a great alternative, especially if you find yoga too difficult.
Dancing is another great way of keeping the body moving while getting additional benefits by enjoying the music and engaging with others.
Don’t under-estimate all the benefits of sex either when it comes to feeling young.
Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art – Polish poet and aphorist Baron Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
Active Social Life
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing – Irish Playwright George Bernard Shaw
Despite all its faults, social media has made it much easier than ever to stay in touch with family and friends no matter where they are located the world over.
You can easily expand your social circle by meeting new like-minded people online too, especially with those who share your interests and hobbies.
Reports have shown that many people not only feel younger when they focus on others or spend time with people they care about, they also feel less isolated and less likely to feel alone.
Volunteering at your local Op-Shop or joining a service club like Lioness or Rotary or Probus is another great way to meet new people and make a valuable contribution to your local community at the same time. Most of these service clubs are global and it’s a great way to meet the locals if you’re planning to travel.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair – US Poet Samuel Ullman
Dr David H. Rahm, founder and medical director of The Wellness Centre, in Long Beach, CA. and president and medical director of VitaMedica, says ageing is inevitable but we should put it off until the last possible moment.
Dr Rahm has simple but impacting tips to look and feel younger, here are my favourites;
- Stay out of the sun and wear a broad spectrum sunscreen whether it is cloudy or bright.
- Drink plenty of filtered water to keep your skin supple and looking younger naturally. Dehydration causes skin to become dry and lined.
- Stress less. A long list of studies has found that stress, untreated depression, social isolation, and anxiety can speed up cellular aging. Dr Rahm explains that stress shortens essential DNA components called telomeres which are linked to overall health, lifespan, and individual aging rate, and when they become too short, cells can no longer reproduce, causing tissues to degenerate and die.
He says setting aside small amounts of time to relax, meditate and breathe deeply will help melt your worries away and help you look younger naturally.
- Sleeping on your back. We all know how we look and feel when we haven’t had enough and the reverse will happen when we get plenty of shut-eye. Dr Rahm says anything less than 6 hours per night also causes our telomeres to shorten and can age us biologically by about nine years. The doctor goes one step further and suggests sleeping on our backs to help avoid developing sleep lines and wrinkles from the pressure on our face when it’s pressed up against our pillows all night.
- Don’t act your age. This is my favourite of Dr Rahm’s tips. He says studies show that people who thrive in old age think younger and that can mean up to an additional 7 and a half years of longevity.
I’d like to leave you with the ultimate question of aging posed by US major league Baseball pitcher Satchel Paige to give you food for thought.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
Susie Elelman AM
Author, TV & Radio Broadcaster