Humans have been fixated on staying forever young and beautiful since the days of yore. While some are still looking for the mythical liquid known as the fountain of youth, you can try to fight the process — by aging gracefully.
It’s feasible without any fancy equipment, especially when you know how to age well. Plus, life is so much easier when you don’t have to color your hair!
Here are some tips for healthy aging from Maye Musk, international model and trainer of Mindvalley’s Maye Musk’s 5 Rules of Life Quest.
When you accept yourself beyond age, the world opens up to you. Let’s find out what it takes to embrace aging.
What Does “Aging Gracefully” Actually Mean?
To answer this question, let’s look at the origin of the word “grace.” Originating from the Latin “gratus,” it means grateful. So growing old gracefully can be seen as being grateful for aging as a natural part of life and embracing it fully.
In other words, it means living your best life and enjoying every moment. But why do we talk about aging gracefully in the first place?
It has to do with the common misconception that aging is a negative experience. In fact, science shows your level of happiness and satisfaction has nothing to do with your age.
The main predictors of happiness are your health, activities, social connections, and housing satisfaction. If you address these essential aspects of your well-being, growing older won’t scare you. You can grow better like a bottle of wine with the right care and mindset.
Maye has three cardinal rules for living life to the fullest: “stay in good health through eating well, keep educating yourself, and stay positive.”
8 Common Myths About Aging
Let’s look at these common myths about aging and older adults:
Myth 1: Depression and loneliness are normal in older adults
Some seniors indeed feel isolated and alone as they age. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, and sadness. But many people experience these emotions regardless of their age. In fact, a 2010 study has shown that older adults are less likely to experience depression than young adults.
Myth 2: The older I get, the less sleep I need
It’s a common misconception that your sleep needs decline with age. Adults need the same amount of sleep during their lifetime, and getting enough sleep is paramount for your overall health and longevity.
Myth 3: Older adults can’t learn new things
Older adults can still learn new skills, create new memories, and improve their performance in a chosen area. Moreover, as you grow older, you accumulate more knowledge and wisdom from your experiences. Science shows that learning new skills and trying new things can improve your cognitive abilities.
Myth 4: Dementia is inevitable for older people
Dementia is not a natural part of aging. Although the risk of it grows as you get older, it is not inevitable. You may experience forgetfulness from time to time.
In the same way, you can have serious concerns about memory and changes in behavior when you are young. So preventive measures are necessary beyond age or genetic predisposition.
Myth 5: Older adults should avoid exercise, so they don’t get injured
Studies show that you have a lot more to gain by being active. Physical activity helps manage chronic conditions, is great for your mental and physical health, and even keeps you independent as you age. For example, Qigong exercises have been shown to improve balance and stability in older adults.
Myth 6: If my parent has Alzheimer’s, I will have it, too
Having a parent with Alzheimer’s does not necessarily mean that someone will develop it. There are numerous environmental and lifestyle factors affecting your risk for the disease.
While you cannot control your genetic predispositions, you can stay healthy as you age by exercising regularly, controlling high blood pressure, and quitting smoking. The latter is never too late, as science has shown.
Myth 7: I will have to give up driving
Your ability to drive safely isn’t limited by age. As you mature, you will indeed have slower response speed, decreased vision, hearing, or overall mobility. But it doesn’t mean that you have to stop driving.
In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), one in five drivers is 65 years or older. On top of that, electrical vehicles with self-driving features allow anyone of any age to safely maneuver a car.
Myth 8: Sex and sexual health get worse with age
This is one of the biggest myths about sex, which also promotes sexual anxiety in men. It makes them psychologically reliant on viagra.
According to Dr. Amy Killen, you can repair and rejuvenate your genitals without any medications. If you approach your sexual health in the right way, sex can get better as you grow older.
9 Tips on How to Grow Old Gracefully
Knowing how to age well is paramount for your well-being as you grow older. Essentially, it boils down to learning how to stay healthy — physically, mentally, and emotionally. Here are the secrets to staying healthy as you age:
Tip 1: Move your body
Moving your body positively affects your skin, bones, and mood. Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of heart disease and cancer, decreases stress, improves sleep, and helps retain mobility. On top of that, it promotes self-reliance and independence in senior adults.
You want to opt for low-impact activities that improve your strength and mobility, such as aerobic exercises, walking, swimming, cycling, and even dancing! Body workouts are one of the best ways to counteract the effects of muscle atrophy in older adults.
You can use weights or resistance bands to strengthen your muscles. If you’re looking for a highly effective and time-efficient training program, check out Mindvalley’s 10X. It will help you transform your overall health, fitness, and, most importantly, longevity.
Tip 2: Mind your diet
Nutrition is vital in affecting your quality of life, including physical, mental, and social health. According to a 2019 research, most elderly people suffer from a deficiency of essential macro and micronutrients. So ensure your diet includes a sufficient amount of:
- Protein: Eat an equal proportion of protein throughout the day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Iron: Iron deficiency is prevalent among the elderly population, contributing to anemia. Moreover, low iron levels are associated with depression, fatigue, cognitive functioning impairment, and muscle strength loss. So it’s recommended amount to take is 8 mg per day. Also, minimize caffeine intake as it decreases iron absorption.
- Calcium and Vitamin D3: For optimum bone health and to prevent osteoporotic fractures, maintain calcium and vitamin D3 levels through dietary sources or supplementation.
- Zinc: As you grow older, the level of zinc gets lower in your body, which contributes to a weakened immune system and makes you susceptible to infections. The recommended dietary intake for older men is 11 mg per day and 8 mg per day for older women, including both dietary zinc and supplemental zinc.
- B-Vitamin Complex: It consists of eight water-soluble vitamins, which help maintain cellular function and brain atrophy. Deficiencies of vitamin B12, B6, and folate are known to affect cognitive functioning and can cause depression. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for this vitamin is 0.9-2.4 µg per day.
Foods to avoid: Solid fats for cooking, processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. You should also keep your salt intake to a minimum to keep your blood pressure down.
My secret to aging gracefully is definitely my eating habits.— Maye Musk, trainer of Mindvalley’s Maye Musk’s 5 Rules of Life Quest
Tip 3: Invest in your social connections
Social connections are one of the most significant factors impacting your level of happiness. Your loved ones and friends improve your mental and physical well-being and longevity.
So if you don’t invest in building and nurturing meaningful relationships, you will end up feeling isolated and abandoned.
Tip 4: Manage your stress
Chronic stress accelerates aging, so you want to lower your stress levels using a number of proven strategies, such as:
Tip 5: Quit smoking and decrease alcohol consumption
Like chronic stress, smoking, and alcohol cause premature aging and harm your overall health. Nicotine contributes to wrinkles on your skin, reducing oxygen flow to skin cells. Alcohol negatively affects your vital organs, making them age faster.
Tip 6: Get your beauty sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for your health at any age. It has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce stress and depression, and improve focus and concentration.
Sleep is essential for productivity, wellness, and health, according to Dr. Michael Breus, trainer of Mindvalley’s The Mastery of Sleep Quest. So to age gracefully, getting your beauty sleep every night is a must.
Tip 7: Practice kindness
According to Maye, practicing kindness is one of the secrets of aging gracefully. She says, “Be happy to be kind. People will remember you for being kind.”
Unfortunately, older adults are often neglected by younger people. They feel unseen and unnoticed in most social situations. But kindness is that very virtue that makes you unforgettable.
For that, you want to notice things around you that aren’t about you alone. Also, appreciating kindness from strangers will make you happy.
Surround yourself with good people. And if people ignore you, just move on.— Maye Musk, trainer of Mindvalley’s Maye Musk’s 5 Rules of Life Quest
Tip 8: Have someone to look up to
Another helpful tip from Maye is to have a role model. She emphasizes that women don’t need to slow down as they age.
For example, she looked up to her mother, who didn’t stop learning even in her 90s. It helps her keep educating herself and learning new things.
Tip 9: Cultivate resilience
As you grow older, you may find yourself in a situation where something (or everything) needs to change. You may have to move to another city or country or change your career. You may be going through uncoupling with your partner. To survive on the other side, you need resilience.
How do you cultivate it? Here are some insights on resilience from Maye:
- Keep trying everything, and something will eventually work out.
- Focus on your expertise and talent.
- Act bold and brave, even if you don’t feel that way. Keep walking tall even when your confidence is knocked out.
- Make a plan and aim for happiness.
- Take every chance to make a change.
Am I Too Old to Age Gracefully?
It’s never too late to age gracefully, just like it’s never too early to age well. In fact, according to science, accepting your years beyond any timeframes, physical or social, will help you live longer and maintain a positive attitude about maturing.
Every season has its beauty, and age isn’t a limitation.— Maye Musk, trainer of Mindvalley’s Maye Musk’s 5 Rules of Life Quest
At the end of the day, it’s never too late to do things you love, discover exciting hobbies, pursue a new career, and travel the world. In fact, when you grow older, you gain the experience and wisdom you need to enjoy your life to the fullest.
According to Maye, if you remain intelligent, confident, fun, and stylish and mix with people who appreciate you, aging will be a great experience.
Making a Plan to Move Ahead
Maye explains that women often feel miserable as they grow older. Instead of complaining about your life, you must celebrate their age and move on. When you can’t get yourself out of bed, you need to make a plan to move forward.
If you need the plan to move on with your life, the Maye Musk’s 5 Rules of Life Quest will help you move on with grace and resilience, with a big smile and confidence.
This is what makes you truly beautiful beyond age.
If this sounds like a plan, join Maye on her Maye Musk’s 5 Rules of Life Quest.