In this Volume 2 of our “Thoughts on Improving the Quality of Your Life” blog, we will discuss “Physical Dreams”. These ideas are outlined in the book “The Dream Manager” by Mathew Kelly.
As we discussed in Volume 1 of our blog, you can keep a journal with the physical dreams that appeal to you and then check your journal periodically to see if you are making progress in achieving your dreams.
Focus on Your Potential
If you want to change your lifestyle, you may need to find a new normal. Sometimes if we keep the same habits, then nothing is likely to change. If we want to age gracefully, we will need to keep active, keep learning, and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Aging is our friend, and we need to constantly adapt and change to keep our life full of adventure.
Ask yourself what physical activities you enjoyed when you were younger. As you have aged, you may have given up some of these activities because they became too difficult. My 90-year-old father that lives in a 55+ community used to be a very good swimmer. He says that he can’t swim the length of the pool anymore, but he still goes to the pool two to three times a week to practice water aerobics with his son-in-law. An 87 year old friend of Linda’s doesn’t feel comfortable riding a two wheel bike anymore, so she got a three wheel bike to ride down to the gym where she also does water aerobics.
Play and have fun with friends that have positive attitudes. This seems like a great way to keep your mind and body active and open the door to meeting new friends. Simple activities like walking, cycling, weight-bearing exercises, stretching, dancing, water aerobics will improve the circulation in our bodies and increase the oxygen circulation to our skin. All Grace senior communities offer exercise classes or other activities that can be great for improving your physical health. Group activities also have the benefit of building relationships with likeminded people that not only improves our mental health but also our physical health.
Even though I can’t snow ski or bike ride like I did when I was in my 40’s, I really get a lot of enjoyment from watching wild YouTube videos of skiing and biking that my nephews send me. It keeps my mind young and I’m sure that I even get some aerobic benefit just watching the videos. Living vicariously through others can be fun.
We each need to make the best effort that we can if we want a quality life. Linda and I were recently listening to an audio book called Age Later by Nir Barzilai and Toni Robino about people that live 100 years and beyond. I expected it to say that people that lived 100+ years either ate the perfect diet, were very physically fit, or just had good genes. Instead, the research showed that there isn’t really one silver bullet that leads to a long life. It was a mix of all kinds of common-sense lifestyle choices and probably a little luck and some good genes that helped them lead a long life. It seems like a common denominator is living your life in relative moderation and engaging with positive people and world around you.
Some of the lifestyle habits that they looked at are listed below:
- Taking regular naps and getting adequate sleep
- Volunteering and helping others, staying engaged with others and your community, feeling like you have something that you can contribute
- Belief in God and praying
- Continuing your education by reading books, listening to books, taking classes
- Eating a relatively healthy diet, many of the people still ate sweets and drank alcohol in moderation
- Most were at a healthy weight, but many of the people were having higher weight, but to a lesser extent than the general population
- Maintaining social connections with friends and family,
- Move into an Independent and Assisted Living facility to receive more help
- Being active physically by doing things like walking and aerobic exercises
- Keeping a positive mental attitude, and being grateful for every day
Laugh and Have Fun
Medical researchers tell us that stress and worry cause more damage to our health than we realize. Regular physical activity, taking naps, and getting adequate sleep are some great ways to combat stress. Stress weakens your immune system causing us to become susceptible to virus and disease that a healthy body would normally be capable of fending off.
It is never too late to make changes. Slowing down is healthy. Take things one at a time. Aging is our friend. It can help us find our identity and purpose. If you stop changing you stop growing. Your attitude can mean the difference between success and failure in your dreams. Never stop learning, make it a lifelong goal.
Take time to practice love Joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Never give up! The game is not over yet, stay the course finish well, and go back to the source and pray.
The future is brighter when your attitude is right, you’ll have more energy, your creative level will increase, and you will stay younger.
Linda Hines and John Price