HOW TO STAY ACTIVE DURING THE SEVENTH DECADE IN LIFE
- Get out of bed each morning with a prayer of thanksgiving that you made it through another night.
- Exercise – If you’re my age, exercise consists of the act of getting out of bed – but you can take it a step further. The real challenge is reaching for things that are too high, or thinking of more than one thing to do while you’re down on the floor. These can be your stretches. As you go through the day, keep track of your steps with one of those fancy new contraptions. You’d be surprised how quickly those three or four steps add up. Lay on your back for half an hour. This is called planking. The truth is, your body is going to resist any kind of physical activity at this age. You have to push through that resistance and give it a shot at least.
- Eat right – My philosophy on dieting at this age is not to bother. I’ve spent most of my life on diets and none of them seem to work. I firmly believe that if you don’t have diabetes or heart problems, you should eat what you like. You don’t have many years left to enjoy life so you might as well make the most of it. I love food, therefore I eat.
- Stay positive – It’s easy for us to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. If we let this happen we are dooming ourselves to a non-existent existence. Most folks our age feel they have the right to be grumpy. After all the world owes them, right? Actually the world owes us nothing. We owe those we come into contact with a pleasant experience. If we want to be treated with respect and honor, we need to treat others in the same way.
- Find a hobby or get a job – Quitting your job isn’t easy. Especially if you enjoyed the work you did while in the work force. When you retire you don’t have to give up completely. If you do, you are cutting a piece of your life out of the picture and you work is what defined you as you passed through your middle years. You can consider being a free land consultant, assist as a volunteer in your field, continue working as long as you’re physically able, or share your wisdom with the younger generation. If you don’t want to work anymore, think of places to travel. It can be a one hour drive in the country and a picnic with your spouse or a trip to Europe, depending on your budget.
- Stop thinking so much about death – During this time of life our friends are dropping like flies. It’s hard to avoid the subject, but if you’re constantly thinking about dying, you don’t have time to enjoy the rest of your living. God still has a purpose for us even as we approach the age of 80.
- Stay involved in the community. People are always looking for volunteers. Being with others is critical to your well being. Isolation is not an option.
- Slow down and smell the roses – You’ve worked hard all your life You’ve seen success and you’ve endured failure. Our bodies naturally slow down at this age, so let the aging process happen and embrace the fact that you’ve made it this far.
A lot of what I’ve listed above is a bit tongue in cheek, but I feel humor plays an important role in the aging process. My maternal grandmother lived through the death of five of her children as well as her husband. She died at age 76, because she felt her purpose in life was over. She died of heart failure. Until her death, she still maintained her sense of humor. We never lose our purpose. God has wonderful things in store for us beyond the grave, but we also have the rest of our lives to make the most of.