When we think about what it takes to stay healthy after 60, we usually think about what we should say “yes” to – more exercise, more veggies, more social interaction and move walking. Unfortunately, this is only half of the story. In order to get the most from life after 60, we also need to eliminate negative forces in our life. We need to remove anxiety, eliminate toxic people and get rid of our bad habits.
Here are 5 things that you can eliminate to improve your health after 60:
Our bodies and brains simply weren’t designed for the kinds of stresses that we encounter in everyday life. We’re much better at running away from lions than dealing with the more abstract stresses of parking tickets, grumpy grandkids and chronic health concerns. As a result, we need to take a proactive approach to stress control.
Here’s a simple exercise to try. Take out a piece of paper right now and write down a list of 10 things that are causing you stress in your life. Put a star next to the one that you think is easiest to address with a simple action. Now write down the one action that you are going to take to reduce your stress today. Update this list every day and you will be amazed by how much having a sense of control can do to reduce your anxiety.
By the time we reach our 60s, we know the harm that excess carbs, salt and sugar can have on our bodies. Most of us have internalized this information and many of us have taken steps to improve our diets. At the same time, many of the women in the Sixty and Me community tell me that they continue to have special weaknesses. Perhaps, like me, you have a pattern of snacking on cheese and crackers when you’re stressed. Or, maybe you forget about your diet whenever you eat out with your friends.
The trick is to be conscious about your eating habits. Once you identify and admit your weaknesses, you will be in a better position to address them. If stress is the primary “trigger” for snacking, why not commit to taking a walk instead? Or, perhaps you could have a small bar of luxury (70% cacao or higher) chocolate stashed away, just in case.
Jim Rohn once said that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If the people in your life are rude, argumentative, bitter and self-absorbed, is it any surprise that you feel drained?
Letting go of toxic people is one of the hardest things that we can do in life. But, it is also one of the most important. This is especially true if we feel like we don’t have enough positive people in our lives to fill the gap. Don’t be afraid to let go. Surround yourself with positivity and love. You deserve it!
I’ve met many people that take an “It’s too late to make a difference” attitude to their bodies. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, it’s never too late to quit smoking! According to this study, smokers over the age of 60 can reduce their chance of prematurely dying by 28% just by quitting smoking.
Be honest with yourself. If you smoke, or consume more alcohol than you know you should, it’s not too late to change.
As a nice side benefit, you can always redirect some of the money that you save to buying delicious healthy food or taking up a new sport.
Everyone knows the risks of eating “fast food,” but, there are plenty of items that you can buy at the supermarket that are detrimental to your health. So, don’t feel that your decision to stop going to McDonalds 3 times a week is the end of the story. In reality, it is just the beginning!
Many women in the Sixty and Me community have made a conscious choice to purchase food from local sources. Others have taken the step of growing their own fruits, vegetables and herbs in their own gardens. Either of these choices gives you the added benefit of getting out of the house so that your body can benefit from fresh air and social interaction.
I’d love to get your thoughts on this.
What negative forces have you eliminated in your life since turning 60? How has this impacted your health and energy? What one piece of advice would you like to offer the other women in our community about living a healthy life after 60? Please add your comments below.