In less than two months, I’m turning 50. Yes…. The big 5-0! I remember being in my 30’s and thinking that once I hit 40, it would all be different. Somehow, the youth would be gone and I’d belong to the middle age crowd. My 40’s came and went and it seems as if nothing has changed. Nothing but a number, and the reaction of people when they ask how old I am. Incredibly enough, other than a few additional fine lines here and there, I don’t look much different now than 20 years ago, and I feel the same or better.
As I’m writing this, it does seem incredible to me. I’ve heard so many times in my life that aging is inevitable, that we should just accept it and age gracefully. But thinking back on how I’ve lived my life, I conclude that the lifestyle choices we make have a huge impact on how we look and feel as we chronologically progress…
My own basic fundamentals come to the following: I start each day with some physical activity; I almost only eat foods that have high nutritious value; and I try to live a life that as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. I’ll talk about each one of these areas briefly:
Generally speaking, the less sedentary your lifestyle is, the less you’ll age. So obviously, if you sit at a desk or in front of a computer for most of your waking hours, your muscles will become less efficient over time . The way I remedy it is that I start each day with a workout, and end almost each day with some form of physical activity like going on a nice bike ride, taking a walk after dinner, or dancing. One of my passions is salsa dancing and that turned out to be a great factor in my ‘agelessness’. Whereas a lot of my friends’ evenings out consist of dinners and drinks, mine are more about meeting friends at a salsa social, or a tango social, dancing, laughing, and enjoying life. I always feel a great high after a dancing social.
As for my morning workouts, it’s all about variety for me. I mostly work out at home with some youtube instructions. There are so many amazing classes online these days! I would do a barre class one day, a HIIT+strength class with dumbbells the next, and a power yoga class following. I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of yoga, which I discovered about 10 years ago. All my little aches from working out or dancing the night prior for 3 hours on heels go away after a 45-min yoga session. Our range of motion get limited as we age, and yoga counteracts it by increasing the range of motion and flexibility.
After trying out raw veganism, keto,and other trendy diets, I now simply eat a ‘vegetarianish’ diet. This means that I eat pretty much everything but mostly green leaves and vegetables. Instead of having fish with steamed vegetables on the side for dinner, I have steamed vegetables with a side of fish:) I ‘dilute’ my food with green leaves like arugula and organic mixed greens. I’m lucky enough to live in a place where triple washed organic greens are readily available. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I resort to small amounts of super dark chocolate or dates.
Everyone has stressors in their lives, but what I’ve discovered is that stress comes from within. It’s not about what life throws at you, it’s about how to chose to react to it. Life is always going to present difficult situations here and there, and it’s our prerogative to focus on our blessings rather than on our challenges! Beyond that, as cliche as it sounds, it’s about creating a balanced life, with purpose and meaning, that isn't all about work, leaving lots of time to enjoy our family and friends and our hobbies.
I hope this post was insightful. Please contact me if you have any questions!