unrecognizable black man training in park

Late Bloomers: Instructions For Use

After Todd’s post last Friday, which also mentions a previous post by Troy, I re-post here an article about getting old. So, here you find some instructions for living your third youth with no worries.

There is a direct relationship between aging and physical, and mental activity.

People who adopt a sedentary and passive lifestyle after retirement accelerate their aging process. Lack of movement diminishes the body’s responsiveness and few social relationships inhibit intellectual abilities.

We could also add loneliness to see the aging process accelerates. Spending the day without stimuli other than television or cell phone, without seeing anyone or going out can cause you to lose motivation to take care of yourself and your health. Many of the illnesses we attribute to age are not due to age.

On the other hand, an active and purposeful person (a person with a purpose in life – ikigai) keeps connections and maintains healthy habits.

Therefore, to keep fit, why don’t you follow those three tips coming from Japan?

1.  Give yourself a goal for your next birthday. For example, you may practice moderate physical activity every day to lose weight and reach that goal by your birthday. In addition, sport promotes the production of endorphins, the hormones of happiness.

2.  Reconnect with nature. Practice shinrin yoku at least once a week, or immersion in a forest recommended by Japanese doctors to promote longevity. Furthermore, this practice can also protect you from diseases because the proximity to plants strengthens the immune system.

3.  Be grateful. In the same way that an attitude of complaining and constant anger increases the level of cortisol (the stress hormone), an attitude of gratitude towards life and the people around us promotes serenity and the joy of living.

Remember that life expectancy is statistically high in our Western societies. Most likely, you still have two good decades of “useful” life left after retirement that you could fill with meaning and activity.

Aging with care is an art. The third age, which I prefer to call the third youth, can become an opportunity to love yourself more and take better care of yourself. Find something you enjoy doing or can attach an immediate reward to, and involve friends to add the lovely socializing component.

What are your plans for your third youth?

cherry blossoms
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

22 thoughts on “Late Bloomers: Instructions For Use

  1. Wow – those seem like great tips for any age! I think of my mom who at 82 rides bikes, golfs and puts on piano concerts and I know she’d agree that ageing with care is an art.

    Thanks for an interesting and helpful post!

  2. To prove your point, crisbiecoach, Clint Eastwood is in his nineties and is still producing, directing, and acting in the movie industry.

    As for me, I’ve embarked on the task of serious writing.

  3. This is so true regarding limited social activity. For example, I work for a dentist in my “day job,” and during the shutdown we had some patients (60s) who stopped brushing their teeth completely. These weren’t unhealthy people, they just kinda got depressed so they stopped caring about their home care.

  4. I decided a few years ago that I didn’t want my life to be about sitting in front of the TV daily with my cat for company. Obviously I love doing that but it had become my daily existence. So I made a plan to rediscover my zest for life and I am so glad I am making the effort. All I want is to have fun as I get older. Even if I am doing things alone.
    Thanks for this insightful post.

  5. You’ve touched on many great points.

    After I stopped going to my 9-5 job, I couldn’t and still dislike using the R word. It has always conjured up images of sitting on a park bench and letting tree roots grow at my feet while I slowly disappear inside a blanket of weeds.

    I am instead in my second stage of my teenage years. Everyday is a summer holiday.

    1. The metaphor of the tree roots growing at your feet is very powerful, it pictures very well your idea. And I think that defining ‘everyday as a summer holiday ‘ is very motivating. Thank you for commenting Kevin!

  6. I think the most important thing you can do is have a positive outlook on aging. “Breaking the age code” by Becca Levy is a great read. Her research shows that a positive outlook on aging can help you live a longer and healthier life.

  7. Thanks for the mention Cristiana-great suggestions! I especially like the idea of immersion in nature- and I love the concept of the third youth- very comforting and inspiring. Thanks for this excellent post!

  8. One of my favorite past times is a walk in the woods. Often I find a quiet spot, have a seat, take a deep breath, close my eyes and just listen. AMAZING!

Leave a Reply