Never Too Old to Have Fun

The fact is, people are living longer. Not just in specific areas around the world, but even in the junk-food laden country of the United States. Between medical advances and overall improved healthcare, we live a life of relative ease. But the secrets to living longer aren't just about eating well and having great healthcare. An important factor is to remember that you are never too old to have fun.

Happiness seems to be at a premium these days. Between the violence in the world, the chaotic political climate, and the media following the idea that scandalous headlines sell, it is no wonder that we are stressed out and seeking happiness in any way we can.

Keeping Active at Any Age

As you age, you look forward to retirement and relaxing, doing all the things you love to do. This attitude is an excellent one, provided you actually participate in life. Seniors who are homebound or who have little social contact find themselves living shorter lives than their counterparts.

In Okinawa, Japan, it is commonplace to live over 100. While there are several factors for this, such as a rich plant-based diet, routine exercise (and no, not doing 30 minutes on a treadmill kind of exercise), and one neat little cultural norm called a moai. When a child is born in Japan, the family contracts them into a moai, which is like a social circle or board of directors, if you will.

The word moai translates directly to “meeting for a common purpose,” and these groups act as social support groups that can last a lifetime. Socializing is a key element to a living a long, rich, and fun life. Author Dan Buettner profiled several women over the age of 100 for his book “The Blue Zone: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People” and found they were part of the same moai for over 98 years!

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Activity is another key element for living a long, fun life. If you have been active all your life, taking aerobics classes, swimming, or biking, retirement and aging should not put an end to that. Have fun! Go out and do all the things you love to do, and you will be sure to live longer and healthier than your sedentary counterparts.

There will eventually come a time, whether from aging, injury, or illness, that you may need to slow down and maybe even have an in-home caregiver. Does this mean an end to leading a full, rich, and fun life? Absolutely not!

To continue living healthfully, it is important you socialize and keep your mind razor sharp. Some of the best ways you can do that is to partner with your in-home caregiver and find things to do together, as well as out in the community. There is a wide variety of activities and fun just waiting for you out there, and here are some ideas to get you going.

Socialize With Other Seniors

Looking to keep your mind as sharp as a tack? Head to your local dollar store or bookstore and pick up some puzzles. Whether you like word puzzles, crosswords, or the physical make-a-picture type, there is something to help you keep that keen mind going. There are even 3D puzzles you can build that you can put on display; from the Eiffel Tower to the Hogwarts train, you will have a blast with these mind-benders.

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Perhaps you want to connect with other seniors. You and your in-home caregiver can volunteer at the local senior center for events or just to go down and visit with folks who are looking to stay social as well. Play cards, chess, or take a relaxing walk around the neighborhood. A big part of staying healthy is to be social and to exercise without exercising too strenuously.

Gardening is another wonderful activity because it works both the mind and the body. While you may not be capable of getting out there with a hoe and tiller, you can still plant herbs in containers or nurture some beautiful hanging tomato plants. You can also fill your home with stunning flowers you plant right in your front yard or patio. Day lilies are so colorful, and they are easy to grow. Do some research online and plan a little garden for you to tend through the warmer months.

Just because you are now a senior doesn't mean you can't have fun anymore. This is the part of your life where you get to pamper yourself and do all the things that make you happy. Take advantage of every day and do something that sparks your mind, body, spirit, or all of the above, and you will lead a fun and rich life right until the very end. 

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