How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? ~Satchel Paige
I will soon be 60 years old. Is that old? I just can’t seem to grasp it. Do I look it? I don’t think so but nobody my age thinks they look their age. Certainly no one wants to look any older than they have to. Here are a few things I have learned about looking and feeling younger that I wish I had known sooner.
1. Exercise. Many years ago I read an article in Reader’s Digest. The author said that if there is really a fountain of youth it is exercise. That stayed with me. For awhile I was swimming in the mornings at Gold’s Gym and there were two men who swam at the same time. One was an older gentleman who was obviously in the pool because it was about all he could do. He mostly just stood or walked slowly in the water. After all, he was old! The other was very fit walked with a bounce, was cheerful, friendly and a fabulous swimmer. He was very appealing and not old. One day we were all in the hot tub after swimming. Now that I could see them up close and we had a chance to visit I was startled to realize they were about the same age. One became old and one did not. There are so many reasons why we look younger if we exercise but the main reason is, at a cellular level, we are younger! Fitness matters!
2. Observe old people. Watch how old people move, the way they stand, their mannerisms, how they dress and don’t do that! I tell FitMania Boot Camp classes, “Do you know how you can never walk like an old person? You just never walk like an old person!”
3. Take good care of your skin. You can keep a young looking physique but your skin can give you away. Always use a body lotion or oil after you shower and occasionally exfoliate. Use a reasonable amount of sunscreen. Wear a hat. I don’t regret my time in the sun but I sure wish I had used sunscreen a little more often.
4. Lose weight. If you have extra weight lose it. Extra fat ages us. Even losing a little will make you look and feel younger.
5. Smile. This one is offered by my friend Kacey. I don’t practice this too well but Kacey sure does and she is a pleasure to be around. Remember my cheerful friend at the swimming pool?
6. Try new things. Learn to ski or golf or fish. Take a class. Try sushi or go to a rock concert. Go crazy and sleep on the other side of the bed! Whether you will like it or not is irrelevant, it’s the willingness to try that will keep you young. Eleanor Roosevelt may or may not have said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” Whether she said it or not, it is good advice.
“You know you’re old when you‘ve lost all your marvels.” Merry Brown
By Sherry Stirling Fernandez, CPT
CEO of FitMania Boot Camp Specialists