Growing old gracefully

Posted in: Wellbeing Last updated: 01 Jun 2012

Naturally, many of us fear ageing, but why? Preconceived ideas of growing older make us more fearful than we need to be. With an upsurge in medical advances, lots of us can look forward to increased longevity and there are so many things we can to do to live a happy and healthy lifestyle in our golden years. Age really is just a number, so rather than fighting it we should embrace it. We’ve put together some tips on how to age gracefully.

Looking after ourselves

Living in a youth obsessed society means people concentrate on superficial methods such as surgical procedures to try and banish the effects of ageing, when actually looking after our internal body is much more important.

Physical activity

Exercise can do wonders to the body as we age, promoting both physical and emotional wellbeing. Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, UK found that  middle-aged people who maintained a reasonable level of physical activity were less likely to become unable to walk distances, climb stairs, maintain their sense of balance, stand from a seated position with their arms folded, or sustain their hand grip as they get older [1]. Physical exercise can also protect the brain as we grow older. An article published in February 2011 by the US organisation National Institutes of Health talks about a US study in older adults that showed that brisk walking can increase the size of a brain region involved in memory formation [2].

Art of friendship

Friendship is a priceless attribute that plays a key role in happiness. Unsurprisingly, maintaining strong social networks as we grow older is good for our health. According to the Mayo Clinic, family ties, friendships and involvement in social activities can offer a psychological buffer against stress, anxiety and depression [3].


The Daily Mail wrote an article about a 91 year old lady celebrating her birthday bungee jumping at her local fair as part of her nine-year tradition [4]. Although our spontaneous streak might not be quite as high as hers, she is living proof that age really doesn’t determine how much fun we have.


[1]The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (2007, November 28). Use It Or Lose It: Physical Activity In Middle Age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 14, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬/releases/2007/11/071128115931.htm [2]http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/february2011/02282011exercise.htm [3]http://cgi.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/MH/00041.html [4]http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047855/91-year-old-woman-dives-platform-seventh-time-bungee-jumping-granny.html

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