Middle-Aged Lifestyle Guide

 

 

Ok, below is my take on trying to stay in peak condition as we age. So, to my middle-aged active souls who still act like teenagers (or maybe that is just me), this blog is not only professional advice but a personal account as Carla (my wife) and I navigate through this journey.

My Middle-Aged Lifestyle Guide:

The Power of Self-Care

Ladies and gentlemen welcome to a paradigm-shifting discussion on the art of aging gracefully. This article was inspired not only by my own journey and the journey of my wife, Carla, but by the countless hours of research and conversations I have had with smarter people than myself, including my brilliant wife. Read on to explore self-care for middle-aged active souls.

So grab your favorite beverage, sit back, and give yourself a few minutes of “me time”. It will be well worth it.

1: Defining Self-Care for Middle-Aged Active folks

Self-care has become a buzzword in recent years, often associated with indulgent spa treatments and exotic retreats. However, for those of us in the prime of our lives, self-care takes on a deeper meaning. It becomes a non-negotiable ritual that nourishes our bodies, minds, and souls, enabling us to excel in our active pursuits. This happens not through expensive lavish retreats, but through daily habits and a slightly “new way” of doing what we have always done, and maybe, just maybe, adding some new skills as well. My wife Carla, (PT and Health & Wellness Coach) says “

Entering this time in our lives we need to think about doing things differently, and this doesn’t look the same for everyone. We need to check ourselves at the door before we enter middle age to see what our opinions and beliefs are about it and whether they are actually true… What are your unique challenges? For some of us it’s lifestyle, for some it’s physical changes, for some it’s emotional.”

You don’t know where you are going until you know where you are at, so a good honest self-reflection and open discussion can be very helpful.

2: The Physical Reservoir: Prioritize Optimal Nutrition & Fitness

As middle-aged active individuals, we understand the importance of maintaining a strong physical reservoir to keep a vibrant lifestyle. Self-care, in this realm, revolves around intelligent nutrition and strategic fitness. By mastering these pillars, we can unlock the fountain of youth and prolong our active years and continue to thrive.

A reality of aging is the increase in inflammation that we have, and guess what..we can actually control that. By gaining knowledge on what foods increase your inflammation, and learning how to minimize inflammation through rest, recovery, stress reduction, and smart activity choices we can take control of it. Inflammation is not “just the way it is” and we don’t have to accept that.

We know that staying strong and keeping muscle mass is an integral part of the fountain of youth, but it doesn’t get easier to do that as we age especially for our peri-menopausal teammates. I witness firsthand the commitment my wife has to not only maintain her strength and mobility but improve it as she manages the hormonal & physical changes she is going through. I have a whole new respect for what the women in my life manage throughout their lives…RESPECT! As for all of us, men and women, remember that how we did things in the past may not work for us now. “We have to re-think our thinking on fitness and activity” says Carla. Your previous workouts may not be what you need now

3: Where is your head at?

While physical strength is vital, nurturing our mental well-being holds equal importance. Middle-aged individuals often face an avalanche of responsibilities and stressors. We are in, what some professionals feel, the most stressful time of our lives. Kids are growing, parents are dying, bodies are changing, marriages are stagnating…no wonder we have the term “Mid-life crisis”. Oh yeah and don’t forget we are still trying to get ourselves back after a $%*^$# pandemic…it affected all of us!

Incorporating mindfulness practices like meditation into your daily routines becomes paramount. Cultivating a resilient mind allows you to overcome challenges, enhance your focus, handle stressors, and achieve greater success in all areas of life. The stress reduction benefits are impressive and are yet another way to reduce inflammation in your body.

Let’s also consider the mental benefits of learning a new skill and its effect on mindset. Use your brain and your focus to try something new: learn an instrument, learn how to paint, learn a new language, travel and explore new cultures… All of these are good for the brain and the soul. Also, by the way, it doesn’t have to be something brand new. If you sit with Carla for a minute she will surely ask you “What brings you joy, what brought you joy in your younger years? Let’s bring more joy into your life” Maybe it’s time to dust off the violin or get back into the garden.

4: Harnessing the Healing Power of Rest and Recovery

You have heard me talk about this before, and you most likely will again…IT IS THAT IMPORTANT!

In our relentless pursuit of greatness, we sometimes forget the unparalleled power of rest and recovery. Middle-aged individuals with active lifestyles must understand that rest is not a luxury or an option anymore, it is a necessity. Prioritizing quality sleep, adequate physical recovery, relaxation, and downtime rejuvenate our bodies and minds in so many ways, enabling us to tackle life’s demands with renewed vigor and gets us ready for another workout.

Sleep is the most obvious place to start when discussing rest and recovery. Are you getting 7-9 hours per night? Want more on this? Re-visit my May email HERE to learn more.

Not many of us consider our activity choices as part of rest and recovery. Making good activity choices so we don’t abuse our bodies and are able to recover better is key. Remember what we did in the past may not be what we need to do now. Maybe running 7 days per week was doable in your 20s and 30s, but is there really a need now?

5: Your Social Health: Cultivating Relationships and Community

Self-care extends beyond our individual well-being; it encompasses the art of nurturing relationships and building or being a part of a supportive community. Engaging with like-minded individuals, participating in group activities, and fostering meaningful connections contribute to our emotional well-being and overall health. It reminds us that we are part of something greater, igniting our passion for life and enriching our journeys. Whether it be a faith-based group, a friend group, neighbors, a running club, or a mentoring opportunity…there are so many options.

Enriching relationships are vital to our health. Just do some research on the “blue zones”. These 5 areas of the world are where you will find the happiest, healthiest, long-living people on earth. There is so much to learn from the elders in these areas and one of the strong common threads in all 5 Blue Zones is the social connections they maintain and nourish. They know it truly “takes a village”.

6: The Art of Saying “No”: Boundaries and Time Management

Do you find yourself juggling a myriad of commitments? To truly embrace self-care, we must master the art of saying “no.” Setting boundaries and managing our time effectively becomes essential in curating a life that honors our well-being. I personally am having a hard time with this one (just ask Carla), but I am committed to working on it. Being a “pleaser” is great but it could cause some personal suffering to be that way all the time. By decluttering our schedules, we create space for self-care activities that replenish and invigorate our active souls. Let the days of the super-busy schedules being worn as a badge of honor be behind you, enjoy some me time now!

Conclusion:

Remember to prioritize the one person who fuels all of your endeavors: YOU! By integrating self-care practices into your daily routines, you will embark on this middle-aged journey toward optimal health, vitality, and fulfillment. You are the curator of your own well-being, so embrace self-care with open arms, nurturing the physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of your life, as you thrive.

Don’t forget, your relationship with activity may look a bit different then it did in the past, but that is OK! Stay active, stay vibrant, stay connected (not on-line), and never forget the true power of self-care.

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