This week I celebrated my 58th birthday. As a health practitioner and as a woman, I spent some time reflecting on yet another year in the books and to check-in with myself on how I am feeling about aging. The word “aging” has a broad connotation. As a verb, it refers to the process of growing old. As an adjective, it refers to the elderly. Hopefully, we will all get the blessing of aging and we will age well. Aging brings with it many changes and may require some adaptations as the stressors that accompany age impact our overall well-being and functioning. Although genetic predispositions may play in factor in how we age, many lifestyle choices such as alcoholism, smoking, poor nutrition, obesity, and more, may have an even bigger, grosser effect on the aging process. For some of us, choosing medications to adapt to these stressors may be in the cards, while for others making lifestyle changes can stave off the need for medication a while longer. Sometimes we require a mix of the two.
The stress and anxiety of everyday life that we all experience on a daily basis can create some of the most damaging effects on how we age. As a chiropractor, my life’s work is to help others return to their highest state of wellness possible and whenever I can, empower them to make their health a top priority. While I surely see the years of aging when I look in the mirror, they don't make me lose sleep at night because I still have my health. For many of us, prioritizing self-care that results in a healthful life is a challenge, and even I am not exempt from that. However, as I stand firm in representing myself as a health-minded leader, I am driven by a sense of personal responsibility to make choices that keep me on the wellness continuum at the highest level so that I can live my best life and continue to perform my life’s work.
I'm thankful to make healthy lifestyle choices a part of my daily life. They are not found in a secret potion and they don’t cost an exorbitant amount of money to sustain. I consider them to be common-sense choices that anyone can incorporate into their own life at any time, when they are ready to do so and I’m happy to share them with you:
Eating a healthy diet of “good” fats and protein, while minimizing starchy carbs and simple sugars
Getting a great night’s sleep
Focusing on stretching and exercising to keep my spine and core strong and flexible
Getting regular chiropractic adjustments
Taking key supplements such as omega 3 fatty acids, adrenal support, probiotics, and multivitamins
Choosing love, laughter, and grace over negative emotions
This is my generalized recipe for healthy aging that works for me. All are important and all drive me to empower and educate my patients and followers so they can make this work for their lives as well. When I developed the 5 Core Components for my fitness system, PostureFit, I wanted to focus on overall wellness, not just fitness. At the time, my list focused on building strong posture, a strong core, flexibility & balance, cardio, and building bone density. As we approach 2018, we will be revisiting these components and adding “mindfulness” to the list. I’ll be writing more on this in the coming weeks and look forward to making mindfulness an important tenant of Living PostureFit.
As I ruminate on my 58th birthday, I'm thankful for my strength and vitality. When my feet hit the floor in the morning, I'm ready to rock and I love that! I want to keep that feeling for as long as possible and if I can help my patients and followers achieve that feeling, then my life’s work is on point! For further reading on posture and aging, this article at AgingInPlace.com expounds on some of my bullet points above.
Where can your daily routine use an infusion of positive self-care habits?