Aging with Grace and Style — Practical Tips for Adapting to the Changes

Photo: With gratitude to Seshadri Sarkar on Unsplash

by Dr. Connie Hernandez, ND

One thing is sure. Hunkering down and battening the hatches in an effort to feel safe and secure as we age never works.

Nothing in this life is certain except constant change. And a wise approach to aging requires that we, too, must change.

Which actions will optimize our physical health and keep us hale and hearty as we age?

Age-denial and resentment will simply get us nowhere. Wishing that our lives were different than they are will simply mire us in swamps of self-pity.

Dr. Connie Hernandez, ND

By looking at our situation clearly and objectively, we’ll be able to discover creative solutions to maintain our quality of life. Seeking positive solutions is a happier response to Father Time than giving up and living in fear and resentment.

At all ages, happiness comes by owning our life, saying yes, and moving forward with a courageous, welcoming heart.

Creative aging does involve risks. It requires that we explore new ways of being and thinking, and make new connections,

It does require sacrifice. Taking care of our happiness will require that we clear our personal clutter: dropping dysfunctional relationships, uplifting our environment, and letting go of habits that were pulling us down instead of inspiring us.

Garnered from my several decades as a medical professional, here are my prescriptions for happiness after forty:

  • Stay active physically and mentally. Try things you haven’t tried before.
  • Move your body – don’t be a couch potato.
  • Learn to sing or play an instrument, especially if your work has over-emphasized the mental side.
  • Stay connected with nature. Earth, air, water and fire are the elements of your being – use them to nurture and recharge yourself in mind and spirit. Get outdoors.
  • See your life in the context of the larger world. Realize that the world isn’t going to start revolving around you. Resolve egocentric fretting and worrying by finding ways to serve others.
  • Take yourself lightly. Play. Do art. Laugh often.
  • Meditate to calm and inspire yourself and touch the inner joy of your soul.

I’ll now offer some tried-and-true tips that will help you keep your body running well and your energy high with the passing years:

  • Eat wisely, but don’t obsess over your diet. It’s simple, really: eat organic, decrease sugar and simple carbs, and eat more veggies.
  • Consume beneficial fats and clean proteins.
  • A multivitamin-multimineral supplement is generally a good idea.
  • An omega 3 supplement is possibly even more important, given the deficiency of omega 3s in our modern food supply, and given that omega 3s have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, are great mood stabilizers, and help keep the heart healthy.
  • Collagen is particularly important as we age, especially for vegetarians.
  • Consistent screening will help you keep track of your health and forestall any problems that might be looming over the horizon. Lab values will give you insights about how your body is functioning, and which nutrients you might need.
  • At Pacific Naturopathic, we like to run our Comprehensive Wellness Panel every 12-18 months, more often if there are special issues we’re help our patients resolve. Specialized testing such as Intracellular Nutrient Testing or Urinary Organic Acid Analysis can reveal deficiencies in nutrients that nourish the mitochondria and deliver energy to the cells.
  • If your digestion or absorption is impaired, consider I.V. nutrients, which are delivered directly to the cells.

We host monthly I.V. Myer’s Cocktail parties that a number of our patients are finding helpful to maintain their bodies’ immunity and optimize their health as they age.

Taking even a few of these steps will enhance your health and help you move forward with grace and style.

Find out more about Dr. Connie’s work HERE.