You know vitality when you see it: the effervescent 80-year-old grandmother who does yoga every day; the inspired artist whose passion has you wanting to take up art lessons; the empathetic friend whose centered, calm demeanor seems to radiate inner peace.
People with vitality overflow with that special something, and they stand out from the crowd like shiny pennies.
Since vitality is often broadcast via physical traits – sparkling eyes, radiant skin, an energetic demeanor – it’s tempting to chalk it all up to excellent health. But there’s more to vitality than robust physical well being. Not all clinically healthy and fit people are particularly vital, after all. And some seemingly frail individuals still manage to exude an extraordinary life force and joie de vivre.
A healthy diet and regular exercise are the cornerstones for a life of vitality. But to take it to the next level you must keep these habits in mind:
- Get outside. Spend time outside. Take in some fresh air. It will energize you. Take a walk on the beach or a stroll on the park. Breathe and enjoy the beauty of nature.
- Cultivate community. A lack of close relationships has been shown to weaken our immune system and sap our vitality. Maintaining strong social ties with others improves many aspects of both health and happiness. So does volunteering.
- Be a lifelong learner. More education leads to longer, healthier lives. Our brain makes new connections thus keeping it healthier and stronger. So take an online class or a class at your local community center. You never know what you may learn.
- Calm down. Chronic stress releases hormones that can damage cells, tissues and organ systems, all of which can shorten your life expectancy. Learn ways to release or reduce stress in your life, such as taking up yoga or other exercises, spending time doing a hobby or activity you love, getting a massage, and listening to relaxing music.
- Honor your promises. Each time you break a promise, whether it’s to a loved one or to yourself, you lose a sense of connection with your own values. Keep your promises and you gain integrity and self-respect, two main ingredients for vitality.
- Plug your “energy leaks.” Notice where you are losing energy. Reevaluate lifeless jobs, negative relationships, poor eating habits, sedentary patterns and other parts of your life that drain your energy.
- Don’t skimp on sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation increases your odds of suffering from both heart disease and diabetes. And it reduces your immunity and your ability to cope productively with everyday challenges.
So if your purpose in your later years is to have a life filled with vigor and meaning start doing things that will ensure your capacity to live fully. It is never too late to become that person that enjoys life meaningfully. It’s just a matter of how much you want to embrace it.
This is a message from MorseLife Home Care. For more information, call (561) 616-0707 or link to www.morselife.org.