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Ten Tips for Being Over 55

All Personal Growth Articles

by , based on input from Patrice Belle Isle (over 55).

While there are countless articles about staying young, there are few that give you good advice about getting older in a way that helps you stay happy. This is one such article. If you're over 55, these tips will help you do more than "adjust to getting older." They will help you make the later phase of your life better and less stressful.

  1. Use it or lose it. That means everything - your brain, your gifts, your body. You CAN keep everything in pretty good working order, it just takes more effort.
  2. Men and women. It isn't fair. Men look distinguished or seasoned or mature, but women just look older. How can you overcome this, if you're a woman? Recognize yourself as distinguished, and act that way. Men need to do the same thing, but not use it as an excuse for letting themselves go.
  3. Save money. It's not all bad. You can get senior discounts. Don't be shy, ask for them.
  4. Trim the hair. Long, wild, sometimes wiry hairs grow from places they shouldn't - your nostrils, your chin, your ears.
  5. Be OK with bald. Bare necessities. If hair isn't going wild, it's falling out or getting thinner in places that make you the person you know and like - even your private parts. For this last item, it can be very appealing to your mate so don't fret it.
  6. Accept the distance. Your arms seem to shorten, because it gets harder to hold a book far enough away to read it. Don't cut back on reading, just because of this annoyance. Wear reading glasses, and keep the lenses clean.
  7. Keep getting smarter. The children who once scoffed at you now seek your advice. Take responsibility for this, and read nonfiction. Read extensively. And build relationships with others who read, even if that means doing so just by e-mail. Eliminate disinformation sources, such as newspapers and television.
  8. Keep mucus moist. Mucous membranes are not as moist as they once were. No fear, there are gels, lotions, and potions. Use them. A great mucous maintenance tool is the neti pot. Get one.
  9. Talk about it. By now "YOU KNOW WHAT I LIKE." As the old song goes, you know what feels good. You should be more comfortable talking about it. Sex, AKA love-making, may be better now.
  10. Drink plenty of water. Doing so will help prevent urinary infections, kidney problems, and other health issues. Most older people drink less water, which is why they end up with urinary infections, kidney problems, and other health issues.

More about growing older graciously

One reason people show their age as they age is they just let it happen. They have no plan for staying young, and if they did have a plan they didn't use personal discipline to stick with it. That's why so many seniors are on multiple prescription medications, lack physical strength, have sagging skin, have a paunch, and just aren't as happy and energetic as they could be.

If you've lived an undisciplined life and are now faced with the physical consequences, take heart. While you can't undo all of the damage, you can reverse much of it. But you'll have to start now.

  • Diet. Eat six small meals daily. Eliminate all foods that are calorie-dense but not nutrient-dense. Moderation isn't the key, it's an excuse. Be firm in your diet choices, and you'll win most of the battle for a firm body.
  • Exercise. You need intense exercise five or six days a week. This does not mean walking. It means doing physical work that places so much demand on a given muscle group that you trigger an adaptive response. Bodybuilders work a different muscle group each day. If you decide to join a gym, stay away from the machines. Use free weights. And think in terms of working the muscles, not in terms of lifting the weights. It's the load on the muscle that produces the benefit.
  • Sleep. In many countries, people are routinely sleep-deprived. In the USA, it's an epidemic. And the amount of sleep deprivation is severe. Sleep deprivation causes premature aging, memory loss, and other problems. Your first step in fixing this problem (which you probably have, even if you don't think so) is to go to bed at the same time every night. The same early time, until you find you are waking with no need of an alarm clock.

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