Joyful Living, Healthy Aging

Written by Penelope Mallen

As a healthy aging elder, I have taken for granted much of what I’ve accomplished in the many years of life I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy. Yoga, pilates, tennis, cycling, swimming, and scuba diving were all done for fun and adventure. The past years and now I exercise by riding my old horse and walking. To know that the earlier fun now contributes to my physical and mental wellbeing is the “luck” part of my life.

Seriously, I read that exercising and visiting with friends could save me an extra $315,000 in medical bills that Medicare doesn’t cover. This was SHOCKING! How many of us even have that kind of money saved for medical bills?

Finding time to exercise and socialize should be a part of every person’s day, just as working and having a schedule is. It’s fun, inexpensive, and feels good.

My husband of 53 years was a workaholic until mental decline retired him to a sedentary life of loneliness and apathy. He’d always exercised, but now couldn’t do the sport he’d enjoyed. He thought business associates were friends, just to find out otherwise. He couldn’t enjoy his family because he didn’t know them, nor did he seem to have the skills to try. Sadly, his family and family friends didn’t try very hard either.

Every person must find a passion for life through something interesting, whether it’s music, art, or adventure. Exercise keeps you fit and allows you to enjoy life for many, many years; soon up to 120 years, according to our granddaughter who is researching cell aging.

Financial and estate planning should begin early; think saving and investing right out of school, even a little, will set a lifelong habit. I assure you those monies will allow you to enjoy something extra in your later life; a special trip, educating grandchildren, nonprofit giving, or anything else that meets your criteria for satisfaction and fun.

All these self disciplines and “sacrifices” made during your working years lead to a joyful retirement. In hindsight, I know how lucky I was to want to exercise and stay fit. I wish this for everyone!

In closing, pick one healthy activity that gives you joy. Do it every day while thinking about joyful living and what it means to you.

Until next time,