HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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You could be practical and say, “If people base whether or not they like me on my appearance, I don’t need those friends anyway. ” But we all know we often go to extreme lengths to be liked and to be part of the group.


So get the surgeries if you wish. Take the pills, buy the lotion if it helps you keep or restore a good feeling and increases your self-confidence. Getting older is not synonymous with acting old.

“Preventative aging” is an oxy- moron. There is no preventing aging. What it means is, “I really don’t like the way I feel about becoming my older self. What if people don’t like me because I don’t look as young as I once did, when everyone made sweet comments about my youth?” There is also the problem of infirmity, the aches and pains that come with aging and the feeling life is “half over” or you are “over the hill” or entering the golden years.


Modern society is built around youth and the elderly are shuffled aside more and more. There is little or no respect for many in the older generation, even though they have much wisdom to offer and plenty of experiences to relate.


Although there is no prevention for aging, there are a few things that can do wonders for maintaining a healthy self-image as the decades spin by. For many years, anti-aging creams, moisturizers, folk and home remedies and oils have been used to keep skin healthy and vibrant. This sometimes leads to anti-aging medicine with doctor-prescribed and monitored treatments. The Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (www.a4m.com) is one of the main proponents of this aspect of the medical industry, which has grown significantly in the past 20 years.


While creams and oils are not wholly invasive to the body,

PREVENTATIVE AGE: THERE ARE WAYS TO RESTORE SELF-CONFIDENCE AND VIGOR

hormone treatments, plastics and ingested medicines often have dangerous side-effects. Their risks must be fully assessed before utilizing them. Many companies offer anti-aging diets, exercises and remedies, all with the promise of making the skin more vibrant, giving you a more youthful appearance and making you more appealing. While it’s undoubtedly true many of these remedies, diets and medication do what they claim, the fact remains the person using them must adjust his or her self-image to make himself or herself happy. There’s nothing wrong with getting a nip or a tuck or fuller lips, but you owe it to yourself to research and find a competent person to do the surgery, someone who understands your singular case and what aim you for with the surgery you’ve chosen. People are affected by their changed appearance for months and years post-op. Sometimes they remain happy with having a different appearance and sometimes there are regrets.


It is even more interesting to note how the actions we take to prevent our physical aging are incidental to our figurative aging. The stories and beliefs that develop as the years pass are what really create the feeling of “old” in the mind and body. We all know people who are advanced in age but still kept their youthful vigor and vitality, and we know people in their 20’s who seem like they’re 80 years older.

CHARLES SEBASTIAN

Charles Sebastian is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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