Expert Author Susan Leigh
Many people think that as we get older we become less fit but the saying that youth is wasted on the young is often true. Many young people take their health for granted, have other priorities and expect to live forever.
Older people:
- Often listen to their bodies. This does not mean becoming over-anxious, but simply means that they have an instinct for a 'good' or a 'bad' pain. They know when something is minor and will recover on its own and when something is more serious and needs extra help or a medical intervention. They know when they are tired and need to take a rest.
- Have more time available. Often older people have more time to spend doing the things that they enjoy. They will often enjoy spending hours tending their garden or joining walking groups or leisure facilities. There are often social groups that provide all manner of activities in the day and the social element is usually a valuable part of the time spent there.
- Are prepared to take up something new. Mental agility is an important part of good health and well-being. Often interests from earlier in life can be taken up again with enthusiasm. In earlier years there was most likely too little time or energy available because of building a career or having lively young children to consider. Older people will often be enthusiastic about learning new skills and be prepared to commit to attending courses and talks. My mother took up bridge, tai chi and Egyptology at eight-two years of age.
- Appreciating that sometimes they have to compromise and go along with others is an important part of being healthy and having a balanced, fulfilled life. Realising that a lot of things that used to bother them are not as important as they once thought is a valuable way of reducing stress and is also a way of improving their social opportunities and bringing more people into their lives. This mindset can improve health, happiness and quality of life.
- Have more money available. Often younger people need their money for mortgages, young family and are often at the start of their careers so have less money coming into the household. Once the children have left home many people downsize to something smaller and free up some of their capital. This can often provide a new lease of life with which to start undertaking some of the hobbies, interests and adventures that were not possible before.
- Nutrition. Young people often survive on junk food, snacks and take-aways. Very few families own a dining table or eat together so young people often eat what is readily available. Older people are often more aware of the importance of taking care of their health, eating a good quality diet, fruit and vegetables. They do not want to risk ill-health or becoming unwell and so do their best to commit to being as healthy and as fit as is possible.
It truth, ageing can become one of the most fulfilling times of life, in terms of quality of life, doing whatever we feel like and having less responsibility than we possibly have ever had before. Enjoy this special time.


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