Men who age well do these things

By Marie Gress, LMSW at Milan Seniors for Healthy Living

My dad was a great man – wise, patient, smart.  He taught me about tennis, faith, writing, how to turn a living room into lava, and how to build bridges – both to get over the lava as well as bridges between people.  This Father’s Day we celebrate our dads, grandfathers, uncles, and other father figures.  As a tribute to you, men, here are a few tips to aging well.
1) Men who age well splurge.  Revitalize your wardrobe, get a haircut, grow a beard or stay clean-shaven – do what makes you feel best!  Go on that trip you’ve been thinking about or eat at a new restaurant. Feeling good can improve mood, self-image, and mental health.
2) Men who age well treat their bodies right.  Use stairs instead of elevators, shower with cold water, stay hydrated, and do some simple stretching or join a gentle yoga class.  Consider trimming fat and sugars from your diet and limiting nightcaps to one or two a week.  When you have a night cap, follow it with a small glass of pure juice because fructose speeds up alcohol metabolism by as much as 25% (NCBI).
3) Sleep.  Take a nap, sleep in, or go to bed early this Father’s Day.  Sleep benefits your body and brain in so many ways and should not be underestimated.  Sleep can help your body heal faster and age slower.  Bonus tip:  Wear less in bed! Clothes can prevent your body from cooling down fully, disrupting the release of the anti-aging growth hormone that burns fat, builds muscle, and repairs your bones and skin while you sleep. (PsychologyToday).
4)  Stay connected.  A growing amount of research proves social isolation has a significant negative impact on lives, mental health, physical health, even causing death.  Loneliness is as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (WebMD). Get involved, make a friendship, find new ways to connect with your significant other – physically and emotionally.
5) Have a purpose.  After retirement, find new ways to use your skill set and your time.  Dedicate time to family and friends.  Learn new a new passion.  Mentor someone younger.  Find purpose and have fun with it!
Men at MSHL have many options to practice these things and more. Exercise, cards, wood working, lunch, and men’s coffee hour.  Our Father’s Day event is on June 21 at 11:15am. 
Have a question about aging, services available, or ways to get healthy?  Call MSHL at 734-508-6229, visit www.milanseniors.org, or email mshl [at] milanseniors [dot] org.

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