How to age brilliantly

Don’t worry about the injuries if they’re not life-threatening!

My ‘kids’ are now 18 and 20, I was an older mum, being 35 when I had my first child.  I’m hoping if one or both of my offspring eventually have their own children, I’ll be a real hands-on, fun and fit grandparent, therefore, I want to live to be a healthy, happy centenarian and here’s how I’m going to achieve it!

1) Eat healthily

Recently, I went from being a vegetarian to becoming one of those ‘fussy’ vegans.  Although this kind of diet takes a bit of research in order to make sure I stay well, healthy and happy, I’ve found it to be easier than I initially thought it would be.  In the last few months I’ve already noticed an improvement in my skin, feeling of well-being and energy, not to mention the lack of acid reflux which for some people can be caused by dairy consumption.

2) Exercise

As well as Tai Chi three times a week, I also participate in yoga workshops and have begun taking Lindy Hop lessons once a week, which I hope will enable me to enjoy some fun social dancing.  The Swing Jazz scene is pretty buzzing in Newcastle/Gateshead right now and I hope it is in the rest of the country – it’s so much fun as well as being a great form of ‘accidental’ exercise.

3) Social circles

Despite the fact I can be introverted, I have an interest in learning new stuff and love to meet new people.  My social life includes long-standing, close friendships as well as new acquaintances some of whom are becoming friends.  So far, I’ve learned to drum in a Samba rhythm band, I’m learning Lindy Hop.  I go to see quite a lot of live music around the city.  I also intend on going back hill-walking with a hiking group very soon!

4) Stretch the brain

I love language, I love writing, I love reading.  At school I was rubbish at learning foreign languages, for the most part because I was a bit scared of our French teacher, but since discovering ‘Duo Lingo’ and having met a lovely Italian teacher at a vegan festival recently, I’m discovering that I do have an aptitude for learning a new language after all!

I’m currently enjoying my new-found love of mucking about on a phone app at odd times of the day and night learning the beautiful language of Italiano (very, very, slowly or lentamente to be oh so Roman about it!)  If learning a new language is not your forte, you only have to Google ‘Brain Exercises’ to discover a myriad of things one can do to keep the brain ticking over nicely.

Obviously, there are no guarantees that I will live to be a hundred years old, but if I keep on doing what’s necessary to go into older age as fighting fit and happy as I can possibly be, then it really doesn’t matter how old I get to, so long as I keep finding the motivation to live life to the full.

Bridget Carter