You’ve doubtless heard the old clichés that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to change habits later in life. These old sayings are misleading. It is hard to change a habit at any age, whether old or young. Nevertheless, it can still be done with dedication and perseverance.
As you get older, you probably want to live the best life you can and make things a little easier for those who come after you, including children and grandchildren. What you choose to do today can improve things tomorrow. Here are a few suggestions of things you may want to start doing differently.
1. Use Energy More Efficiently
Burning coal and other fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases that are changing the global climate to become warmer. Whether you believe this or not is immaterial; the fact is that as it continues happening, it will make life worse for your children and grandchildren. They may even die prematurely as a result.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do now to help reverse the trend. For example, if you research solar panel cost, you’ll probably find that not only is solar power affordable, but solar panels may actually pay for themselves over time. You can also trade in your old gas guzzler for an electric or hybrid vehicle. In fact, it may be time to stop driving altogether in favor of public transportation.
2. Exercise Regularly
Research suggests that it is not how much you exercise that makes a difference, it is how regularly you get up and do something active. If exercising every day is a daunting prospect, then choose an activity schedule that works better for you and that you know you can stick to. If that means exercising only a few times a week, then that’s what you should do. If you start feeling that you can do more, you can always revise your schedule.
It is easier to exercise regularly when you do something that you enjoy. Therefore, don’t feel that you “have to” go to the gym and lift weights if that is not an appealing prospect. The most important thing is that you move your body in some way, and that can include activities such as dancing, yoga, or even something as simple as taking your dog for a walk.
3. Cultivate Relationships
Statistics show that divorce rates for people over 50 are skyrocketing. At the same time, research also shows that marriage is good for your health, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. That’s not to say that you should stay in a marriage that is terminally unhealthy, but it does suggest that you and your spouse should invest some time and effort into examining your relationship, preferably with the help of a trained professional, to determine whether it is broken beyond repair or if it is still salvageable.
However, marriage is not the only relationship that you should cultivate at this point in your life. All personal relationships enrich you, including those with children, grandchildren, siblings, friends, etc. If there are divisions between you and people you care about, now is the time to try to heal them. If your relationships are good, take this opportunity to deepen and strengthen them. You never know how long these people will be part of your life, so make the most of the time you have with them.
4. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can cause serious illness, but that is not the only reason why you should drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated can help prevent kidney disease and cancer of the colon or bladder. Weight loss may be another benefit. The theory, which has been borne out to some degree by research, is that people who drink more water consume fewer calories per day.
It’s not too late to change these and many other habits that may be decreasing your quality of life. All you need is sufficient motivation. This varies by individual, but for many people, it involves wanting to improve situations for themselves and their loved ones.