Growing older is inevitable, but accepting those numbers creeping up and the changes in your body and lifestyle can be a hard pill to swallow for some.
In fact, in the UK there are an average of 5,400 Google searches for “best anti-ageing cream” and 2,900 for “anti-ageing” every month.
But what are the positives of ageing? The benefits of life experience and being more comfortable in your own skin came out on top.
The Office for National Statistics recently revealed that the number of over-85s in the UK is set to increase from 1.6 million in 2018 to 3 million by 2043. So, celebrating ageing and the benefits it brings is even more important than ever.
HSL commissioned a survey of 2,000 over-50-year-olds in the UK, to discover perceptions of age, but more importantly, to find out what the best things about ageing are.
The results revealed that only 25% of over-50-year-olds in the UK feel positive about ageing. What’s more, 31% of those that feel negatively about ageing say it impacts their mood daily.
The majority (73%) of respondents either agree, or somewhat agree that people have become obsessed with anti-ageing.
To figure out what the best things about ageing are, respondents were given a set of questions and a list of aspects of ageing to choose from.
The cities that proved to have the most positive outlook on ageing might surprise you; Belfast came out on top, closely followed by Newcastle and Leicester.
More results from the survey revealed that 47% of UK women over-50 either agreed, or somewhat agreed that their self-confidence has grown with age; 41% also felt their sense of fulfilment has grown too.
It’s life-affirming and heartwarming to see what the respondents appreciate about ageing, with 35% voting for life experience.
The 5 best things about ageing are:
1. Life experience
2. Being comfortable in your own skin
3. Having a greater sense of gratitude for the smaller things in life
4. Independence and freedom
5. Learning to let things go
Julie Jennings Dip COT HCPC, independent occupational therapist, says: “In my experience, the concept of being young is still largely image and society driven. It is often interesting to understand what “getting older” means to people. For some it is the outward appearance; losing one’s youth is therefore a signal of the changes to come.
“For others, however, the process of ageing is not about how one looks, but how they feel. This group of people are usually less bothered with the concept of anti-ageing but rather a desire to remain strong, fit and active.
“I help people to focus on the positive aspects that ageing brings; the wealth of knowledge that they have acquired, the wisdom of age; the achievements they have reached and often the wonderful people they have acquired around them along the way.”
Julie's top 5 tips for health and happiness as you age:
1. Keep your mind and body active, try new hobbies and learn new skills as this keeps you current and encourages making new friends.
2. Enjoy everything, but in moderation – having balance is key.
3. Having a regular exercise plan that includes an element of cardio-vascular exercise (for heart and lung function), strengthening (to assist bone density) and flexibility (for joint range of motion and movement) is important.
4. Incorporating 30 – 60 minutes of daily, moderate exercise into your routine can reap significant rewards, such as improving mind set, boosting your immune system, reducing stress, and assisting in developing healthy sleep habits.
5. Control what you can and plan as much for the inevitable, but enjoy the todays!
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