Forever young: Don’t we wish!

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Frank Sinatra knew it when he recorded “Young at Heart.”  We can all be young at heart if we follow a few simple steps.  After all, age doesn’t matter unless you’re a cheese.

While we can’t dodge our next birthday, how we approach life every day can make a big difference. Some people never feel old, despite their chronological age.” My girlfriends (above) discovered that when we turned 40 a couple of years ago.

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We played together in the sandbox and 50 years later we’re still playing together.

No matter what your stage in life, staying active and being positive will help keep you in a youthful frame of mind. (And that translates to your face, I promise.)

Here are a few simple ways to feel younger, starting today:

Support a Cause

Volunteering is a great way to interact with others and give back to the community at the same time. And sharing your time is not just good for your mental health. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, for instance, found that as older adults participated in Experience Corps, a national volunteer program for Americans over age 55, they showed both mental and physical improvements, including increased strength and endurance. By choosing activities that are personally rewarding, you may discover similar benefits. You may even learn something new! For ideas on how to get started, see Time to Give Back: Become a Volunteer!

Hit the Books

Always had a fascination with the stars and constellations? Ever wish you could speak a foreign language? Ready to take on new culinary challenges? Want to master the laptop your kids gave you for Christmas? Whatever your motivation, challenging yourself to learn something new will remind you how much there is to explore. Taking a class and mastering new skills will keep your mind active as well as help you meet new people and make new friends. And, according to Hughes, it’s a great time to do so. “Senior centers all around the country are gearing up [with] programs to attract people who really want to be involved in lifelong learning,” she says.

Get Physical

Marie and Trip Pump up your energy while pumping some iron. Being active can help you feel younger in every way — resulting in increased dexterity, a new fit appearance, and renewed feelings of emotional well-being. Exercise is also protective against many health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and pain management. To begin, choose an exercise program that fits your interests, schedule, and skill level. Whether you work out at the gym, follow a fitness video at home, or join a yoga class, or get into hiking. It’s never too late to start!

Pack Your Bags

mayberry's finest, austin 004 Looking for a quick way to feel footloose and fancy free? Try stepping out of your normal routine. Whether it’s a mentally invigorating tour of historic homes or a relaxing stay on the beach, traveling somewhere new opens you up to fresh experiences and keeps your mind engaged. And it’s not necessary to break the bank. Traveling on a budget is perfectly possible with senior discounts and economical options, such as group tours, which are perfect for those who dislike prevacation planning.

So altogether now, let’s sing:

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart
For its hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If youre young at heart
You can go to extremes with impossible schemes
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams
And life gets more exciting with each passing day
And love is either in your heart or on its way
Don’t you know that its worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart
For as rich as you are its much better by far
To be young at heart
And if you should survive to 105
Look at all youll derive out of being alive
Then here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart

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