September is Healthy Aging month. The World Health Organization defines healthy aging as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age.” Some things that people can do to feel their best as the age are to stay physically active, having a well-balanced diet, participating in things that they enjoy, keep learning new things, calming their minds and nourishing their spirits.
What do I do to feel my best as I age? I of course try to keep physically active, try to eat a well-balanced diet and try to experience things that will clam my mind and nourish my spirit. Which in turn decreases my stress levels. One of these ways is by travelling. Travelling allows me to experience different cultures, foods and in the end allows my body to “recharge.” I have travelled to a few places so far in my life. Some of those places are Japan, Australia, Greece, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Islands, and different parts of the US and Canada.
During my life I have had the privilege of visiting Japan several times. Having family in Yokohama, a suburb of Tokyo, and in Kyoto. I have also visited the larger cities of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Nikko and Osaka. Wherever you travel in Japan you get to experience the history and culture of the region.
I was able to travel to Greece for three weeks a couple of years ago. During those three weeks I was able to experience a large part of mainland Greece. Visiting several ancient ruins like the Parthenon, the ancient theatre in Epidavrus and the grounds of ancient Olympia you get to experience the awe these structures inspire. Standing at the top of the theatre and hearing a coin drop at the centre of the stage makes you marvel at the engineering that went into such a structure, and all the ancient structures, at a time where there were no modern technologies that we have available today.
Experiencing the 2000 Olympics in Sydney was inspiring to see and feel. Anywhere you went in Sydney you were able to feel the buzz and the spirit of the games. The other extreme of the Australian outback made you feel small with the vastness you felt with the openness.
Swimming with the stingrays in the Grand Cayman Islands or walking up Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica or walking in the French Quarter in New Orleans or walking along the Riverwalk and the Alamo in San Antonio or strolling around Old Montreal in downtown Montreal have all given me different experiences.
I have travelled to some amazing places and have enjoyed the different cultures, history, foods and people I have met along the way. Travelling has given me the ability to nourish my spirit, calm my mind and learn some interesting new things. This combined with being physically active and eating a well-balanced diet helps me with healthy aging. What do you do to influence healthy aging?
Cynthia Mayeda, RMT