It’s been ten whole days since we moved from our house to our new apartment.
We’re making progress – we’re down from 175 cartons to about 20. I call that getting closer to finally exhaling.
But I still can’t find my:
- Can Opener
- Favorite Blue Shirt
- Phone Headset
- Garlic Press
All in time, I suppose. Each time I unpack a carton, it’s like a great mystery is unveiled. Yesterday, hubby found the little tin box of ashes from my dearly departed Bichon, Chloe. The house now feels like home.
Moving has been invigorating and exhausting all at once. Although I’m utterly spent at the end of each day – my hands rubbed raw from handling irritating cardboard, packing tape, that annoying “popcorn” that cushions your most fragile items (HATE that stuff) – I’m feeling like moving to a new place is helping me age backwards.
1. Moving forces you to use and form new memories.
I’m meeting a lot of new people and learning a lot of new names.
That forces me to exercise my mind so I won’t embarrass myself and forget all the new names of my neighbors. After all, it’s not like meeting someone in passing that you’ll never see again. Chances are great that you’ll run into this person again (and again), and chances are even greater that when you run into them, you’ll be with your spouse and you’ll want to make an introduction. So, I’m putting my best mental prowess to work by trying to repeat the names over and over again after the person has walked away, so I can etch it into my memory. Unfortunately, right now, this comes at the price of forgetting all the other information I need (such as what I need to buy at the grocery store or where I put the list). Note to self: Learn to multitask in the memory department.
Age Advantage: The more you challenge your brain, the more new nerve pathways you form. Experts believe that the more mental reserves you build up, the better you can stave off age-related cognitive decline.
2. Moving forces you to stand and walk around – a lot.
I never sit anymore. Well, I’m sitting now to write this post, but that and maybe sitting on the toilet (okay, get that mental picture out of your head, please) are about the exceptions. There’s always something to be done. Yesterday morning, Alan and I went out to sit on our terrace and sip our morning coffee. I immediately felt guilty when I looked around and saw all the leaves and other debris on the floor that blew off the colorful flowers I had put out just the day before (just in time for the huge rainstorm that followed). So, I jumped up, grabbed a broom, and went at it. “I can talk and sweep at the same time!” I said when he looked at me, annoyed. “One minute we’re relaxing and having a nice conversation, and the next minute you’re running around like a maniac!”
Age Advantage: Sitting is bad for you, plain and simple. According to new and emerging research, the longer people spend sitting the more likely they are to die prematurely. Experts say sitting interferes with the way your body metabolizes certain fuels (like glucose and lipids)…and this is regardless of fitness levels. So even if you work out in the morning, but sit during the day, all your hard work is erased, in a way.
3. Moving forces you to sleep more deeply.
There’s nothing like a day spent forming new memories, meeting new people, running around, organizing, making endless lists, getting used to new roads and shortcuts… to tire you beyond simple exhaustion. When my head touches my pillow I’m already asleep. With the exception of those occasional (probably age-related) restless nights, my sleep has been deep and uninterrupted.
Age Advantage: Sleeping – and sleeping well – goes a long way. People who sleep less than six hours a night have a bigger chance of suffering from declining cognitive abilities and reaction times, according to one study. Your weight, too, is affected by too little sleep – the hormones that promote appetite and reduce sensations of fullness after a meal go haywire when there’s a sleep deficit. And your risk of developing certain conditions, like diabetes, can also be affected by too little sleep.
Sleeping also boosts your “youth hormone” HGH, known as human growth hormone, which is at its highest production during slow-wave sleep. Its level drops off as you age. Deficiencies can lead to reduced muscle mass, slowed metabolism, increased belly fat and saggy skin.
Maybe you’re not ready to move. Yet. But if you’re with me in this so-called midlife, chances are that the day will come when you look around and think that it might be in your near future. And who knows? All that hard work might pay off and save you a few dollars in the anti-aging department.
You might also want to read about other things – minus moving – that can be good for your health. Click here.