We have to live well to age well

While we can't stop growing older, we can change how we look at ageing and continue to learn and experience new things. Photo: 123rf.com

Founder of A Cut Above Group Datin Winnie Loo makes it a point to celebrate her birthday every year. Loo doesn’t see ageing as something to “complain about”.

“I don’t bother to count my age anymore. I don’t get upset with it and instead have learnt to embrace it and turn it into a trend. And now that I’ve embraced it, I feel lighter.

“You cannot turn back time ... I cannot be younger, my hair cannot be (like when I was young) and since I’m in the business of trend setting, I just had to learn to accept change,” she said.

Her secret to looking good is taking the time to take care of herself and Loo encourages everyone, regardless of their age, to embrace their positive traits and change what they don’t like about themselves.

She was one of three speakers at a recent webinar titled “How to Break a Midlife Mindset and Start a Fit Mind Habit” organised by Star Media Group in collaboration with NUTREN® Optimum by Nestlè Health Science (NHSc) as part of the Be a Star After 50 campaign.

The campaign aims to celebrate Malaysians over 50 who don’t let age(ing) get in the way of leading a full life.

The campaign is open to those 50 and above who see themselves as exemplary role models in four “pillars” (which form the acronym STAR): Sporty (those who are active), Tenderhearted (involved in charitable/community work), Ambitious (learning new skills, trying new experiences), Radiant (care for their health and wellness).

Apart from Loo, the other speakers at the webinar were the “flying doctor of Malaysia”, Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan and founder and technical director of pan-disability football Malaysia, Sunny Shalesh.

The speakers all shared how by looking at ageing positively they've been able to continue to lead a fulfilling and happy life, doing things they love.The speakers all shared how by looking at ageing positively they've been able to continue to lead a fulfilling and happy life, doing things they love.

The speakers shared their “secrets” to longevity as well as ageing well.

Dr Jegathesan shared four principles – diet and weight control, exercise and physical activity, avoiding damage to bodies (by smoking and drinking) and having regular check ups – that he follows to age well.

“There are many things that we can do that will not only allow us to live longer but to live better. So that, whatever time you’ve got left, you are able to enjoy life much better.

“As we age, many of our (body) parts begin to lose their efficiency until they, finally, grind to a halt. We can extend them by doing many things. This is what I like to call “cheating age” ... which is different from age cheating... through adopting a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Meanwhile Sunny shared about his passion to give back to society through football – he chose to coach those with disabilities and special needs.

Sunny revealed that he chose to retire from his job so that he could spend more time with his family and help his community. He was propelled to work with the disabled community because he has a disabled brother.

“I told myself, when I get older I am going to teach people with disabilities how to play football ... that was the dream,” he says, adding that he wants to teach people how to “make the impossible possible”.

While Dr Jegathesan spoke about how important it is to control one’s food and sugar intake, Sunny and Loo joked that they had cravings for roti canai and nasi lemak.

nutrennutrenHowever, they agreed too that with age, “everything (we eat) will need to be controlled”.

“I don’t want to be eating medicine till I die. I want to enjoy my life,” said Sunny.

Both Sunny and Loo also shared that they take time out of their busy schedules to exercise and do some form of physical activity to keep them moving every day.

The Be a Star After 50 Campaign is open until Nov 15.

Malaysians aged 50 and above are invited to join the campaign to celebrate positive ageing. To enter, simply post a photo or video of yourself being a “Star” on Facebook or Instagram.

Your submitted videos cannot be longer than one minute, and be sure that your social media profiles are set to public.

Also, write a summary on why you are a Star after the age of 50 in your caption in no more than 50 words.

Don’t forget to include these hashtags in your caption – #BeAStarAfter50, #OptimumLivingMY #NutrenOptimum and #StarMediaGroup.

Submit your entries at https://campaign.thestar.com.my/beastarafter50/.

The winners will be announced on Nov 24.

There will be another webinar on Oct 27 on the topic “Navigating Transitions to Thrive at 50 and Beyond”. Register for the webinar at bit.ly/beastarafter50-w2

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