You will inevitably age as the years progress, but why not stay healthy and fit throughout? If you want to age gracefully, it doesn’t mean that you’ve to look like a 22-year-old! It is all about having great physical and mental health, to enjoy your best life!
If you want your health to get better with age, perhaps like a bottle of wine, then look no further. Listed below are some tips to help on your quest to age happily!
- Get Moving
Let’s start with the most obvious tip – it is vital to stay active as you age. Regular exercise lowers your risk of contracting heart disease, cancer, and other ailments. It also lowers your stress levels, leads to improved sleep quality, and boosts your mood.
Exercise helps you retain your mobility for longer and therefore has the potential to relieve chronic pain. Try to incorporate at least 3-4 hours of exercise per week, which includes moderate-intensity activities, or vigorous aerobic activities. You can also try some at-home workouts, instead of joining a gym.
If you’re a beginner, first find an activity that you enjoy, and slowly increase its frequency. Incorporate exercises that will improve your heart rate, and breathing. Lifting small weights, stretching, and balance exercises are particularly useful for older adults.
You can also walk, swim, garden, or practice yoga, if you find vigorous exercises too strenuous. Of course, it is good to consult your physician before you join a full-fledged exercise program.
- Stay Connected!
As you age, a lot of things around you can change. Health issues may arise, your social circle may get smaller, or your children will leave home. All of these things can lead to stress or depression, and this will undoubtedly have a major impact on your quality of life.
So, the best way to keep your mind occupied, and steer clear of negative thoughts is to stay socially active. Talk to your family members, neighbors, or friends at least once a day.
You can even volunteer in your community to help the less privileged. All of these things will help you feel fulfilled, independent, and gratified.
- Pick Up a Hobby
A new hobby that is meaningful to you, will not only keep you engaged but will also help you maintain a sense of purpose. It is also believed that those who engage in hobbies, or leisure activities, tend to be happier.
Your new hobby can be anything, from starting a book club, or trying your hand at creating new recipes. If you’re a make-up enthusiast, you can start a blog that has helpful tutorials, and reviews. You can talk about your favorite lipstick brands or a phenomenal lash extension manufacturer. Your hobby can be anything you set your mind to!
- Kick the Bad Habits!
It’s no secret that the healthier choices you make, the healthier you will be! Both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption have been proven to increase the risk of disease, and cause premature aging.
It is not an easy task to quit smoking, but there are resources available that can help make the process easier. On the other hand, alcohol consumption should be reduced to the amount recommended by the CDC. Ideally, this is limited to two drinks a day for men, and one for women.
- Mind Your Food
When you kick the bad habits, focus on the good ones! As you get older, your metabolism and digestion will inevitably slow down. So ensure that your diet includes healthy amounts of fiber and minimal amounts of refined carbs and added sugars.
Try to have a balanced meal that incorporates lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. To keep your blood pressure in check, keep your salt intake to a minimum. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin healthy, and ensure good bowel movements.
Steer clear of processed foods, and instead opt for a nutritious, home-cooked meal. After consulting your doctor, you can also try taking vitamin supplements so that you don’t face any problems due to their deficiency.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
It is quite tempting to stay up and watch TV right till it’s time for bed, but doing so may actually disrupt your sleep quality. As you grow older, insomnia and other sleeping problems are quite common.
Getting adequate sleep, of at least seven hours per day contributes immensely to good mental and physical health. It reduces inflammation, lowers the risk of chronic diseases, improves concentration, and keeps you energetic.
For a good night’s rest, ensure that your bedroom is dark, quiet, and has an ambient temperature. Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, and turn off all electronic gadgets at least an hour before hitting the hay. Instead, you can wind down by taking a warm bath or reading a book.
- Schedule Regular Appointments with a Doctor
As you age, health problems are pretty much unavoidable. Diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and other ailments often become a part and parcel of your life, as you get older.
Whether it is a minor or chronic medical problem, it is important to schedule regular appointments with your primary care physician. This will help in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, at an early stage.
How often you see your doctor will depend on factors like lifestyle, family history, age, and other existing conditions. Don’t hesitate to discuss the recommended frequency of checkups, and screening tests for your age group.
It is also vital to see a dentist regularly and maintain a good oral care regimen. If you don’t take good care of your teeth, not only will it age your smile, but will put you at increased risk for gum disease. A dentist may also be able to spot signs of infection, nutritional deficiencies, and other illnesses like diabetes.
Staying healthy as you age, isn’t solely about keeping the wrinkles at bay! To age gracefully, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, do things that bring you inherent joy, and surround yourself with loved ones.