As you age, you must focus on healthy aging techniques. In doing so, you can improve your quality of life and live longer. The best way to avoid health challenges is to prevent them in the first place. Here are seven factors of your life you can control for a healthy aging lifestyle.
A part of healthy aging is to remain happy. Negative energy produces negative results. If you’re unhappy, you can become depressed or experience anxiety. Happy people lead longer and healthier lives.
To maintain your happiness, you should stay active and engaged in your community. In doing so, you will continually meet new people who will contribute something positive to your life.
Make sure to go out and enjoy your friends and family. Set up lunch dates, go to the movies, and find activities to do together. Take an arts and crafts class, cooking class, or casino trip together. You’ll have fun, laugh, and lower your stress levels.
Prevent Illnesses or Catch Them in Their Earliest Stages
Healthy aging means staying healthy for as long as possible. The best way to do that is by preventing yourself from getting ill in the first place. Your first line of defense is your doctor. Maintain regular medical and dental checkups.
As you age, your body’s immune system will start to weaken. You are just more vulnerable to diseases such as pneumonia. This doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get sick though. Partnering with your doctor’s care, eating right, and proper exercise, you can decrease your risk of contracting certain illnesses.
It’s also important to keep up with your dental checkups because many infectious diseases originate from bacteria in the mouth. According to the Mayo Foundation, research suggests that some bacteria that is responsible for gum disease can enter your bloodstream through your gum tissue. This bacteria can travel to your heart, lungs, and other areas of your body.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is very important in healthy aging. Your body undergoes major changes as you age. You burn fewer calories and lose muscle mass. In turn, it’s easy to gain weight. Being overweight can lead to certain illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
So, to balance these effects, you need to eat fewer calories. However, eating fewer calories does not mean you should starve yourself. The body still needs certain nutrients to sustain its energy and overall health. So, turn to eating foods packed with nutrients. Be sure to talk to your doctor before changing your eating regimen.
Eat Healthy Foods
Maintaining a healthy weight involves eating the right foods. As you age, your body needs more vitamins and minerals. Consider adding the following to your daily diet:
1. Eat foods rich in antioxidants – Eat plenty of colorful fruits and veggies. These help generate healthy cells. A good five to nine servings a day is ideal. Eat tomatoes, oranges, carrots, kale, spinach, corn, and blueberries. These foods have loads of zinc, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, which are all great to help boost your vision. Vitamin C also helps reduce signs of wrinkles.
2. Consume grapes and red wine – These two contain an antioxidant called Resveratrol. This nutrient helps with proper blood circulation and lowers your risk of heart diseases and unhealthy aging.
3. Eat plenty of fiber – Whole grain foods such as wheat, oats, brown rice, and barley are rich in fiber. They keep your blood vessels in top condition and lowers your risk of developing diabetes. To get your recommended amount of fiber, eat three servings of whole grain foods a day.
4. Get your omega-3 – Omega 3 acids are found in fatty fish such as lake trout, salmon, and tuna. These oils lower your risk of stroke and probably the Alzheimer’s disease as well. Just those two benefits alone are a great way to put you on the path to healthy aging.
5. Dairy products – Dairy products that are fortified with vitamin D and calcium is important for seniors to keep strong bones. Your chances of developing osteoporosis greatly improve as you age because these two vitamins decrease from your bones over time. So consume low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurts, and cheeses to keep your cholesterol levels down yet build your calcium and vitamin D intake.
6. Beans and lentils – These two inexpensive foods are an excellent way to get protein and fiber in your diet. If you want to be cautious of consuming too much red meat and saturated fat, this is the way to go.
7. Fats – You do need some fat in your body to age healthy. Nuts are the healthiest source of fat for you. Just a few nuts a day can reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Your Energy Levels
Your energy levels are a direct influence of healthy aging. The best way to increase your energy levels is to exercise. Exercising controls your body weight. Excess fat leaves a person feeling sluggish. Exercising keeps your circulation flowing and lowers your blood pressure. This can greatly reduce or eliminate your need for taking certain prescription medications which can also decrease your energy levels. A few mild exercises you can perform at home or the comforts of your neighborhood include:
• Water aerobics
Healthy aging also involves staying flexible. If you sit around doing nothing, your muscles will become tight and stiff. This is why many seniors don’t participate in simple hobbies they enjoy such as gardening. However, by staying active with easy stretching activities, you can help relieve the discomfort associated with them, such as arthritis. A great way to improve your flexibility is to practice yoga. You can do so at home or join a beginner or senior class.
Reduce Your Stress
A reduction of stress surely can help you age healthily. When you are stressed, your body tires down easily. And, it’s been proven: stress raises your blood pressure, impairs your cognitive function, causes insomnia, and makes you irritable. It decreases your quality of life. And, besides all that, it takes your hair out and adds wrinkles. Nobody wants any of that, right?
A few great tips to reduce stress and have a healthy aging process include:
• Practice yoga
• Keep a stress journal
• Listen to music
• Improve your time management skills
• Avoid stressful situations in the first place
Healthy aging can be done without the strenuous workouts or skipping out on your favorite foods. Just enjoy your life and live right by yourself. It’s a healthy and rewarding experience.