We all age at a different pace. As we grow older, certain “changes” take place in our bodies. We may slow down a bit, or perhaps our memories might start to fade. Although genetics do play a part, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent and slow down the affects of aging. Lifestyle is always important, but it becomes even more important as we grow older. Putting into practice the following 15 tips can help us stay active, mentally alert and physically strong for a longer period of time.
Use a SPF of at least 15 whenever you are out in the sun to prevent premature aging and wrinkling of the skin. Always moisturize. Skin loses elasticity and tends to become dry as we get older.
A poor sleep pattern has been associated with numerous health problems. It can cause issues with maintaining a healthy weight, may make you more susceptible to Type 2 Diabetes, raises chances of stroke or heart attack, and may make you more susceptible to depression, among other health issues. Aim for a minimum of eight hours sleep each night. Get a comfortable pillow and mattress. Make sure that your room temperature is set at a comfortable degree. Try a fan. Sleep with a window open. Turn off all electronics (phone, TV, etc). Drink a glass of chamomile tea before you go to sleep.
Get Proper Check-ups
As we age, we need to get certain health screenings done on a regular basis. These include prostate exams for men; annual pap smears for women, bone density tests, colonoscopies, cholesterol checks and many more. See your primary care physician and follow his or her recommendations for when and how often these tests are suggested.
Eliminate sodas and sugary drinks. Cut your sodium intake. Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Eating the rainbow is a phrase often used which means to consume a variety of colors when selecting fruits and vegetables. This is the best way to ensure you are getting a wide range of needed vitamins and minerals. Calcium is especially important as we age to prevention of bone loss. Eating Fish two to three times per week can help maintain brain function. Fish contains omega-3, which promotes healthy brain function and heart health.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Sometimes nutrition is simply not enough to make sure we are getting all the vitamins and minerals we need. As mentioned above, calcium and omega-3 are important to our health as we age. If you find you are not getting enough from what you are eating, you can also find supplements with these in them. There are other vitamins and minerals that become more important as we age as well. Potassium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C each play an important role in our health. Check with your doctor. Blood tests can be performed to find out what your levels are and which supplements are best for you.
A body in motion stays in motion. Hopefully, exercise has been a normal part of your lifestyle for quite some time. If it hasn’t been, start now! Start slow, walking 30 minutes or so a day. Add some light weight training and flexibility exercises. Exercise is essential to keeping the body active throughout our life.
Keep brain stimulated
Our brains are always adapting. The more we use our brains, the better our brains retain and recall information. To optimize our brain function it is vital to keep socially and intellectually stimulating our brains. Make learning a lifelong adventure. Read. Try a new hobby. Painting, sewing, or otherwise working on a craft can be relaxing and mentally stimulating. Mingle with family and friends on a regular basis. Do crossword, Sudoku, or word searches puzzles.
Do not neglect oral hygiene
Recent studies have linked untreated gum disease to other health issues. These issues include cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer of the pancreas. Brush your teeth a minimum of twice daily. Floss every day. Don’t eat or drink foods with high acidity levels. If you do, be sure to brush your teeth afterward or at least rinse thoroughly with water.
Some people battle depression as they grow older. Work hard at staying positive in all aspects of life. Find the positive aspects in every situation, including negative situations. There is always the proverbial “Silver Lining” that can be seen in every situation. Practice looking for that. Did someone take the parking space you were eyeing, so now you have to park further from the entrance? Think, “Well, now I can add some steps and get a bit more exercise.” Thinking positively helps to ward off depression.
Make a habit of smiling. Smiling has many benefits. Even if you have to force yourself to smile at first, it will eventually become a healthy habit. Smiling helps to ward off depression, and prevent frown lines. Smiling also has a positive impact on the people we encounter. Smiling at a stranger who is having a bad day may help to change their mood too!
If you smoke, stop. Not only does smoking increase risk of cancer, it also has a negative impact on your blood oxygen levels. It can make you more tired. It can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb nutrients into the blood stream. It raises blood pressure, making you more prone to heart disease. Further, it can add to premature aging of the skin like wrinkling and dryness of the skin.
Many people find they develop digestive issues as they age. Those spicy, greasy foods you enjoyed in your youth may give you heartburn, cause you to bloat and just generally not feel well. Dairy products may suddenly cause gas and constipation or diarrhea. Add probiotics to your diet. Probiotics are good bacteria that line your stomach and intestine to aid digestion. It may not be a cure all for stomach issues, but it certainly can help. Learn what foods to avoid in order to keep unpleasant, uncomfortable digestive issues at bay.
Shed those extra pounds
Extra weight is never healthy. As we age, being overweight can cause even more health concerns. Diabetes, heart conditions and trouble breathing are all exasperated by being overweight. Being overweight puts more stress on joints, making it more difficult to move. Work hard to shed that excess weight. Our metabolisms naturally slow as we age, making weight loss more difficult. Consider using a diet plan like the much talked about hCG low calorie Diet to help boost weight loss. This type of diet, with the hCG weight loss supplements can help you lose weight and includes a maintenance plane to help keep the weight off.
Eat more fiber
Fiber helps your colon do its job effectively. It prevents constipation. It helps prevent diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer, and lowers blood cholesterol levels. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to add fiber to your diet too quickly. Doing so can cause digestive issues. Slowly increase fiber intake to prevent this from happening.
Drinking water helps to flush out toxins. It keeps us hydrated. It also helps our skin retain some elasticity. Our bodies function better when toxins are flushed out and we are well hydrated. It helps us feel fuller faster, which aids in weight loss.
The process of aging is something we all will experience. Aging well is something we all desire to do. Yes, genetics do play a part in how well we age. It can play a part in health issues we may face. However, it is our choice to practice preventative healthcare and do whatever we can to maintain our health for as long as we can.
Aarti Singh has been a Freelance Nutrition Lifestyle Advisor since 2014. She is a Certified Dietician and Nutritionist who is very passionate about her work. Currently she is working on Weight loss by HCG technique. She has vast experience in cases such as obesity, hypothyroid disease, and anemia.