Even those of us who live a generally healthy lifestyle are not immune to the effects of aging. The goal for healthy aging is not to prevent the aging process, but to make sure we feel as good as possible as we get older.
Older adults have certain health problems that are inevitable based on genetics. Health problems come in a wide range as we age from mild, more common health concerns to extreme and long-term conditions.
In order to keep our aging healthy and mild, there are certain things we can do. For example, healthy eating, prioritizing our immune system, managing stress, and getting enough physical activity.
Healthy Habits For Healthy Aging
Another thing to remember is, habits take time. You have to constantly work on uprooting old, unhealthy behaviors and replacing them with your new habits.
Allow yourself time to work on things like healthy eating, regular physical activity, and using supplements. Like anything health-related, consistent healthy habits are how you will see the best results.
However, getting enough fruits and vegetables is harder for most of us than it may seem. If healthy aging is something you want to achieve though, this is a great first step to focus on. Healthy eating is the first of the healthy habits that you'll want to start building.
The first habit to consider working on is your diet. Supplements, sleep, and exercise can only get you so far without a healthy diet.
Stick to whole foods as much as possible. This means avoiding processed foods and foods with excess sugar. Fruits and vegetables are obviously the top choices when you're beginning to focus on your health.
Try to find a way to make eating vegetables more exciting by trying new recipes, experimenting with spices, or trying cooked vs. raw. Fruit is a great way to start the day. Try incorporating it with a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt.
Other than a healthy diet, there are other steps you can take to help yourself age gracefully and healthily. Let's go through our top tips for healthy aging now!
TIPS FOR HEALTHY AGING
1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adult Americans don't get the recommended number of hours needed per night for good health.
Lack of sleep may speed up the aging process and make it hard to manage stress. When you are tired and stressed out, it can be harder to maintain a healthy weight which can lead to other health concerns - especially as we age and our metabolism slows.
The health benefits that come from getting 7-9 hours per night are plenty. Lower your risk of premature aging by getting enough sleep. That would be a great place to start when it comes to caring for yourself.
Many of us have trouble sleeping, and as people age, it can become even more difficult. Help yourself by taking a sleep support supplement or creating a calming nighttime routine (away from the TV!) in order to reap the benefits of restorative sleep.
2. SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS & LOVED ONES
One way to remain physically active and also stay healthy is to spend as much time as possible with loved ones. This will help you stay connected and keep your brain sharp.
By staying socially active as we age, we reduce stress which helps us stay healthy. We are social creatures and rely on conversation with others to keep us motivated and inspired as we age.
Older adults can tend to keep to themselves and remain stationary for far too many hours of the day. It's important to keep a healthy diet, sure, but it's just as important to socialize and get up and going as much as your body will allow you to.
3. PRIORITIZE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Our brain is our most powerful muscle and one we often take for granted as we get older. It's natural to have some sort of mental decline in your older years, as many of us have seen with older loved ones.
By focusing on our brain health as we get older we decrease the risk factors involved in a lot of health issues because our brain is linked to all of our other bodily systems.
Our brain function depends on getting proper nutrients to the brain, enough sleep, and physical activity. Health screenings for your brain can tell you a lot about where you are in your brain health and what you need to do to stay sharp and healthy.
4. DO A LITTLE RESEARCH
Product research is important. There are many claims made by healthy aging products, but is it backed up by research and hard facts?
If you're specifically looking for products that will help you maintain a healthy body as your age, it's important to do the research behind what you are putting in your body.
Even topical skincare with anti-aging components should be researched before use. Look for clean products with natural elements with companies that provide enough science-backed information.
5. QUIT SMOKING
This should go without saying because we all know the negative side effects of smoking by now. However, it never hurts to hear it again. One little change may just protect your heart, lungs, teeth, and skin from serious problems down the line.
When you smoke you're at a higher risk of having respiratory issues and a decline in your overall health as you get older. The health conditions that come with smoking can be avoided by putting a little effort into uprooting an old habit.
As mentioned earlier, habits take time to uproot, especially if it's something you've done for most of your life. Ask your health care professional what the best options are for you to kick the habit, so you can be on your way to a healthier life.
Like smoking, alcohol consumption is another habit that should be kept to a minimum if you're looking for a way to age healthily.
6. CONSIDER SUPPLEMENTS
As we get older our bodies begin to retain less of the "good stuff" we naturally produce. Things like collagen and essential vitamins. This is why many older adults start to experiment with taking supplements.
If you go see your doctor regularly, they should be able to check what vitamins and hormones you may need help supplementing. This is a great first place to start.
Otherwise, supplements are a great way to meet dietary guidelines where you feel you need help. For example, adding a greens powder to your morning routine can help you reach the recommended amount of vegetables you should consume per day.
When it comes to vitamins, a multivitamin is a perfect place to start because you get multiple benefits in a single capsule. For more on supplements for healthy aging, read about which vitamins to take if you're over 50.
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