Ageing is one of those things we are all doing, but no one wants to talk about. Of course ageing is better than the alternative, so how can we find a healthier, happier way to grow older? There are some proven habits you can adopt to encourage health, mobility and vigor deep into your older years.
1. Stay Active
Research shows that staying active can help us stay healthier as we age. Keeping our body moving is important for our muscles and joints, but also for our minds. Studies have shown that regular physical exercise cuts your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 50 percent. And while keeping our mind sharp, it also helps us fight weight gain and keeps our muscles and joints moving and lubricated. It can be as simple as going for a daily walk, but cardio exercise is key in keeping our bodies young. Stretching exercises like yoga are also helpful in keeping the body flexible. If you make physical activity part of your daily routine, you will keep that momentum going as you move into older age.
2. Eat Healthy
It’s no big surprise that eating healthy is another key in ageing healthy. It makes sense that the more nutrients we feed our body, the easier it is to stay at our optimal health. Many of the nutrients found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and fruits are necessary for body functions that help us age healthy, like our immune system and our eyesight. A diet of whole foods helps us fight off disease and decreases our chances of long-term conditions like chronic inflammation. Skipping processed foods is important because eating less junk means we consume less harmful chemicals. Many additives used in processed foods (even sugar!) erode our health over time.
3. Protect Your Skin
Unfortunately, as we age, our skin gets thinner and looses elasticity and smoothness. Wounds tend to heal slower, and dark spots can start to form. That’s why it’s important to protect our skin from any additional damage. Harmful UV rays from prolonged sun exposure is a major factor in skin ageing. Making sunscreen and moisturizer part of your daily routine is a great way to protect yourself from unnecessary skin damage due to sun exposure. Smoking cigarettes also exposes you to harmful chemicals that can make your skin look older than it is. Quitting smoking can be a great step towards protecting your skin in the long term.
4. Stay Social
Getting engaged in your community and staying social are also great ways to help you age healthier. Whether visiting with friends at the coffee house, or taking the grand kids to the park, staying social is a vital part of keeping the brain active and sharp. Starting new hobbies or taking some new classes can be a great way to meet new people and learning new skills. Volunteering is also a great way to get involved in your community and earn some good karma while you’re at it. The more you get out of the house, the easier it is to stay current with trends and styles as well. Updating your style is always a great way to look and feel younger!
5. Get Enough Rest
Getting enough sleep is another important way to age healthy. Stress and lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your system over the long term, and can really speed up the physical signs of ageing. Building a relaxation routine into a busy life can make a big difference in combating stress. Establishing a good sleep routine without the distraction of electronics can also help calm the mind and find rest.
As we age, our bodies generally need less sleep, but maintaining a good sleep schedule of 7-9 hours a night is still key in healthy ageing. Our bodies need this time to regenerate and recuperate from our busy lives. Without this critical down-time, your body quickly starts to show increased signs of ageing.