When people become older, their brains and bodies undergo several natural changes. As a result, it is essential always to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Medical and dental checkups, relaxation, a proper diet, and exercise can help increase your health and longevity.
While aging may not always be a pleasant process, it is crucial to stay healthy during these testing times and lead a wholesome and active lifestyle.
You must prioritize both your physical and mental health if you intend to live a long, healthy, and happy life for better longevity.
Some people struggle to remember their names by the age of 65, whereas others who are in their 80s & 90s are still writing books and playing sports. Is genetics the key to this? Not really!
There are lifestyle changes that can help you overcome the problems that come with aging. You can even avoid some of these woes entirely if you follow the right lifestyle.
In this article, we have provided plenty of health information that can help you go down the right path. Following the tips mentioned here can help you look fit and enable you to stay ahead of your peers for extended longevity.
Maintain Healthy Weight
Healthy habits have an immense role to play in increasing your longevity. They can help you look and feel incredibly great if you practice them regularly.
You must always pay attention to your weight. Most seniors tend to be underweight as they don’t consume enough nutrient-loaded foods that help to increase longevity.
People with such problems must start reevaluating their entire diet to create a diet plan full of anti-aging foods, which can help them consume all vital nutrients that have so far been missing from their diet.
Conversely, being overweight comes with its own set of problems and is extremely unhealthy. In case you have weight management problems, you can consult a dietitian who specializes in designed, well-balanced diet plans meant for seniors in their golden years.
There are two standard measures, which are used to determine whether a person’s weight is healthy or not. This includes:
- Measuring both your hips and waist – This measurement is a waist-hip ratio (WHR) that can help you decide whether or not you are overweight. Women with a WHR over .85 and men with WHR over .90 are considered overweight and are likely to face more significant health problems and conditions like diabetes.
- Measure your BMI or Body Mass Index – BMI incorporates both height and weight measurements. A person whose BMI ranges between 18.5 – 24.9 is considered to be healthy. It is an ideal range for seniors as well.
Have A Positive Mindset
Positive thinking and staying hopeful and in the face of obstacles can teach you to overcome and adapt to various life changes and reduce anxiety and stress issues, which can ultimately extend your longevity.
Start by incorporating these practices into your life:
Maintain a personal gratitude journal, which documents your activities throughout the day and pay close attention to your life’s many blessings and its joys. It is easy to ignore our blessings due to our hectic schedules.
But don’t give in to this mindset. Instead, being grateful for all the joys and blessings in your life, which can help you keep going whenever tough times are right around the corner. There’s a silver lining in everything, and the same is true for every situation in your life.
Express Your Feelings
Do not bottle your emotions up. It is normal to get worried or nervous about your future. Burying all your feelings will only cause anxiety, anger, and bitterness.
When you become honest and open with the people around you, you will be able to process your emotions better.
Let Things Go
It is useless to remain stressed out about stuff that you cannot change. Instead of doing that, try to identify things that are outside your power and start letting go of your negative emotions.
While that may seem easier on paper than in real life, being honest in your efforts can help you reduce your stress as well as free your time up for improving and enhancing the parts of your life, which you can still control and improve.
Do Not Smoke
To live a healthy and to extend your longevity, ensure that you aren’t a smoker. Smoking can lead to emphysema, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, and several other chronic issues. It can affect your ability to breath during an exercise and force you to stop exercising entirely. It may also cause memory issues.
However, there is some good news. People who have quit smoking have been able to repair part of the lung damage that they’ve done. Once you quit smoking, your chances of contracting heart disease start to drop quickly.
In 5 years, your condition will be identical to that of a person who has never smoked in their life. Stroke risks also drop to their lowest point within 2- 4 years of quitting smoking, as per a renowned study.
Colorectal cancer risks fall progressively with each year that passes after quitting smoking. Regardless of age, quitting smoking can reduce your chances of contracting smoking-related cancer.
Find Meaning In Life
When you start heading into your prime years, it is common for people to remain stuck in their old routines and habits. However, that can restrict our ability to explore new interests, passions, and hobbies, which enhance your quality of life.
To embrace healthy longevity, it is important to find a sense of purpose, newfound joys, and meaning in your life. This can keep us balanced and focused, nourish our souls, and sharpen our minds. Here are some ways you can start practicing this:
Get In Touch With Family And Friends
Do you remember all the people who have played an important role in your life so far? What do you miss? Who has filled you with joy? Who has brought a smile to your face?
Think of all the people with whom you can spend time with again. Apart from reviving your fun times and old memories, you will make fresh, new, joy-filled memories as well.
Join Social Media
Join a social media platform like Facebook, which can help you connect with your family and friends effortlessly. This is also a good way to stay in touch with them.
Be Creative – Learn Something New
Stimulate your creativity. Learn new skills, like a language, a hobby, an instrument, painting, or crafts. Engaging in fulfilling activities can enable you to develop a sharp memory and a healthy brain.
Travel the World
Think of the many places you have always dreamt of visiting but never could. Maybe you can plan your dream trip now and fulfill your ambitions!
Take a Walk: Keep exploring nature and remain connected with the charm and beauty around you. It can help you find inner peace, calm your mind, and obtain the exercise and fresh air your body desperately needs!
Write an Autobiography
Everyone’s got a story, which is full of twists and turns. What about you? Maybe you could pen down the story of your life and revisit your most favorite memories, which can help you stay connected and in touch with your dreams and goals.
Become More Active
Age is not an excuse for adopting a sedentary, slow lifestyle. You have to do the opposite since longevity requires that you heighten your activity levels.
Regardless of what your age may be, exercise is beneficial for everyone. Not only does it aid you in remaining flexible and mobile, but it will also allow you to manage your health problems effectively, enhance your vitality and immunity system, boost mental health, and improve your flexibility.
By increasing your activity levels, you can improve your energy, which can aid you in feeling better as well. This means that the sluggishness and tiredness that we usually associate with old age isn’t an inevitable condition.
By following a proper diet and exercise regimen, you can improve your blood circulation and heart strength, along with your mitochondria’s efficiency.
Mitochondria play a considerable role in releasing energy in your cells.
They can help you transform glucose into ATP, which is useable energy. Their strength and number are essential for determining your energy levels and your overall health.
Differences in the number of mitochondria are what causes older individuals to have lower energy levels compared to young children. That’s why children are capable of running around for hours on end without ever getting tired.
Here are some tips that can help you stay on top of your condition:
- Consult your doctor before you start any workout routine or exercise program.
- Ensure that you have no health issues or conditions that might affect your capacity for exercise.
- Consult your doctor to learn more about your recommended exercise time and frequency along with the exercises, which are best for you after analyzing your condition.
It is an excellent way to remain fit and doesn’t require any fancy equipment either.
Additionally, you can start walking slowly and then increase your distance and speed once your body acclimatizes to the exercise. If you’re worried about walking alone, you can see whether your community organizes any meet-ups or senior-walks.
Do Not Push Yourself
Regardless of the exercise, it is important to start things slow. Don’t unnecessarily hurt yourself.
Vary Your Physical Activity
Raise your balance, flexibility, strength, and endurance by mixing things up. You can also go for yoga sessions, water aerobics, walking, gardening, and light aerobic sports to improve your health.
Watch Your Diet
Your health is influenced to a great extent by your history and relationship with food.
In case you’ve had struggles with keeping your weight low in the past, you should consider diets that will help you decrease those numbers while simultaneously ensuring that you have ample vitamins, iron, and other vital nutrients.
Consult a dietician or nutritionist who is a specialist in creating effective and safe diet plans for seniors. You can also make use of these tips for getting started in your journey:
Eliminate Sugary Foods & Refined Carbs
Go for fresh veggies and fruits along with low-carb foods like whole grains instead of refined carbs and sugary foods.
Avoid Processed Foods
When you are advancing in age, your body’s ability to process and digest food gets affected. Processed foods can cause the most harm at this stage. Apart from being hard to digest, they can also affect your body in the long run.
Avoid things like oils, shortening, and butter. Instead, replace them with healthy, nutritious fats like olive oil or avocado.
Control Portion Sizes
Most people harm themselves by eating way more than what’s recommended. It is important to focus on your portion sizes, which will help you stay healthy.
Ensure that you consume a lot of water daily. In case you dislike drinking it, add lemon or lime to enhance its flavor.
Remember that as adults age, they have to consume a healthier diet. Therefore, follow healthy eating patterns.
Start Planning Ahead
By cooking and preparing your meals ahead of time, you can eliminate having to waste precious time agonizing over what to eat. Cook your meals in advance and freeze portions, which can be used whenever you aren’t interested in cooking your meals.
Exercise Your Brain
For people looking to lead a happy and healthy life with increased longevity, it is crucial to ensure your brain and body are both healthy.
By focusing on various creative activities, you can sharpen your mind and eliminate memory loss and cognitive decline. Here are several ways you can do this:
Complete Crosswords and Puzzles
Crosswords and puzzles are great for training your brain and can help you enhance your memory and logic abilities. It doesn’t cost a fortune either and can be done at home. It’s the same for logic-based applications and games like Sudoku.
Learn New Skills
Regardless of whether it’s playing new instruments, gardening, or cooking classes, by learning new skills, you can improve your hand-eye coordination and memory as well.
Consider spending some time every day for filtering out your distractions, which can help you focus on a primary goal. If you spend just 10 minutes daily without interrupting your concentration and focus on a task, it can sharpen your mind.
It is essential to exercise your memory correctly. Therefore, include challenges like memorizing to-do checklists and grocery lists.
Get Quality Sleep
Seniors tend to experience a significant change in not just their sleep cycles but also the level of quality in their sleep. That’s a result of several factors, including your lifestyle, hormonal changes, diet, alcohol, and coffee intake levels.
Seniors must ensure that they enjoy an ample amount of sleep. A senior is supposed to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours to feel well-rested and rejuvenated.
In case you have insomnia or sleeping troubles, consider doing the following activities:
Set A Bedtime And Stick To It
Sleep & wake up at regular timings, even during the weekend.
Cut Out Naps
Although you may take cat naps if you’re feeling exhausted, we recommend limiting the total time that you spend napping during your daily routine.
Avoid alcohol or coffee 2-3 hours before bed: Alcohol and coffee are known for their anti-sleep properties. Therefore, don’t consume them near your bedtime.
Consult Your Doctor
Talk with them about any medications of yours that are affecting your ability to sleep. Cardiovascular drugs and antidepressants are known to cause insomnia.
Note: With advancing age, seniors tend to have advanced sleep phase syndrome, which affects the internal clock of their body. However, many seniors fail to make adjustments to their routines, which causes them to stay awake for too long at night, thus missing out on sleep.
We have already talked about how important it is to let go of stuff that is beyond your control. Additionally, by setting aside some time for recharging your batteries and relaxation is vital for maintaining a healthy body and mind.
Spend some time outdoors, sit in quiet spaces, or listen to some great music. These can all help you let go of unnecessary tension and stress apart from rejuvenating both your body and mind.
Additionally, seniors are also susceptible to various mental illnesses like depression. That’s another important reason why you should ensure you aren’t stressed out. Learn to recharge and reset your emotional state, which can help you achieve a significant boost in your peace of mind.
Get Medical Check-Ups Regularly
You must go for regular medical checkups without skipping appointments. Additionally, you should also consider tests for breast cancer, heart problems, colon cancer, cholesterol levels, and make sure that you receive essential vaccinations, which can prevent pneumonia, influenza, and other sicknesses.
You should also be well-aware of all your medical conditions. Review your medications regularly and make sure to report any side-effects or symptoms that you experience.
Don’t postpone this under any case. If a specific medication causes you to feel ill, there may be an adequate replacement for it.
You should also go for regular screenings to check for vision issues. You should also have your eyesight checked out every year. By using corrective lenses, you can reduce the risk of migraines and headaches and lower your chances of falling by accident.
Protect Your Skin
Our skin gets thinner, turns fragile, and loses its elasticity as we advance in age. The same applies to all our bones, which also lose their density, even shrinking in size at times.
Therefore, it is vital to come up with a daily skin regimen, which can protect your skin. You can make use of these tips:
Use Daily Moisturizers
Utilize skin creams that contain aloe, Vitamins E, and A. Additionally, stop going for harsh soaps. Instead, use fragrance-free soaps that are good for your skin.
Defend your skin against dangerous sun rays by applying sunscreen when you go outside, even if it’s for a short period.
Use a humidifier: This will help you eliminate problems like chapping, dryness, and cracking during the winter months.
Apart from improving the feel and look of your skin, regular care and attention can help you detect signs of skin discoloration and other symptoms that indicate skin cancer. This way, you will be able to obtain medical treatment promptly at an earlier stage.
Don’t ever let your age bog you down! Keep moving ahead in spite of the odds and work towards your goals. Support your healthy mindset with a healthier regimen and a nutritious diet, which will help you defend against even the worst side-effects of aging and extend your longevity.