Anti-aging has been a hot topic for a long time, but have you heard of healthy aging? Living a long and healthy life is a priority for many people. It’s about making lifestyle choices about how you live and what you eat to help you age well. Here are some well-researched tips to help you do just that.
What is healthy aging?
All individuals across the globe should be able to have the opportunity to live long and healthy lives. Healthy aging is the process of developing and maintaining the functional abilities that help enable wellness in older age. Functional ability is about being able to be and do what you value in life. This includes being able to meet your own basic needs, being able to move around, making your own divisions, building relationships and contributing to society.
Research has concluded the action steps you need to take to help maintain your health and function as you grow older.
Eat More Fiber
One easy way to make sure that you are eating healthily as you grow older is to watch what you are eating. Try to make small changes such as swapping out white bread for whole-grain bread. You can also do small things like add apple slices to your salads or kidney beans to soup to add in more beneficial fiber to your diet. Fiber helps to fill you up for longer periods of time, and it helps cut down your cholesterol levels and lowers your risk of getting heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.
You don’t have to lift heavy weights at the gym to get your exercise in. It's important to aim for at least 30 minutes per day of some level of physical activity. This can even be a short 30 minute walk around the neighborhood. If 30 minutes at a time is too much, then you can also break it up into shorter intervals.
Your exercise should be able to make you feel just a little out of breath to be effective. And if you commit to doing it every day then it can deliver some great health benefits as you age. Regular exercise contributes to keeping brain cells healthy by helping deliver more blood and oxygen to the brain. Research suggests that aerobic exercise can help delay or improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, this habit can also result in longevity.
Stick to Whole Foods
Eating more whole foods is a conscious choice you can make at every mealtime. It involves eating more veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts and low fat dairy foods. As a result, you will eat less fatty meats, dairy, sugar, salt and packaged or processed foods.
Research has shown that this type of diet that centers around whole foods can help you live a longer life, and it protects against heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Stay Connected with Friends and Family
Being lonely can actually be harmful to your health. If you ever feel lonely, whether it is because you live alone or with someone, have friends or none, you will be more likely to get dementia or depression. Older people who feel left out and isolated will tend to have more trouble completing everyday tasks like climbing up stairs or bathing.
Lonely people also die earlier, and research has found that they have higher levels of stress hormones which cause inflammation linked to arthritis and diabetes. This is why it’s important to do things like volunteer work or other activities which help you connect with others as you age.
Get Rid of Bad Habits
Having a smoking habit will harm almost every organ in your body. Products that contain nicotine cause heart disease, cancer, lung and gum disease, and a host of other health problems. It’s important to know that it’s never too late to quit. Your body is able to heal within 20 minutes of your last cigarette! Your chances of suffering from a heart attack will reduce immediately. In a year, the odds of suffering from heart disease can drop by half.
Check out our previous blog on personalized nutrition here if you would like to learn more about how personalized nutrition can be utilized in your everyday life to help you optimize your diet and support your overall health.