Want to Age Well? Adopt These Healthy Habits
You probably can’t imagine any reasonable person saying, “I want to fall apart as I get older.” Yet countless individuals allow themselves to do just that – accepting infirmity, age-related diseases, and debilitating chronic pain as an inevitable part of getting older. In fact, you have the power to age as gracefully as you want to, enjoying a high quality of life well into your geriatric years. But you can’t just wait for old age to come and hope you weather it elegantly; you need to take positive action, starting now, to make the rest of your life as happy and healthy as possible. Here are some healthy habits you adopt to help you age gracefully and comfortably.
has some frightening effects on various aspects of your body’s function, including the way it ages. The chemicals constantly released by chronic stress can actually damage your DNA, causing premature aging to occur. It also seems to make people more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease (arguably every older person’s worst nightmare) due to the inflammatory effects of the stress hormones. Hearing and vision problems may be worsened by stress. Last but not least, stress may cause you to indulge in overeating, heavy drinking, or other bad habits that can compound premature aging.
How do you keep stress at bay? Regular exercise, mindfulness meditation, peaceful hobbies, and other healthful practices can also help control your stress hormone levels. You may find that adopting a pet, or at least playing with one on a regular basis, can soothe your mind and ease your stress.
If your image of senior citizens includes walkers, wheelchairs and other signs of immobility, you’ll want to keep your body moving so you can avoid that outcome yourself. Exercises such as walking and stretching can help control age-related degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis by keeping arthritic joints supple and well-lubricated with synovial fluid. Strength training can help fight the loss of muscle mass that often accompanies the aging process; it also provides other benefits such as improved blood lipid profiles, reductions in body fat, and better control over blood sugar.
Most astonishing of all, however, is the possibility that exercise can actually slow the aging process at the cellular level. Research indicates that regular exercise might prevent the premature fraying of genetic structures called telomeres – which in turn reduces the DNA damage can influences how fast you age.
Switch to an Anti-Aging Diet
Your are what you eat, and that’s not always good news where aging is concerned. Foods high in sugar, sodium, nitrates, hydrogenated or saturated fats can promote inflammation and chronic diseases that can make you old before your time. Alcoholic beverages may possess some healthy benefits, but excessive consumption can stress the liver, causing a rise in free radicals that damage the entire body.
Fortunately, you can replace the fatty, highly-processed items on your daily menu with some potent anti-aging alternatives. Lean meats, whole grains, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and low-fat dairy products actually fight inflammation in the body instead of causing or worsening it. Colorful fruits and vegetables not only contain anti-inflammatory nutrients such as Vitamins and C; they also feed your cells plenty of antioxidants to so your body can rid itself of those damaging free radicals.
Get Help From Nutritional Supplements
Certain nutritional supplements can serve as your secret weapon in your efforts to age gracefully. Examples include turmeric (a powerful anti-inflammatory herb), glucosamine (which supports joint and skin health), and coenzyme Q10 (an important fuel for cellular energy). Supplementation with phosphoethanolamine, a natural ingredient in cell membranes, can help support cellular health and stabilize your metabolism.
Aging is a normal part of life, but there’s no need to hurry it along. Try these practices for yourself – and grow older in style! We can help you get healthier, contact us to find out how!