Finding Common Ground for Healthy Living

When we age, well, so do our metabolisms, and as a result- our bodies tend to change.  It’s an amazing metamorphosis that can take its toll on us if we are not mindful and interested in our own well-being as we age. Rather than not take notice, there are healthful foods and ideologies to boost you. By maintaining a balanced eating pattern that emphasizes key nutrients, we can improve our odds of healthy aging to continue living a dynamic, active lifestyle. Remember- it’s never too late.

Here are some simple suggestions for healthier living:*

Be active more often.
Exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers, and that powerful effect leads to something experts call “compression of morbidity.” It essentially means you stay healthy longer in your later years, as compared with someone who spends the final five or ten years of life battling chronic illness and perhaps where their mobility is diminished. Exercise is also one of the best things you can do to help prevent dementia and other cognitive changes. Once you’re cleared by your doctor, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.

Improve your diet.
There are all sorts of plans out there to help you lose weight, but it’s not only about dropping pounds. Eating smart to fuel your body so it can run efficiently as a well-oiled machine is the objective here. Often it is recommended that you follow a Mediterranean-style diet for anyone hoping to avoid dementia as well as minimize other health risks. It’s high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish, and low in meat, sugar, and processed foods—all helping your cells function better. Bottom line- take a few minutes and ask yourself if you are really eating for your own well- being. Everyone has room for improvement.

Get quality sleep.
Lack of sleep impacts your memory, emotions, weight and even your appearance. The older you get, the harder it can be to fall and stay asleep, but you still need the same number of hours. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most sleep problems are a result of snoring, medication side effects and underlying medical conditions, such as acid reflux, depression, and prostate problems. Addressing those issues with your doctor is a good start. You can also enjoy more satisfying sleep by creating a calming and dark space, dedicating enough time for sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques.

Challenge your brain.
Whether it’s learning a language or driving a new route to work, your brain loves tackling fresh tasks. Make it a goal to keep learning as you age. Try and tackle one new task or challenge that will keep you thinking forward instead of stagnating. 

 

*Portions of article reprinted from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/its-never-too-late-five-healthy-steps-at-any-age