Living Well as You Age

Jun 30, 2024 | Health & Well-Being

Living Well as You Age

It’s not about what you do-it’s just that you do!
Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at any age. These tips can help you cope with the changes that accompany growing older. Let’s live life to the fullest.

The keys to healthy aging*

As we grow older, we experience an increasing number of major life changes, including career transitions and retirement, children leaving home, the loss of loved ones, physical and health challenges—and even a loss of independence. How we handle and grow from these changes is often the key to healthy aging.

Coping with change is difficult at any age and it’s natural to feel the losses you experience. However, by balancing your sense of loss with positive factors, you can stay healthy and continue to reinvent yourself as you pass through landmark ages of 60, 70, 80, and beyond.

As well as learning to adapt to change, healthy aging also means finding new things you enjoy, staying physically and socially active, and feeling connected to your community and loved ones. Unfortunately, for many of us, aging also brings anxiety and fear. How will I take care of myself late in life? What if I lose my spouse? What is going to happen to my mind?

Many of these fears stem from popular misconceptions about aging. But, the truth is that you are stronger and more resilient than you may realize. These tips can help you maintain your physical and emotional health and continue to thrive, whatever your age or circumstances.

1. Look to your ancestors for answers
If you are serious about aging well, you need to become an expert in your own health – don’t be afraid to ask questions of your doctor and your family. Compile ancestral health trees if you can and list any known family illnesses, the causes of mortality and ages at death (if possible) of your direct ancestors.

2. Enjoy coffee
Coffee is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols and phenylindole, a recently identified compound that researchers think may help fend off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

3. Walk faster
Walking is good, but pace matters. Brisk walking has been linked to better memory, better health and a longer life. Increase your pace until you are slightly out of breath or sweaty and aim for 30 minutes a day, ideally outdoors to get the additional benefits of vitamin D and light.

4. Exercise in green space
Trees produce phytoncides which help to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and boost immunity. The microbes in forest soil have been found to reduce depression and may contribute to the health of our microbiome. A 15-minute walk is all it takes to reap the benefits, but researchers have found that a weekend in the woods improves immunity for up to a month, while a short afternoon run or walk somewhere green means better sleep at night.

5. Build muscle
Experts believe resistance training is as important for aging as aerobic exercise, eating vegetables and sleeping well. After age 40, we lose muscle at the rate of 1% a year, increasing our risk of heart attacks, strokes and osteoporosis.

6. Read books
Although reading is sedentary and solitary, frequent reading has been linked to longer, healthier life.

7. Keep learning
Old brains are just as equipped to build new neurons and synapses as young ones. But this process works best when we repeatedly force ourselves to learn new things. The brain loves novelty: crafts, games, even cooking from a new recipe, all trigger the creation of neurons, but the more complex and more difficult the new activity is, the greater the rewards.

8. Take a nap
Several studies have found that nappers have better attention and focus, better memory and better non-verbal reasoning.

9. Only spend on vitamin D and zinc
Study after study has found that supplements have very little benefit; we invest in good food instead. However, when it comes to vitamin D and zinc, the data is robust: vitamin D – in the right dosage – can help us age well, while zinc has been shown to reduce the severity of coughs and colds.

10. Avoid pollution
Pollution is rapidly becoming the biggest threat to our ability to age well, with more and more research linking particulate matter to lung cancer, heart disease, dementia, hypertension and diabetes. It is vital that we are vociferous in lobbying for cleaner air and that we play our part in reducing our own personal pollution footprints

11. Use olive oil
We think of olive oil as “liquid gold”, such are its benefits, with improved heart health topping the list.

12. Cultivate friendships
Loneliness is as big a mortality risk as diabetes. Research links social isolation to dementia, heart disease, stroke, depression and a 29% greater risk of dying. An eight-decade study found a clear correlation between having a large social network and living longer.

13. Support immunity
It is often thought the immune system weakens with age, but research indicates that the reverse may be true: the immune system actually overreacts as we get older, creating more inflammation in the body when it is confronted by a virus, for example and speeding up the aging process.

14. Change how you eat, particularly in the evening
Changing how you eat, rather than what you eat, can make a bigger impact on longevity than a radical dietary overhaul. Piles of vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein fill up our plates now. Aim to eat earlier, whenever possible, and allow digestion to kick in well before bedtime.

15. Meditate
Meditation isn’t just hippie woo woo: research shows it has a powerful effect on the brain. It appears to reduce stress and promote empathy, and regular practitioners seem not to lose grey matter, or suffer reduced concentration, as they age. Just 15 minutes a day is enough to strengthen telomeres, the “caps” that protect our DNA and, according to a Harvard study, to have a positive impact on blood pressure levels.

16. Cultivate optimism
Studies have found that older people with a negative attitude to aging have worse functional health, slower walking speeds and lower cognitive abilities than those with a more positive attitude. Negativity, unsurprisingly, puts stress on the body, elevating cortisol levels, which in the long term can impact heart health, sleep quality, weight and cognition. You really are as old as you feel, it seems.

 

 

 

*Article sourced from: https://www.theguardian.com

Follow Us:

Related Posts:

Is Aging Really the Pits?

Is Aging Really the Pits?

The answer is -NO! regardless of matter how many wrinkles, sags, chin hairs (even if they pop out of nowhere!!), the answer still is: NO! Aging for both men and women can be and should be embraced and welcomed as the natural path for life. We are a generation aptly named “Baby Boomers”. After all, we were named this since we are the result of the post-war spike in national birth rates. Our generation has seen a lot as we have aged and have been challenged! From removal of bunny ears from our tv sets, to handheld telephones, to the explosion of the internet- well, yes, wouldn’t you agree that our life experiences have proven to be thought-provoking and often, demanding and perplexing? Give yourself a pat on the back!

Brain Fog- Yes, You Can Conquer It!

Brain Fog- Yes, You Can Conquer It!

If you’ve found yourself wondering, “What is brain fog?”, you’re not alone. Oh, come on admit it- we all have experienced this at one time or another. The issue is increasingly common. Besides aging, reports show that as many as one in four people who contracted COVID-19 notice an increase of brain fog.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GrandparentsLink on Facebook GrandparentsLink on X GrandparentsLink on Pinterest

About Us

Join Our Newsletter


Check out our E-Book Series

Click the Cover to Open Magazine

GrandparentsLink e-Book Series 1

Catch Our YouTube Channel Here!

GrandparentsLink YouTube

Grandparenting: Renew, Relive, Rejoice

Look Who’s Talking

Get up close and personal with Leslie & Kay, founders of Grandparentslink.com, in this live radio interview with #Grand radio.
click here:

Would You Like To Receive Our Weekly Newsletter?

We don't want you to miss any of our info.

You have Successfully Subscribed!