31 Jan 2019
As we age, it’s essential to keep in mind the many ways to remain mentally, physically and emotionally fit.
Here are some recommendations we can all aim for in our daily routines. These also have the added benefits of slowing the aging process, and helping you look and feel your best!
Lifestyle choices play an important role in how we age. Healthy eating, good sleep habits, regular exercise and social engagement all play a part in living our best lives.
Our metabolism begins to slow with age, making it harder to lose or maintain weight. Eating throughout the day keeps appetite hormones balanced – this helps avoid overeating and also increases your metabolism. Choose foods which have the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need, rather than processed food or “empty calories.” Make your plate a colorful culinary rainbow by adding fruits and vegetables, which provide fiber to help you stay fuller longer.
Good sleep habits enable us to better tackle our days. Lack of sleep causes irritability, forgetfulness, depression, and may increase the chance of falls. Getting a restful night’s sleep is easier than you think. Following a regular sleep schedule and developing a bedtime routine, such as reading or listening to music, can go a long way toward feeling refreshed and invigorated the next day. Additionally, studies show exercise can help you fall asleep faster and longer.
Regular exercise is one of the keys to physical and mental wellbeing. Living an active life helps us stay fit and energized. Simple exercise like taking a walk, riding a bike, dancing or gardening is a wonderful way to increase movement and feel good. Exercise also improves our strength and balance, which decreases the risk of falls, increases energy, reduces feelings of depression and prevents or delays diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Staying active isn’t just about physical exercise. Common life changes, such as retirement, health issues, or the loss of a spouse, may lead to social isolation. Nurture your social network. Make the extra effort to maintain close personal relationships with family and friends for more satisfaction and joy in life. Even if family is not close by, keep in touch via email or facebook or video calls like Skype. Join a club or volunteer in your community to expand social connections and feel a sense of contribution and purpose.
Our brain needs a workout too. Research shows that staying mentally active throughout life preserves brain health. Keeping your brain active is a simple and fun way to fend off forgetfulness. Never stop learning and challenging your mind! Take dance lessons, learn a new language, attend lectures, learn to play a musical instrument, or read a book. Studies show a lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning slows cognitive decline and may even delay the onset of memory impairment.
Creating healthy routines around these pillars of health will help you stay active, energetic, reduce the risk of disease and be your best!