When we look in the mirror in the morning, we usually see no difference in our faces compared to the night before. But when we look at old photos of ourselves, we immediately see how young and different we were back then. And unfortunately, it's not just the outward changes that occur over the years, but there are other side effects of aging: more pain, poorer memory, less resilience, vitality, and mobility.
Regardless of your current age and whatever age-related disorders you already have, we all have to come to terms with aging and adjusting to our age. Perhaps the most important question is: What is the best way to live to be happy and healthy as you age?
In this article, we will share 6 tips that you can follow to stay fit and healthy as you age.
Adopt a Good Diet
As you age, you generally need to eat a variety of foods in the right amount to meet your nutritional needs. Your diet should essentially include:
Protein is most important as you age because it helps maintain muscle mass. Your diet must therefore include meat, fish, seeds, nuts, eggs, and dairy products.
Then, foods rich in calcium and vitamin D would be welcome. They help prevent osteoporosis, which is a disease that weakens the bones, increasing the risk of falls. Consider foods such as dairy products, cod liver oil, herring, mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout, tuna, dark chocolate, mushrooms, and eggs.
Also, consume fiber daily to prevent constipation, reduce bad cholesterol and maintain intestinal health. You can find fibers in foods such as cereals, bread, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Take vitamin and mineral supplements: In case of lack of appetite, consider meal replacements such as high protein bars and nutritional drinks.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping well is important for your physical and mental health. Sleep also plays a role in the health of your skin. The amount of sleep you need depends on your age. Adults generally need seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Additionally, getting enough sleep has been shown to improve concentration and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, inflammation, as well as stress, and depression.
To promote a good night's sleep:
- Reduce naps during the day,
- Establish a bedtime routine,
- Always go to bed at the same time,
- Consume a hot drink such as chamomile tea or hot milk before going to sleep.
Physical activity improves balance, coordination, breathing, circulation, and mental acuity. Daily exercise keeps you strong and healthy while reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Staying active can also boost your self-esteem, improve your sleep and give you more energy.
Health authorities recommend that seniors get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises twice a week. There are a variety of sports and exercises to improve the health and mobility of the elderly: walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, jogging, tai chi, yoga...
Maintain Your Mental Health
A stimulating environment facilitates and improves cognitive performance. The science is clear on this: active engagement in cognitively stimulating leisure activities is associated with better memory functioning, less depression, and increased life satisfaction, as well as reduced risk of dementia.
To keep a good mood and improve your cognitive performance, here are some tips;
- Spend time with friends and loved ones: Social engagement improves mental and physical well-being and leads to a longer life. And don't forget the pets. Owning a pet has been linked to lower stress and blood pressure, reduced feelings of loneliness, and improved mood.
- Accept your age: people who maintain a positive attitude towards aging live longer and can recover better from a disability. Aging is inevitable and learning to accept it can make all the difference.
- Do things you love: taking the time to participate in activities you enjoy will only fuel your happiness. Spend time in nature, start a new hobby, volunteer...anything that brings you joy and good humor.
Learn to Manage Stress
Prolonged stress has a negative impact on life expectancy. People exposed to stress for a long period of their lives seem to age faster over the years. This is not just a subjective feeling, but a physiologically verifiable phenomenon.
Good stress management can help you live a longer, healthier life.
Here are a few tips to help you manage stress;
Identify the source of the stress: To know what you can do about the stress in your life, it is essential to first determine the exact cause of the stress. While it is easy to identify the main sources of stress, such as a new job or a divorce, it can be more complicated to find the sources of chronic stress. To identify the real sources of stress, take a close look at your habits and attitudes.
- Avoid unnecessary stress: If you have a clear view of all the stressors in your life, you will be surprised how many you can eliminate.
- Learn to say "no": Whether in your personal or professional life, know your limits. Say "no" to things that just cause you unnecessary stress.
- Avoid stressful people around you: If someone is constantly stressing your life, reduce the time you spend with them or end the relationship.
- Shorten your to-do list: Take a closer look at your daily responsibilities and tasks and cross off things that aren't really necessary.
Passive smoking kills as much as road accidents. And active smoking is 20 times more! While among non-smokers, 61% of men and 70% of women will reach the age of 80, only 26% of men smokers and 38% of women smokers can expect to see their grandchildren grow up.
Quitting smoking has immediate beneficial effects; it allows you to regain several years of life expectancy regardless of the age of withdrawal. It is just as beneficial as quitting smoking after an illness: many studies have shown that the risk of death or recurrence decreases very markedly with smoking cessation.