6 Secrets to Aging Gracefully

Older woman in field and happy concept of aging well

Age is just a number, as the old saying goes. It doesn’t matter how old you are, but how you feel about yourself. You can consider yourself to be aging well if you feel good about both of these things. There are secrets to aging well regardless of your health and life circumstances. You have greater control over your emotional and physical destiny than you might think.

There are a lot of products and “health gurus” on the market claiming they have the magic pill that will keep you forever young. However, usually the simplest solution is the best solution. And these solutions can be done for free or next to free. You can also sign up for the complimentary Active Lifestyle Media Newsletter that showcases tips, news, and more, right to your inbox.

Secret #1: Exercise

Exercise is a recommended treatment for almost every health problem. Regular exercise may be the best treatment to reduce your risk of developing age-related diseases, improve your quality of life and extend your life expectancy. Regular exercise has many benefits such as:

  • Reduce your risk of developing heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Control blood sugar
  • Strengthen and balance
  • Combat depression
  • Keep your brain sharp
  • Help you get good sleep

For most people, even older adults, 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise should be done on most days (or 2 1/2 hours each week). You don’t have to do traditional exercise like swimming, cycling, or ellipticals.

Secret #2. Stop Yo-Yo Dieting

This is a very common story about weight loss: You lose weight, then gain it back, and then you repeat the process with other diets. This is what doctors call “weight cycling” and it’s not good for your body nor mind. Numerous studies have linked weight cycling to depression symptoms. Research suggests that it can increase your risk of developing heart disease, blood vessel diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

Try mindful eating instead of trying to lose weight. You can start to think about what you eat and drink. This can help you make healthier choices to support your overall health. These are some guidelines:

  • Talk to your doctor: Every person’s health is unique, so your doctor may recommend a diet that has less salt, more fiber, or fewer calories.
  • Plan your meals and snacks: Eat healthy food, such as fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains.
  • Drink water all day: Drinking water has many health benefits, including flushing toxins out of your body.
  • Enjoy your favorite foods: You can still enjoy your favorite foods, such as pizza, chocolate, and chips. Enjoy them once in a while in moderate portions (premeasured if necessary).
  • Reduce your intake of alcohol: You can become dehydrated, your mediations won’t work as they should, and you could be at risk for health problems like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or sexually transmitted diseases.

Secret #3: Select Foods From the Mediterranean Diet

If you don’t know which foods you should eat or avoid, mindful eating won’t help your body thrive. This is where the Mediterranean diet comes into play.

This is not a diet. This is a healthy way to eat that reduces saturated fat and dairy and emphasizes plant-based foods and unprocessed foods. This is linked to better cardiovascular health and brain health. The Mediterranean diet reduces inflammation, which is a key factor in many age-related conditions.

Secret #4. Keep Sharp

You might lose track of things as your brain slows with age. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are destined to have bigger problems. These steps can help you protect your memory:

  • Engage your brain: Find a job that stimulates your mind, learn a new skill or pursue a hobby.
  • Be confident that you are in control: You may not be able to prevent memory loss.
  • Save your mental energy for more difficult tasks: You can save your mental energy by using tools such as apps, notes, calendars, and apps for routine tasks. This will allow you to make more time for learning new things or keeping track of important information.
  • Stop smoking: Smoking can damage your heart and blood vessels which can increase your chances of developing dementia. Your chances of getting dementia are reduced if you quit smoking.

 

Secret #5. Get Some Sun (or Vitamin D).

Sunlight boosts your body’s supply of vitamin D. The majority of Americans suffer from a mild to moderate vitamin D deficiency.

Low levels are linked with major illnesses, like:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that increases your risk for developing diabetes and other diseases in your blood vessels and heart.

Sunlight may be the best thing for your health. You may find it brightens your outlook. The body has been shown that sunshine can increase endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals. Talk to your doctor if you are unable to get enough sun each day for medical or other reasons.

Secret #6. Get to Know Others

All people need meaningful social connections. Research shows that loneliness is linked to poor health and even death.

What is the definition of loneliness? Experts agree that loneliness is not about feeling alone. It can also be distressing. This can lead to mental decline and a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease or depression.

It can be difficult to overcome loneliness. Your approach will be different. You might consider taking a class, joining a book club, rekindling old friendships, volunteering for organizations that could help you make meaningful social connections.

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