A lot of people have dreams of looking like they’re 20 years younger than they actually are as they age. In reality, healthy aging isn’t about keeping your looks. It’s really about aging gracefully and being able to live your best life into your golden years.
After all, that’s why they’re called the golden years.
Using these 10 tips for aging gracefully will have you living the lifestyle you love for years longer than you may have thought possible.
Get Regular Exercise
Staying active is crucial to healthy aging. While you might think getting older in and of itself is the biggest reason for becoming unable to do things, inactivity is actually more to blame, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Getting enough physical activity into your day can provide a ton of benefits, including:
- Improving or maintaining your strength
- Giving you energy
- Improving balance
- Managing or preventing conditions like arthritis, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer
- Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
- Control weight
- Improve cognitive function
The list goes on and on.
The CDC says older adults should get a mix of physical activity to stay healthy. The center says it’s ideal to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week and do muscle-strengthening activity two days per week.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating well goes a long way towards aging well. A healthy diet will help you control your weight and make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
It’s not just about weight control, though. Eating right also plays a major role in fueling your body’s immune system. Boosting your immunities helps your body fight off illnesses and ultimately keeps you from needing more doctor visits or even ending up in the hospital.
Your diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and low-fat or fat-free dairy to ensure you’re getting the right mix of vitamins and minerals.
A good start here is just cutting out processed foods. Get rid of those first, then you can build your new diet from there. Remember, this isn’t just a diet plan you’ll do for a few weeks to shed some pounds, this is a lifestyle change.
Drinking plenty of water should be included in that balanced diet we just talked about. Drinking enough water helps to maintain your energy levels and promotes brain function.
If you’re exercising as you should, you’ll need to stay adequately hydrated to maintain your physical performance. Not drinking enough will make you more fatigued mentally and physically.
There are many other benefits to proper hydration, including possibly keeping your skin in better condition, aiding in weight loss, and treating kidney stones.
Mind Your Mental Health
While a lot of the focus for aging gracefully focuses on the outside appearance, what’s going on inside is equally as important. You can’t live it up in your golden years if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety.
There are many things that can trigger depression in older adults. It’s important to be able to recognize symptoms of depression and ways to deal with it. Many of the tips found here to aid in healthy aging will help, like getting exercise, eating right, and staying active (we’ll talk about that one further down this list).
Exercise Your Brain
While you’re exercising your body, don’t forget to work out that brain, too. Keeping your mind sharp is a major part of aging gracefully.
Things like reading, listening to music, learning new hobbies, and even just getting out and being social will stimulate your noodle and help keep you in a good mental state, too.
It’s also imperative to do some brain exercises as often as possible because it plays a large role in preventing dementia.
Take Care of Your Skin
Let’s go back to maintaining those looks. The shape of your skin is easily and almost instantly noticeable. If you don’t treat it right, it’s going to show wear and tear a lot more than you would like.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. Adults carry about 8 pounds worth of it on their bodies. It’s the protective barrier your body has against extreme temperatures, sunlight, and harmful chemicals.
To keep it in good shape, make sure you’re wearing sunscreen when you’re outdoors, stay hydrated, use a good skincare routine, and make sure you’re getting screenings for skin cancer.
Maintain Your Mouth
Oral health plays a major role in your overall health. Issues with the mouth have been linked to conditions such as heart disease, pneumonia, preterm labor, and rheumatoid arthritis to name a few.
This also goes back to your physical appearance. Your smile is one of the first things people will see when you greet them. Having a bright white smile can give you a ton of confidence.
Conversely, if you’ve neglected your teeth you might lack that confidence. Not maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine also makes you prone to having bad breath, experiencing tooth decay, and opens the door to needing tooth replacements such as dentures or implants.
Brush and floss your teeth twice a day and see your dentist every six months to keep those pearly whites in top shape.
Go to the Doctor
This is what VIPcare is all about. Seeing your doctor regularly is key to getting and staying in good health. Value-based healthcare allows you to come in and see your doctor often, not just when you’re already sick.
If you’re only seeing a physician after you’re sick, you’re just addressing problems that have already gotten bad enough to have an effect on your life. We believe you deserve to spend quality time with your doctor and get to know them. This allows them to get a more complete picture of your overall health and develop a thorough plan to get you on the road to Better Health.
By creating a better working relationship between doctor and patient, you get better care and spend less time in the hospital. Getting ahead of any potential health issues will make aging gracefully that much easier.
Keep Yourself Busy
As we get older, and especially after retirement, it can get a little more difficult to feel like we have a purpose. During your working life, you’ve got a career and family members to focus on. When you no longer have to raise a family and have retired from the workforce, what is there to do?
It’s all about finding ways to stay busy.
There are plenty of things you can do. You can find a new hobby, volunteer, join a club, get physically active, or even pick up a part-time job just to get out of the house. All of these things will keep you from just sitting around and being lonely.
Roll With Change
Things change. There’s no stopping that. To age gracefully, you’ve got to learn to take those changes in stride.
You’re going to find things are harder to do than when you were younger. There will even be some things you can’t do anymore. Recognizing that fact before it happens will help prepare yourself for when that time comes.
Whether it’s changes with your body, your mind, or just things around you, knowing that it won’t stay the same forever, accepting those changes, and just going with the flow will make things much easier. Just enjoy the ride. don’t watch life go by. Practicing these methods for aging well will have you living it up long after you thought you would be able to.