“I’m not as young as I used to be.” It’s a phrase we often find ourselves saying as we age. We can’t quite keep up with our kids like we used to. We don’t have the energy we did in our 20s. And our memories aren’t what they used to be.
But aging doesn’t have to mean achy joints and goldfish memory. You can still run a marathon at 50 and participate in a memory tournament at 60. It’s only a matter of making healthier life choices at an earlier age. Yep, you can’t do much about genetics, but you can take charge of the other 90% that is under your control.
Below are some tips to help keep your mind and body sharp as you age:
1. Make Smart Lifestyle Choices
As mentioned earlier, genetics is a force that you cannot control. However, you can make lifestyle changes to help you age well. For instance, if you smoke, quit now. If you don’t, make sure you never start.
Smoking is one of the most terrible things you can do to your body. It increases your risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. And it doesn’t just damage your physical health but also your mental health.
It is also important that you stay away from too much caffeine; excessive amounts lead to anxiety and other mental health problems.
The same goes for drugs and alcohol. If you must drink, do so in moderation. A quick relief today can become addiction tomorrow, which can destroy your life. It is important that you seek immediate professional help to turn your life in a positive direction. Visit www.vistapineshealth.com without further delay and find experts who can assist you with your concerns.
Apart from these, there are some other lifestyle choices you can make to age well, such as:
- Staying hydrated
- Limiting your screen time
- Spending time in nature
These are small changes you can make that can significantly impact your health as you age.
2. Address Your Mental Health
You must’ve seen a lot in all these years of life. Some life-changing incidents might have scarred you emotionally, while others might have left a void. These can take a toll on your mental health and well-being if you don’t address them. And when it’s about aging well, you can’t do without a well-functioning mind. So, don’t toss your mental health in an old trunk and dump it in the attic. Instead, work on it every day if you must.
Here are some things you can do:
- Talk to a therapist about your past or present traumas
- Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal
- Talk to friends and family about what’s bothering you
- Meditate or do some other form of relaxation
It’s good news that the stigma around mental health is slowly but surely dissipating. So, it’s easier than ever to locate therapists, and sources are available everywhere. Seek professional help. Your older (and wiser) self will thank you for it.
3. Exercise Your Body and Brain
You don’t need to be a gym freak to exercise. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily can work wonders for your physical and mental health, especially as you age. But if you’re looking for more benefits, you can increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
Aerobic exercises like swimming, jogging, and cycling help your heart and lungs function better. They also increase BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) levels in your brain, which helps with memory and learning.
Resistance training exercises like weightlifting and bodyweight exercises help prevent age-related muscle loss. They also improve your balance and coordination, which can come in handy in later life.
But it’s not just the body that benefits from exercise; your brain does too. Research shows that exercising regularly can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive declines. Like there are targeted exercises for every muscle in your body, some brain games can also help keep your mind sharp. So, start now and include exercise in your daily routine.
4. Be Mindful of Your Diet
What you eat today will have an impact on your health tomorrow. So, you must make smart food choices. It might feel like you’re compromising on taste, but trust us, it’ll all be worth it when your stamina and brain function is still going strong in your later years.
Load up on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. These foods are packed with nutrients that are essential for your health. Keeping your calorie intake in check is also important. You don’t want to put on too much weight as it can lead to health problems like diabetes and heart disease. So, limit your intake of processed and junk foods. They might be tasty, but they’re not doing your body any good.
When it comes to drinks, water should be your go-to beverage. It’s calorie-free and helps keep your body hydrated. If you’re not a fan of plain water, flavor it with lemon or lime. You should also avoid sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, and fruit juices.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
All-nighters might have been a thing in college, but they’re not helpful later in life. On the contrary, they can cause more harm than good when you hit that 40 mark.
Sleep is important for physical and mental health. For example, it helps lower stress levels, improves memory, and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, make some changes to your lifestyle.
- Sleep and rise at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
- Create a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom.
- If you can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed tossing and turning. Get moving and do something else until you feel tired.
As you age, you might have trouble falling or staying asleep. It can be due to several reasons like anxiety, medications, pain, and restless leg syndrome. If you’re struggling with sleep, talk to your doctor. They might be able to help you find a solution.
We all wish to age gracefully. But only a few of us prepare for it in advance. What we take for granted today will feel like a luxury tomorrow. It includes your sharp eyesight, quick reflexes, and full head of hair. So, take care of your health now and make some changes to your lifestyle.
You have plenty of time to adjust if you’re in your 20s or 30s. But, even if you’re in your 40s or 50s, it’s never too late to start living a healthier lifestyle. Following the tips above, you can guarantee a spot in the most eligible oldies club.