Staying Healthy As You Age: 5 Steps to Look and Feel Your Best

Concerned about the side effects of aging? Want to look and feel your best until late in life? Then it’s time to tweak your diet and make health a priority. Aging is a normal process. As time goes by, your body becomes less effective at fighting diseases. The metabolism slows down, which triggers muscle loss and weight gain. Fatigue, low energy, joint pain, and vision problems are common complaints among seniors. With a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle habits, you can slow the aging process and reduce its impact.

Follow these simple steps to grow old gracefully and enjoy your life to the fullest:

Focus on Prevention

Senior care facilities put emphasis on prevention for a good reason. Most age-related disorders are preventable through diet and exercise. Healthy eating and physical activity may lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, osteoporosis, obesity, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. The sooner you embrace a healthy lifestyle, the greater the benefits will be.

Make Exercise a Habit

Regular exercise plays a key role in health and well-being. In general, elder care facilities offer a variety of programs that include daily walking, swimming, stretching, and other activities that help seniors regain their mobility and stamina. Exercise strengthens your bones and joints, improves cardiovascular health, and lowers blood pressure. In the long run, it reduces your risk of falls and fractures. Seniors who are physically active find it easier to climb the stairs, carry groceries, and move around. Walking for as little as 10 minutes a day can add years to your life and help you maintain a healthy weight.

Eat Your Veggies

Diet and physically activity are equally important. What you eat has a direct impact on your health. As you age, your GI tract becomes more rigid, which may lead to constipation, nausea, IBS, and stomach pain. The fiber in vegetables keeps your digestive system running smoothies, slows sugar absorption into the bloodstream, and increases satiety. Make sure your diet includes plenty of veggies, such as kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, and cabbage. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles restore gut flora and boost immunity.

Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

Ditch the sugar from your diet and consume whole, natural foods. Local and seasonal produce should come first on your list. Focus on the three main macronutrients – protein, carbs, and heart-healthy fats. Protein helps preserve muscle and keeps your metabolism up. Slow-digesting carbs fuel your brain and provide steady energy with no crashes. The fats in oily fish, unrefined vegetable oil, nuts, and avocado, prevent inflammation and support cardiovascular health. Nowadays, seniors living facilities provide members with foods and snacks that promote optimum health.

Limit Stress

Aging affects the body’s ability to cope with stress. When you’re stressed, your cortisol levels go up, which may lead to low energy, fatigue, cardiovascular problems, muscle loss, weight gain, and recurring infections. Studies indicate that about 90 percent of all diseases are either caused or aggravated by stress.

Even though it’s difficult to completely avoid stress, you can minimize its impact. Get plenty of rest, sleep at least eight hours per night, and make time for the things you love, whether it’s cooking, reading, or painting. Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, massage, and deep breathing.

These simple lifestyle changes can delay aging and ward off diseases. It’s in your power to build the life you want and enjoy good health. It all comes down to the choices you make every day.

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