How well are you caring for your body and mind? As early as age 24, our bodies can begin to change and show reduced cognitive function. This makes healthy eating, exercise, and mental stimulation more important than ever.
These small changes in your daily routine can help to slow down the aging process as well as sharpen brain functions and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Here are the 7 healthy lifestyle changes to make as you grow old.
1. Choose the Right Diet
A proper diet is the first step for learning how to grow old healthy. It’s essential to get the right nutrition for your body and mind to function. This includes foods full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
You’ll want to focus on consuming whole, unprocessed foods as well as healthy fats, fiber, and lean proteins. Probiotics and omega 3s can also promote a healthier gut, metabolism, and brain health.
It’s important to avoid preservatives, which can have harmful effects on our bodies as well as foods high in saturated fats, sodium, and sugar.
Here are a few foods recommended for a healthy lifestyle:
- Olive oil
- Seeds, like chia and flax
- Greek yogurt
- Whole grains
- Lean meats and seafood
- Whole fruits and veggies
These foods promote a healthy heart, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. This works to help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Healthy foods also support the immune and digestive systems. They help to regulate bowel movements, avoiding constipation.
It’s also important to limit alcohol consumption. You should also aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. This will keep the body hydrated and help flush out toxins.
2. Make an Exercise Plan
An exercise routine should be part of a healthy lifestyle for elderly individuals. You should aim for 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
This can be a combination of cardio, conditioning, and strength training. Exercise is important for your metabolic rate as well as lowering the risk of heart disease and obesity.
It will also give you a boost of endorphins. These hormones help to regulate your mood, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Physical activity will also improve your flexibility, balance, and muscle coordination. It improves blood circulation and can strengthen your muscle mass and bones as you age. This can ward off inflammation, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Try activities like cycling, tennis, golfing, or swimming. You can also train with resistance bands for a lower impact exercise. Outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, and kayaking also provide a full body workout.
Golf can be particularly beneficial to your heart and general well-being. Whether you are practicing on the best putting mat or walking an 18-hole course, you’re sure to get a good cardio workout.
Brisk walking can even burn calories and keep you at a healthy weight. This is important for those who have desk jobs, as you should get up and move throughout the day. Another benefit of exercise is that is can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Take Care of Your Mental Health
A calm and focused mind is important for mental health as we age. This allows us to control our stress levels and keep a stable mood.
It’s important to take breaks to recharge your mind and body. This will help you from feeling overwhelmed or getting burnt out.
You also want to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Poor sleep patterns can lead to diabetes, depression, and obesity. So you want to aim for an average of 8 hours of sleep a night.
Yoga, tai chi, and meditation are also great exercises for better mental clarity. Or you can sharpen your mind with puzzles, crosswords, and playing card games. Keeping a daily journal also helps you to better reflect on your thoughts and ideas.
4. Be Smart About Skin Care
As the body ages, the skin loses elasticity and slows in collagen production. The skin can also dry out easier and may begin to show signs of sun damage.
This makes healthy skincare habits important. You should focus on always wearing sunscreen to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
A good facial moisturizer is also important. Key ingredients like vitamin A and C can help slow down the aging process and improve elasticity.
You also want to choose lotions and beauty products without parabens and phthalates. These toxic ingredients can interrupt the endocrine system, and even cause cancer. So opt for all natural ingredients and organic products when you can.
5. Strengthen Your Relationships
A long healthy lifestyle should include spending time with family and friends as it’s important for our mental and physical health to stay connected with others. Social isolation from others can even lead to depression and dementia.
So be sure to surround yourself with your loved ones. This should also include making friends with positive people and caregivers.
Sexual health is also important for getting in physical exercise. A healthy sex life can also boost brain function and the production of happy hormones. This helps to lower anxiety and depression.
6. Get Involved
Spending free time helping others can evoke feelings of happiness in life. So get involved in local community events, like charities or fundraisers.
You can also volunteer at a school, church, or hospital. Or at a local animal shelter, where you may even adopt a pet. These are great places to mingle and meet new friends.
7. Try New Hobbies and Activities
Learning new things is a great way to practice healthy aging for seniors. New activities keep your body and brain challenged and entertained. They keep the mind sharp and help increase focus.
This could be learning a new language or undergoing new hobbies like gardening or photography. Activities that offer physical movement are also key to healthy aging.
Art and music therapy can also be great healthy lifestyle changes for aging adults. These get used in elderly professional care programs, like Families Choice Home Care. These methods offer a way to connect and engage with patients and provide a creative outlet.
This can include listening to music or playing an instrument. Seniors may also enjoy art like painting and pottery. Engaging activities like these are therapeutic and great for brain health.
Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Better Wellbeing
These healthy lifestyle changes can help prolong your life and enhance your wellbeing. They help you to make small changes in your daily routine for a big impact on your health.
Yet, it’s also important to pay attention to the health of a loved one as professional care programs can offer specialized therapy and treatment to help improve their quality of life. Here are a few signs that it may be time to consider assisted living.