Strong factors of lifestyle, such as exercise, diet, and a mild temperament, can be imperative to aging healthier. It is no secret that getting older causes natural change and ultimately changes aspects of the body, including your hair, skin, heart, muscles, brain, and more. However, by making these simple changes daily can not only benefit you now in life but for many more years to come.
As we age, it can be difficult to maintain a positive mood as our daily abilities start changing. However, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association, adults over the age of 65 “perceive age to be a way of understanding and general happiness are 40% more likely to return from an incapacity than those who consider age a synonym of helplessness or uselessness”. In other words, try being thankful for the things you can do as opposed to focusing on the activities you can no longer do.
As we age, it is important to continue or perhaps begin the process of making healthy food choices. Chronically unhealthy intake will contribute to health threats such as a shorter life plan, cardiovascular disorders, and type 2 diabetes. In fact, a study conducted by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center at the University of Washington concluded, “Eating well can help prevent many health problems as you age, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.”
Both mentally and physically – Staying physically healthy is a crucial component of well-aging. But that is only half of the importance to being mentally healthy. By taking care of the physical body, you collectively feel better mentally.
Many studies have shown that the more we “snack” due to depression or loneliness, the body over time begins to shut down due to no physical activity counterbalancing the food.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “Older adults, over the age of 65, should follow the guidelines of ‘150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity, and two or more days a week on muscle-strengthening activities per week’ to maintain a healthy heart and well-being.”
As we age, it is especially important to begin using some form of sun protection on a daily basis rather than a “when needed” basis. A research study, published in 2015, in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, reported, “Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the most preventable risk factor for all types of skin cancer, including melanoma.” A recent report (2020) conducted by the RealSelf Sun Safety Report found that, “62% of Americans use anti-aging products as art of their daily skincare routine.”
The days of “I can survive on 4 hours of sleep” mentality is often short lived as our bodies and lifestyles tend to wear us out more as time goes on. Research has collectively shown that increased risk of diseases such as obesity, Alzheimer’s, coronary disease, and diabetes, were related to prolonged inadequate sleep.
The body releases a growth hormone during sleep which helps to restore collagen and elastin, the basic building blocks of young, healthy skin, Dermatologist Dr Benabio says.
Dr Benabio also suggests that new research has found that insomnia is related to increased brain aging. In other words, chronic sleep deprivation adversely affects the development and function of your brain and can exacerbate aging. “Too many of us treat sleep rather than need as luxury,” Benabio reports.
Remember to always take care of yourself no matter what age but give yourself the extra care it requires as you age. They call them the “golden years” for a reason. As Hollywood actress Sophia Loren so eloquently quoted, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”