You know what they say, ‘time waits for no man.’ Sure, you cannot avoid the aging process, but you do have some level of control when it comes to how you age. Successful aging isn’t just about luck, in fact, there are specific steps that you can take today, in order to influence how well you age in the future. The following 10 tips will help you age gracefully, as you support your overall well-being.
10. Learn To Stay Positive
Carrying around negativity can actually threaten your health and encourage the aging process. Think about instances when you were really stressed and upset - did you experience any physical symptoms? Research suggests that there’s a direct link between negative thinking patterns and the development of health complications. Do not harbor feelings of hostility and anger, as multiple studies have linked these factors to an increased risk of dementia, heart disease, and stroke.
9. Avoid Smoking
We all know that smoking increases your risk of lung cancer and other related ailments, however, it can also attack the look and feel of your skin. Wrinkles are nothing to be ashamed of, they’re a normal part of the aging process. With that being said, smoking speeds up the development of wrinkles.
Based on the high nicotine content in cigarettes, blood vessels narrow, reducing the flow of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the skin. There are also thousands of chemicals in cigarettes, damaging the elasticity in your face, reducing organ function, and potentially increasing one’s risk of dementia.
8. Drink IN Moderation
The health effects of moderate to heavy drinking are well known, but how does alcohol affect the aging process? First of all, it’s important to note that the frequency and amount that you drink has a significant effect on your future health.
Some studies suggest that one drink daily, may actually benefit certain aspects of your health. When drinking heavily, however, alcohol can deplete critical vitamins and antioxidants. Of course, long-term drinking is also associated with reduced brain function, liver disease, and heart complications.
7. Watch Your Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can significantly improve positive well-being, especially because adults gain weight as they age. When you are overweight, you increase your risk of multiple leading causes of death.
Although your metabolism slows down as you age, you can reach a healthy weight. The key is a balanced, active lifestyle. You do not need to starve yourself - consume smaller, more frequent meals that are rich in beneficial nutrients, especially fiber.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is so important, regardless of your age. Considering our bodies are made of approximately 60 percent water, we need to provide our body and brain with adequate amounts. When you feel thirsty, this is your body’s way of telling you that you’re already dehydrated. At this point, energy levels and cognition can be affected.
From digestive health to cell function, water is a critical component of positive health. When you drink enough water, you’ll also support a healthy weight throughout adulthood. Try to consume half of your body weight in ounces daily - meaning, if you weigh 140 pounds, consume 70 ounces of water.
5. Remain Active
In order to protect your body and mind, remaining active is imperative. This not only relates to physical exercise, but also mental stimulation. When you remain active, you essentially enhance your quality of life.
When retired, for instance, it’s important to seek activities that you not only enjoy, but challenge you. Physical exercise can be as simple as walking for 30 minutes daily. Once you’re in the habit of being an active individual both in your home and community, you’ll find that age is simply a number.
4. Consume A Nutrient-Rich, Balanced Diet
There’s a direct connection between the food you eat and the way in which your body responds. From your brain to your kidneys, what you eat on a daily basis strongly influences the aging process. Not only should you avoid highly processed and greasy foods, but increase the amount of anti-aging foods you consume.
Antioxidant-rich foods help reduce free radicals in your body - which are molecules that promote cancer development and the effects of aging. Swap margarine for olive oil and organic butter - and burgers for fish. Basically, you want to consume a whole food diet that is rich in lean protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
3. Stay Social
Humans are social beings who thrive on interaction and a sense of community. Based on a number of studies, being social can potentially reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, depression, hypertension, and more.
There are so many ways to stay in touch and meet new people, so focus on activities or events that you personally enjoy. Whether you join a cooking class or volunteer at your local community center, this level of engagement is highly beneficial to your overall health.
2. Don’t Forget to Laugh
There are few things greater in life than laughter and humor. Many have stated that the absence of laughter directly threatens your psychological and physical well-being.
If you are someone that often laughs things off, not allowing the little things bother you, the negative effects of stress will not threaten your health. From a physiological standpoint, laughter can lower your blood pressure, improve immune function, promote positive blood flow, and reduce pain levels. You know what they say - laughter is the best medicine.
1. Set Goals And Never Stop Dreaming
Personal goal setting is important throughout life - helping you find purpose and meaning. When you set goals, you naturally increase your level of motivation, pushing you to do more.
As you set and reach your goals, you’ll focus on the most meaningful aspects of your life. It’s all about reinventing yourself, looking forward to the days ahead. As you reach different stages in your life, set new goals in order to live a fulfilling and positive life.