Most of us can agree that the Fountain of Youth is a myth, and no method yet exists to completely stop or reverse aging. However, we can also likely agree that there are steps we can all take to slow down the aging process. The following are the top ten secrets for aging well, to enjoy your life and live a healthier one for many years to come…
- Eat nutrient-rich foods. With your diet, set a plan in place to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, minimum. In addition, consume three servings of whole grains, and stay away from processed foods, and items that are high in saturated fats or starch. Focus on fresh, organic, and colorful as you fill your grocery cart.
- Get lots of antioxidants. Experts have found that most age-related diseases are triggered or intensified due to free radicals. Antioxidants are the key to neutralizing them, and can be found in supplements as well as darkly-colored veggies and berries.
- Drink lots of water. Hydration is important no matter what your age! A good rule of thumb is to drink about 5-8 glasses (8 oz.) per day.
- Reduce alcohol intake. While moderate intake of alcohol (one beverage per day for women, or two beverages per day for men) has been found to lower risk of heart disease, heavier drinking can be harmful to your health in significant ways.
- Exercise regularly with aerobics and strength training. This is a must for slowing down the aging process! By exercising your muscles and keeping them moving, you will slow down the muscular deterioration that comes with aging naturally, and avoid any deterioration that could have resulted from sedentary living.
- Stimulate your brain. Studies have exhibited the importance of mental health in addition to physical well-being. Doing puzzles and challenging your brain with additional stimulation can prevent declines in cognitive function, keeping your memory and more in shape.
- Follow a healthy sleep schedule. Your body needs to rest in order to function optimally and bolster your immune system against disease. If you are not getting at least six hours of sleep each night, you are at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Don’t forget sunscreen! Regardless of the weather or season, sunscreen is necessary to protect your skin from harmful UV rays that damage the skin, cause wrinkles, and put you at risk for skin cancer.
- Strengthen yourself to prevent falling. Falls can cause minor and severe injuries that are not only painful, but take far longer for aging adults to recover from. If you make a point to walk three times each week for as little as 30 minutes, or participate in other physical activities like cycling, dancing, and hiking, you will strengthen your bones and muscles to reduce your risk of falling.
- Check your meds. With each visit to your doctor, bring along your medications, supplements, and vitamins (or a complete list) for them to review. As you receive more prescriptions (a normal part of aging), you’ll want your doctor to ensure they interact safely together and don’t have harmful side effects.
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