Age is actually a red herring. Yes the earth does a couple of rotations around the sun and your cells do get older, but the number itself is not a true indicator of age. Contrary to what most people believe, you can control the aging process, or at the very least, slow it down.
40 is the new 30 and 30 the new 20 and so on. In broader respects, the aging process is indicative of how you take care of your body. With advances in modern technology and medicine, we are equipped with the resources and knowledge to help our bodies and mind stay healthy and young for a very long time. Let’s explore some ways you can slow down the aging process, take care of yourself, and age gracefully.
Take Care of Chronic Pain
Whether caused through trauma or long-term stress, chronic pain can seem innocuous at first then begin to linger. Chronic pain is very prevalent among elderly and middle-aged adults. It’s important to seek out treatment for any chronic pain before the symptoms begin to worsen.
A massage or a spinal alignment can go a long way in rejuvenating your spirit and giving you a new lease on life. Seek physical therapy for any chronic pain that begins to impact your way of life.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Everyone preaches it, but vitamin and mineral deficiency can lead to a whole host of problems, including obesity, muscle cramps, and other more serious conditions, such as dementia. Beyond this, poor dieting leads to a sedentary lifestyle, which leads to hypertension, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
An optimal diet for healthy aging should include:
- The recommended amount of fruits and vegetables
- High-quality fish with omega 3-fatty acids
- Fiber-rich foods
- Foods with low-cholesterol
- Foods full of antioxidants
Some foods to avoid include:
- Refined sugars
- High counts of trans-fats
- Processed meats
- Fatty meats
Foods affect everything from liver function to eye health. Consider that certain diseases, such as macular degeneration can actually be linked to inflammation and cardiovascular disease caused by poor dieting. The foods we eat also affect our motivation and energy levels. Poor dieting can seep into other areas of life and cause a sedentary and lazy lifestyle.
The office lifestyle and sedentary habits we’ve developed as a nation are slowly killing all of us. Most experts recommend exercising for at least 150 minutes a week. Ideally, a mix of cardio, stretches, and maybe some weight lifting for 30 minutes 6 days a week will keep your body lean and your metabolism high. You don’t need a gym membership either. A simple walk around the neighborhood or some yoga will be effective.
Get Consistent Sleep
Sleep is a time for repair and rejuvenation. When you sleep your body rids itself of toxins and releases growth hormones to help boost your immune system. Everything from your metabolism to skin health is regulated by sleep patterns.
Practice getting into a routine of healthy sleep patterns. Aim for 8 hours of sleep during the night and at the same time every night to establish a consistent circadian rhythm. You can experiment with delta wave therapy, listen to music through sleepphones, or taking melatonin supplements to encourage a healthy, restful sleep.
Human beings are social creatures who crave community. According to a meta-analysis of studies by Brigham Young University, loneliness can increase your risk of death by up to 30%. A study by the Jo Cox Commision found that loneliness could be as bad as your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
It’s important to be social in your personal and professional life. While this isn’t easy, there are tons of resource out there to help people connect and even clubs you can join. Be sure to connect with family and friends regularly, it’s surprisingly healthy for you.
Finally, your emotions greatly impact your physiological health. Not only does cortisol (e.g. stress) affect skin health and lead to obesity, it may be an instrumental cause of more serious diseases including, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. You need to find ways to get rid of that negative emotion to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Other Tips for Healthy Aging
- Moisturize your skin once a day
- Stay away from alcohol and smoking
- Get regular checkups
- Talk to your doctor about any medications you may be taking