While it’s true that you’re not getting older but better, most of us know that it’s the result of our efforts and not something that magically occurs.
We’ve also learned through the years that by keeping in shape, we are more likely to enjoy a healthy life, both physically and cognitively.
The great news is that it’s never too late to start the effort, so if you’re unsure of how to begin, the following suggestions can help get you on your way to age well:
It’s important to remember that we need to take care of both our body and mind. You’ll be able to find some activities that benefit both. Here are a few suggestions from healthline.com to help you to age well and gracefully:
The benefits of exercise extend to both our physical and cognitive selves. Moving regularly helps lower our risk of heart disease and certain cancers as well as being good for our bones and muscles.
Try combining moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic exercises each week, such as swimming, dancing, bike riding and walking. Add in muscle strengthening exercises as well, using weights or resistance bands. You should also focus on balance training as this can greatly decrease the risk of falls and injuries.
Eating a healthy diet can go a long way toward aging well. Start by considering your current meal plan and if it could use an update. Make sure your daily diet includes:
What to avoid? Solid and unhealthy fats, processed foods, refined sugars and minimize your salt intake.
Research has pointed to the detrimental effects of a sedentary life, including increasing your risks for heart disease and chronic illnesses. If you haven’t yet, it’s not that hard to become more active.
Start by committing to moving every day. Make taking a walk or hike a part of your routine. Join a group exercise class or take up a physical hobby that will not only help keep you healthy but will be fun as well.
Getting a good night’s sleep is another activity that benefits both your body and mind. It can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce stress, depression and inflammation, and improve your focus and concentration.
It’s not true that you need less sleep as you grow older. Instead, you’ll need about the same hours but for some it may prove to be a little more elusive. If that describes you, talk to your doctor for suggestions.
Although more research is needed when it comes to the direct benefits that brain games may play, we also know staying physically fit can have advantages for our mind.
Regular exercise, plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet is great for your brain. Staying mentally involved, learning new skills and socializing can also make a big impact on your brain health.
When we access our creative side, our brains are stimulated. Even spending time coloring makes a difference in improving your brain health and function.
Creativity can boost your happiness as you get lost in your work, reduce your anxiety and slow down your heart rate. It has also been found to reduce depression and may help delay symptoms of dementia. The act of creation, in whatever form you choose, can calm the brain.
Meditation can do much for the mind to calm racing thoughts, excessive anxiety and worry. It’s easy to create a meditation practice and all you need is a quiet space.
Mindfulness is also beneficial as it helps us to keep our focus on the present. Most of our worries are about imagined events in the future, even if they’re unlikely. Mindfulness benefits include an improved focus, better memory, lower stress and increased immune functioning.
Stress can have a major influence on your health, both physically and emotionally. Although everyone has stress, you can take necessary steps to manage yours. Work on trying to see the positives in life.
Those who embrace their age have shown it can make a difference in longevity and recovering from an injury or illness. Spend time with those you love and enjoy as these actions will improve your mood and sense of wellbeing. Relax, meditate, take a Yoga class and talk to a friend.
Westminster at Lake Ridge Independent Living supports all your efforts to age well and live an enriched life.
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Please visit our website for more information or call (703) 420-7105 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.