When it comes to longevity, one of the most beneficial discoveries may be that genetics actually play only a small role. Which means we control the majority of factors that could lead to living a long life.
Yet if we want to give ourselves the best chance to boost our number of years, it also suggests that we need to proactively take the right steps to stay healthy and fit.
These ideas can help you age well, live longer and feel better.
Good nutrition is important to fuel our bodies, no matter what our age. The right type of food can also help you maintain a healthy weight and possibly prevent certain diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
The key is getting the nutrients without adding a lot of calories. One great choice is the MIND diet, which is a combination of the Mediterranean diet, known for its heart benefits, and foods that are known to be cognitively valuable.
With a focus on plant-based foods, including leafy green vegetables, berries, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans and nuts, there’s evidence that following this diet may also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or slow down the rate of decline.
Having a regular exercise routine pays big benefits, including helping you to maintain a healthy weight. As you grow older, your metabolism naturally slows. If you don’t adjust the daily number of calories you take in, an increase in weight often occurs. But exercising can enhance your metabolism and build muscle mass.
Other advantages include improving your immune system, strength and flexibility, as well as decreasing your risk of developing heart disease, osteoporosis and certain cancers. There are also cognitive benefits to remaining active. Being involved in music, theater, dance and creative writing may improve your quality of life, memory, self-esteem and reduce stress.
If you haven’t been exercising, try these activities to get started:
The great news is that as we grow older, we also grow happier. Why? Part of the reason may be having more choices on how we spend our days after we retire.
If you’re able to travel, spend more time with friends and family or finally get to enjoy your love of painting or immersing yourself in all those unread books, it’s easier to feel good about yourself.
Age also teaches us to avoid people who are negative or rarely see the bright side of life. Studies have found that older adults who focus more on the positive and are able to create a meaningful life generally report being much happier.
Wanting to add years to your life? If you struggle to cope with stress and anxiety, or if you find your responses make it more difficult to bounce back from an adverse situation, you may want to take steps to better manage these often damaging emotions.
Stress can cause you to have trouble concentrating or to make decisions. You may struggle with short-term memory, have headaches, be more irritable or have trouble sleeping.
Try triggering your relaxation response by using yoga, meditation or deep breathing techniques. Another strategy is to identify any negative thinking and replace it with positive feelings.
The strong influence of sleep makes sense when you consider that we spend about one-third of our lives in the activity. It’s not true that we need less sleep the older we get, but it can prove more difficult to find.
What can you do when you’re unable to go to sleep? Or you’re able to drift off quickly but wake up during the middle of the night and find it hard to return to slumber?
After talking to a doctor to eliminate any physical causes, consider trying these tips for relief:
Having friends is necessary for the health of both your body and mind. Older adults that find themselves isolated or lonely may also experience physical or mental deterioration. Loneliness has also been linked to higher cognitive decline, heart disease and stroke.
Research has found that those who create and maintain a healthy social network may benefit from an improved immune system, lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Sleep may be more restful and chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and depression may improve.
And when it comes to longevity? One study found those with strong connections had a 50% greater chance of outliving those with few social ties.
If you’ve been considering steps you might take to increase your longevity, you may be glad to discover how beneficial an independent living community could be.
Along with being supported in your efforts to age well and live life to the fullest, we think you’ll appreciate the opportunities you’ll find to eat healthy, keep active and create strong social relationships.
If you’re searching for the type of lifestyle you’ve always imagined, we hope you’ll consider all the advantages of Ingleside at Rock Creek Independent Living.
You’ll also have the choice of a spacious one or two bedroom floor plan with a full sized kitchen, large windows that flood your living space with natural light, safety features and underground parking.
Please visit our website for more information. Call (202) 846-2651 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.