Aging is a fact of life, and healthy aging is a goal most people have. Who doesn’t want to live as long as possible, and live a full, healthy life? Unfortunately, many people don’t know where to start. Don’t fear though, with some basic lifestyle choices and other tips, you’ll be on the road to healthy aging in no time.
Why Is Healthy Aging Important?
You may be wondering, what is the importance of healthy aging? Some of the benefits of staying healthy and active as you get older include a reduction in the risk of getting a chronic illness, increased participation and wellbeing, fall prevention, and a faster recovery from illnesses. The earlier in life you adopt a healthy lifestyle, the better chances you have of staying healthy throughout your lifetime.
Keeping both your brain and body active can be key in reducing risk of dementia, can help improve your quality of sleep, reduce your risk of heart disease, and even stimulate your appetite. Adopting a healthy diet for overall health and wellbeing is also extremely important, as good nutrition combined with regular exercise can help improve your strength and also help your body fight off infection.
Is Healthy Aging Possible?
The most ideal situation is where you’ve been following a healthy diet and good exercise regimen throughout your life. However, it’s never too late to start! There are many lifestyle tips to make healthy aging possible, including:
- Practicing good dental hygiene daily - Twice a day brushing and daily flossing are very important to the health of both your teeth and gums. Preventing inflammation in your mouth can also help ward off inflammation in your body, and also may reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Getting good quality sleep every night - The National Sleep Foundation’s recommendation for adults 65 years of age and older is to get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night. If you feel like going to bed early, that’s fine, just make sure you are logging the proper amount of z’s every night.
- Stay physically active for proper body and mind health - Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of anxiety and depression while lifting your mood, naturally improve your balance, and aid in better cognitive function.
- Eat a well-balanced, healthful diet - Eating a diet that consists of real, whole foods can help your body function well. Following a diet like a paleo diet can be very healthy, as it focuses on good quality meats, vegetables, and fruits.
What Does Healthy Aging Mean?
Every person on the entire planet should have the best chance they have at living a healthy, long, and fulfilling life. Yet, our environments can expose us to many daily toxins. Healthy aging is all about improving our environments, limiting our exposure to toxins, and assisting our bodies in removing toxins naturally.
The WHO’s definition of healthy aging is “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age.” The functional ability is having capabilities that allow people to be who they want to be and do what they value. This includes a person’s ability to contribute to society; grow, learn, and make decisions; and meet their basic needs.
What Promotes Healthy Aging?
There are many strategies for promoting healthy aging, and in addition to the good lifestyle choices listed above, you can also adapt some other good ideas. Every day we make choices that influence our own personal health and wellness. These are some key factors that influence a healthy and long life:
- Attitude is a state of mind - Taking charge of your attitude is extremely important, as a sense of humor, hope, and confidence will directly affect your quality of life.
- Develop strong relationships - Even more important than your physical health, your emotional and mental health should be highly protected. Connecting with others can give meaning to your life and provide you with the companionship most people need.
- Participate in meaningful activities - Taking time for activities that you enjoy can provide many physical and emotional benefits.
What Strategies Can Improve Health in Older Adults?
By following some healthy habits for seniors, wellness can be promoted even in older patients who haven’t always followed a healthy lifestyle. Encouraging physical activity and exercise can be paramount to improving the health of an older adult. Following an appropriate exercise plan including muscle-building exercises, endurance training, and flexibility exercises has a dramatic positive effect on overall health.
Older patients may develop poor eating habits due to many factors including teeth problems, depression, and sometimes a lack of smell or taste. After the age of 50, the body’s vitamin and mineral requirements increase, although energy may decrease with age. Eating foods containing vitamin D, various B vitamins, magnesium, and calcium, is extremely important.
What Are the Top Healthy Habits?
The top healthy aging habits are generally pretty easy to follow for people of all ages. Some of the habits of super healthy people include eating a good quality breakfast to jump start metabolism, drinking plenty of water to stay properly hydrated, and going offline to have a break from electronics. Not smoking cigarettes, spending time outdoors in nature, and being mindful are all additional habits of the most healthy people.
What Activities Are Good for Seniors?
It’s common for seniors to develop routines that dull their spirit and can have a negative impact on both their mental and physical health. Activities for seniors can help them maintain proper motor skills, minimize depression and agitation, and establish a sense of self-confidence and accomplishment. Activities that promote healthy aging can be stimulating for both the brain and body. Some of the top activities for seniors include:
- Higher Learning
- Cooking and Baking
- Music and Dancing
- Pet Therapy
Science keeps proving the link between an engaging and active lifestyle and a long, healthy life. Mental stimulation and physical activities positively influence cognition in elderly adults who are free from neurological conditions. Overall, happy and healthy seniors generally live longer, more fulfilled lives.
What Is the Nutritional Recommendation for Aging Well?
Healthy aging nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated. Eating a varied, balanced diet contains many necessary nutrients for proper health. These are some key factors of nutritional recommendation for aging well.
- Proper calories need to be met - As humans age, their calorie requirement decreases as physical activity generally decreases. It’s important to maintain a proper intake of calories without greatly exceeding.
- Vitamin D and Calcium - Calcium is very important to maintaining the proper health of the nervous system as well as blood clotting and muscle contractions. Proper intake of calcium is important for healthy bones. Vitamin D is naturally not abundant in many food sources and may require supplementation.
- Antioxidants - Eating foods like blueberries, almonds, strawberries, tomatoes, dark leafy green vegetables, and bell peppers increases the number of antioxidants in your body.
- Adequate protein - Protein is needed for tissue growth, maintenance, and repair. The average adult needs between 45 to 60 grams of protein a day. Foods high in protein include chicken, beef, eggs, dairy, fish, and legumes.
Supplements May Help
As you age, it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle to encourage vitality and overall good health. Supplementing with high-quality vitamins and minerals can have a positive effect on health as sometimes people don’t consume all the nutrients they need from diet alone. A supplement like Spermidine can help greatly with cellular renewal. As you age, follow these healthy tips and you’ll be doing your best to ensure a long, healthy, and happy life.Resources: