7 Ways to Age Without Aging
In a world filled with youth and beauty, aging has never been something people looked forward to. Aging is always depicted as unpleasant and full of unwanted problems. Yet with a new wave of Americans living progressively longer lives, seniors have begun to redefine what it means to age. Older Americans are refusing to allow the old stereotype that growing older limits their lives.
Tips to Age Without Aging
Taking certain steps to ensure the body and mind are running in a healthy and uniform order will provide a solid foundation for enjoying life during one’s remaining years.
1. Healthy Diet
The old adage “you are what you eat” is becoming more and more relevant as studies show that the key to creating a long and healthy life is in diet and nutrition. As people age, movement of the body and metabolism begins to slow down allowing one’s appetite to decrease. With less food containing rich nutrients being consumed and limited physical movement, seniors are more susceptible to medical conditions to the lack of a good diet and exercise.
Research studying the oldest people from across the world found a revealing result. There was a common dietary guideline the research participants followed which attributed to their outstanding longevity. A majority of those studied were consuming foods with fewer total calories, less saturated fat, less cholesterol, more fiber and large servings of fruits and vegetables. All of which are high in essential vitamins and minerals necessary for graceful aging.
As movement decreases with age, so does muscle mass and strength. In a report from Pennsylvania State University, researchers found seniors with decreased muscle strength are at a substantially greater risk of developing a disability. The reporting doctors suggest the elderly should preform a consistent exercise routine targeting two areas. Seniors should focus workouts on cardiovascular movements and strength training. These exercises can improve a variety of conditions ranging from blood flow to injury prevention.
3. Protect the Skin You’re In
With the millions of anti-aging products being peddled in the American market, it can be easy to over look the key to skin health: sunscreen. According to dermatologist Neal Shultz, sunscreen should be applied and worn every day, 365 days a year. With aging comes thinning and sensitive skin, which places the elderly at a higher risk to contract sunspots and skin diseases. Shultz recommends not only applying sunscreen to the face, but to all skin regularly exposed to sunlight including hands, arms, neck, and ears.
4. Cultivate a Positive Mindset
Along with studies done on healthy seniors’ diet, research has come along analyzing the mindset of those over 100 years old. Studies revealed those interviewed retained a positive and hopeful outlook for their futures. According to researchers, enthusiasm for life adds almost 8 years to a person’s life! With more scientific discoveries involving the power of the brain, more evidence is pointing to the mind as a key to physical wellbeing. Actively participating in friendships and activities can help cultivate a positive outlook for the future.
5. Connect with Old and New Friends
It is common for seniors to isolate themselves due to an array of factors ranging from limited mobility to a limited support network. Yet, humans are inherently wired to be social creatures. Allowing isolation will by far do more harm than good to one’s mental and physical health. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals has shown positive effects related to seniors’ outlook on life and improved intelligence. Maintaining good social connections also has been shown to have an impact on lowering the risk of developing dementia.
6. Be Well Rested
Getting enough sleep is a simple piece of advice with amazing benefits. Ensuring one gets ample rest can improve one’s mind and body. Through research, studies have shown a good night’s sleep can improve high blood pressure and promote weight loss. Sleep will also dramatically reduce harmful stress hormones in the body, which in turn improves one’s mood! Often times, seniors tend to develop unusual sleep patterns resulting from late night pain or daytime fatigue. However, re-aligning the internal biological sleep rhythm humans naturally follow is key to maximizing the positive effects produced by sleep.
7. Exercise the Brain
One of the major keys to aging without aging is exercising the brain. Being one of the biggest and most important muscles in the body, maintaining a sharp mind through daily mental games and challenges will positively impact a person’s overall health. Neurological studies indicate those 65 years of age and older who perform daily brain challenges actively produce an increase of gray matter in the brain. Gray matter contains mostly neurons, which are essential to a discerning mind. Engaging in mind activities such as mental puzzles, learning a new language or learning a new instrument will stimulate the brain in new ways and new areas creating more neuron connections resulting in a savvy mind.