No matter what age you are, you have the power to make lifestyle changes that extend your life and can make you feel more active and vital into old age. Most of us know many of the variables that can influence our health, yet we engage in unhealthy behaviors because it is the easier thing to do. Here are some of the simplest actions you can take at any age to immediately affect your lifespan.
- Stop smoking
- Engage in physical and mental exercise every day
- Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, veggies, and fruits. Also, substitute unhealthy saturated and trans fat with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- Take a daily multivitamin and make sure to intake enough vitamin D and calcium
- Monitor your weight and body shape
- Challenge your brain by trying new activities often
- Build a strong network of social support
- Floss and brush regularly, and don’t forget to see your dentist annually
- Following screening and preventative measures
- Ask your doctor if medication can help you with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and osteoporosis
Smoking is one of the most harmful activities that can take years off of your life. If you want to live a long and healthy life, it is recommended that you never try smoking, as it contributes to osteoporosis, heart disease, emphysema, and other chronic lung conditions and stroke. Smoking makes daily physical activities and exercise extremely difficult. According to some research, it may even compromise the brain’s ability to formulate memories.
Many chronic smokers do not quit because they believe that they have already wrought irreparable damage to their bodies and brains. However, after a smoker quits, the risk of heart disease can begin to drop within only a few months. Within five years of quitting, chronic smokers will match the risk of heart disease of those who are nonsmokers. Risk of stroke and the possibility of death from colorectal cancer also diminishes to those levels within 2 - 4 years of quitting.
Diet And Aging
A large amount of research suggests that eating a healthy and balanced diet can help you extend your life and improve your health. Studies also show that a healthy diet can help you avoid ailments such as heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and cataracts. There is always a new kind of fad or diet that will recommend you try certain foods and products, but it’s best to just stick with the basics. Eat as little processed food as you can, eat a balance of vegetables, fruit, meat, and whole grains, and try to strike a healthy balance of calories in and calories out.
Choose Fruits And Veggies Carefully
You should consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, though this is only the minimum. To make sure you are getting the right kinds of fruits and vegetables, remember to consume a full-color palette. You can reach the high amount of daily servings by including meals such as vegetable soups and fruit salads. You can sprinkle fruit on cereal or boil vegetables for a broth to accompany dinner
Choose Fats Wisely
You should always avoid unhealthy fats like trans fats and limit your saturated fat intake. Saturated fats can be found in all types of sources, though they are usually prominent in unhealthy foods such as pizza, hamburgers, fast food, and deep fried food. Choose healthy fats from nuts and vegetables. The American Heart Association recommends eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, or mackerel. You can also consume fish oil.
Choose Carbs Wisely
When choosing carbohydrates, make sure to choose whole grain foods over refined grains such as white bread. Popular choices such as whole oats and brown rice, as well as grains like barley, kasha, and quinoa are good options to help you maintain a varied diet while also hitting the daily recommended intake.
Choose Protein Wisely
Protein sources should be considered carefully and balanced out. Plant sources of protein such as beans, nuts, and grains should not be ignored, as they are actually better for your long-term health than animal-based sources. Animal sources, however, are far more delicious so you should eat that as well. Mixing animal and plant-based proteins will net you a good amount of amino acids and proteins. The healthiest sources are fish and lean cut poultry.
Bring In Outside Support
You can work with your doctor and nutritionist or personal trainer to ask for help in setting fitness goals. They can help you make small steps towards success and if you like, you can tell your family and friends about your goal.
Start Small, Aim Tall
Start by setting reasonable goals for fitness such as losing a few pounds, increasing your vegetable intake per day, and maybe reaching a certain mile time or fitness benchmarker. You can start small and make incremental goals over time, such as end of the month and end of the year goals. Eventually, your combined successes can build towards a monumental improvement to your health.
Step Up The Physical Activity
If you’re struggling to maintain a healthy weight, check out the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends at last 60 to 90 minutes a day of moderate physical activity. You can work out in one daily session or spread it out among smaller periods. Walking is a great activity that is low impact and can help with your physical health. Talk to your doctor before engaging in any kind of rigorous activity that could injure you.
If you’re looking for more senior living blogs and resources, make sure to read our informative blogs every week. They will provide answers to many senior living topics. If your thinking it may be time for your loved one to move into one of the best active retirement communities, Landmark Senior Living is the place for you. People. Passion. Purpose. That’s our mantra, and we live by it every day.