A compliment I never thought I would appreciate is “You are aging like fine wine”. When we are young, the last thing we think about is how we will live our years in the decades to come! Thanks to advancements in science and technology we are living longer than ever before. How can we care for ourselves so that these long-lived years are lived to the fullest?
Healthy aging doesn’t need to be complicated, here are 3 tips on how you can achieve optimal health at any point of your life span.
Focus on a healthy eating pattern
A healthy eating pattern is recommended to achieve healthy aging (1). Healthy foods contain many nutrients that regulate proper body processes. Eating a variety of foods that include fruits and vegetables will help minimize nutrient gaps and provide many antioxidants that help fight free radicals that contribute to the aging process (2). Consuming adequate protein and fluids is also important to maintain muscle mass, skin integrity, and avoid dehydration (3). A healthy eating pattern does not mean following a strict diet but rather having a healthy relationship with food and having a balanced plate (protein, grains, vegetables, fruits) at each meal.
Increase your physical activity
Physical activity is important in improving many aspects of our health like our cardiovascular system, physical function, cognitive function, and metabolic activity (4). Although those aspects of aging are impacted and physical activity won’t stop the process, exercise can lessen the effects and promote healthy aging. It is recommended to do at least 150 min a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity like walking, jogging, dancing, sports, biking, gardening, or any activity of your choice! Remember to be hydrated before, during, and after your activity sessions, and remember to always have fun!
Manage your stress
Stress, especially chronic stress can play a big role in accelerating the aging process due to its negative effects on many metabolic processes and hormone regulation (5). Managing your stress can be achieved by focusing on a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, finding time to relax and meditate, getting enough rest and sleep, and spending time with your loved ones! Finding ways to alleviate stress will also help your immune system which is crucial as we age.
Following these three tips is a great way to achieve optimal health. Remember it is never too late to make these changes to lie a long and healthy life!