Old age is often accompanied by a number of problems – mostly health-related – that none of us want to deal with. While many people believe that it’s important to age gracefully, everyone wants to stay fit while this happens.
Wondering what you can do to stop yourself from rapidly inching closer toward old age physically and mentally? Here are 5 tips you can follow to ease the process and to look and feel young for long.
1. Get Enough And Good Sleep
As you age, deep sleep may seem like a remote possibility. That said, the lack of good sleep could contribute to a higher risk of a number of problems like heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure – all of which you are more likely to face as you age.1 So, ensure that you get sufficient and good sleep every night by taking simple steps like:
- limiting your caffeine intake, especially post noon
- bringing down the amount of artificial light in your room by keeping your electronics away while you sleep, and
- taking sufficient vitamin D
2. Keep Your Diet In Check
Your parents didn’t fill your plate up with veggies just to torment you when you were a kid. A diet rich in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains is abundant in substances called antioxidants, which prevent inflammation and ward off serious illnesses like heart disease.2 So, include a lot of plant-based foods in your diet. And while you’re at it, switch to organic fruits and vegetables, which are significantly higher in antioxidants. Also, remember to steer clear of foods with added sugars like soda, which speed up cell aging and increase the risk of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.
Include foods or supplements rich in calcium and vitamin D in your diet to keep your bones healthy and ward off serious illnesses like osteoporosis.3 Also, increase Vitamin B12 intake to keep your brain healthy and ward off dementia and memory loss.
3. Exercise Regularly And Stay Physically Active
Wear and tear is a natural process your body goes through with age. However, a sedentary lifestyle – which is a norm in today’s busy world – is one of the reasons this process is happening much faster than it should. If you’re wondering how to avoid early wear and tear, engage your body in sufficient physical activity. Spend enough time doing stretches, low-intensity training, and strength training as they all play equally important roles in making your muscles, joints, and bones stronger. Also, remember not to sit in the same spot for too long. Get up and walk around every 45 minutes to exercise your muscles frequently.
4. Cut Down On Alcohol And Smoking
While it may feel nice to grab a few drinks and smokes with some friends every now and then, it’s a good idea to reduce your alcohol intake and smoke as you age. Many types of alcohol are said to contain a number of additives and sugar, which reduce muscle elasticity and make movement difficult. Also, if you smoke or are around smokers a lot, you’re likely to have an increased risk of serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. So, cut down on both habits as much as possible to stay healthy in your old age.
5. Stay Social And Keep Yourself Occupied
Maintain healthy relationships with your family and friends and spend as much time with them as you can. Isolating yourself and avoiding social interaction as you grow older isn’t going to do you any good. Surrounding yourself with people – both old and new – will keep you gainfully occupied and make you feel nice. Break out of your existing routine and try something new every now and then. This could even be something as simple as trying a new cuisine or doing crossword puzzles.
Adopt these simple tips and you’re sure to look and feel younger than you are.
|↑1||Why Is Sleep Important? National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute.|
|↑2||Hu, Frank B. “Plant-based foods and prevention of cardiovascular disease: an overview.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 78, no. 3 (2003): 544S-551S.|
|↑3||Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age. NIH Osteoporosis And Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center.|