We all want to grow old in good physical shape with overall optimal health. With the advances in modern medicine, it is possible nowadays to live to a venerable age without being limited by disease. However, good lifestyle habits still must be adopted. Here are seven tips that everyone should adopt and implement to age well.
From the age of 30, our body loses a small percentage of its muscle mass each year; this phenomenon increases considerably in our fifties. It is therefore essential to do weight training activities, especially to maintain adequate muscle mass. This has a direct effect on metabolic efficiency and on remaining at a healthy weight, in addition to helping maintain good balance as we age. Cardiovascular activities (jogging, swimming, cycling, etc.) help maintain the cardiovascular system, and thus aid in preventing diseases that can affect it.
The general rule to follow: you should do 150 minutes of moderate-to-high intensity physical activity every week. This is equivalent to 5 periods of 30 minutes each. Of course, you can divide this total activity time in any way that suits your schedule.
Food plays a major role in our health. Therefore, it is important to eat a wide variety of healthy foods (fruits and vegetables, plant proteins, whole grains, nuts and seeds, etc.). Most importantly, as we age, we need to make sure we eat enough, even if our appetite is less than before. A healthy diet provides our body with all the elements it needs to maintain good condition, while helping prevent many diseases.
For a good night’s sleep, adults should sleep 7 to 8 hours a night. Sleep allows our body to maintain its vital functions. Lack of sleep can directly affect cognitive function, stress levels and mood. In addition, lack of sleep is associated with an increased risk of obesity and depression, but also of developing health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Every year, these diseases are responsible for many deaths.
Cognitive health is inherent to healthy aging. The tips presented in this article, such as healthy eating habits, restful sleep and regular physical activity, have a direct effect on maintaining cognitive function.
However, there are other strategies that can be used as we age to maintain our brain. Like our muscles, the brain needs exercise to stay healthy. We should continue to learn new things throughout our lives, such as speaking a new language or playing a musical instrument. Video games, board games and strategy games are other good ways to maintain cognitive function. This can help prevent neurocognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
We should continue doing the activities that are important to us, even as we age. These are great opportunities to get out of the house, get moving, meet people with similar interests, etc. In addition to the physical fitness and psychological benefits, engaging in activities that we enjoy also helps prevent cognitive decline.
Social isolation is a major issue among seniors since it leads to physical deconditioning and accentuates the decline of cognitive abilities. It is thus important to maintain ties with friends, family members, etc. This is another good reason to continue pursuing hobbies that you enjoy because of the quality connections that can be made.
Joint pain, especially from osteoarthritis, is common in the aging population. However, these pains should not prevent anyone from being active or doing leisure activities.