To live a long and fulfilling life, you should start by laying the groundwork for good health as early as possible. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your health and lengthen your lifespan.
Eat a Diet Rich in Antioxidants
A healthy diet is critical in aging gracefully. Many Americans’ diets are calorically dense but nutrient deficient, leading to rapid aging and a slew of preventable health problems. To keep your body functioning its best as you age, make sure to eat plenty of antioxidants to combat the damage of free radicals. Free radical molecules can wreak havoc on the body, causing cancer, premature arthritis, and blood disorders. To help your body defend itself against harmful effects from free radicals, eat foods high in antioxidants like wild blueberries, dark chocolate, and pecans.
Photo: Salad With Avocado by tiramisustudio
Find an Exercise Program That You Like
No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to start an exercise program. If you’re older or have physical problems like knee pain, consult with your doctor to find out how to start slowly and manage pain. For relatively healthy individuals who hope to start an exercise program, it’s recommended to start slowly with low-impact movements. If you have joint pain but you’re looking to tone your muscles, swimming is an excellent choice to keep your heart and muscles healthy.
Keep an Active Social Life
Many seniors notice a decline in mental health as they age due to social isolation. To keep yourself happy, active, and entertained, try to keep up with your friends and family often. Staying in touch with those close to you is a great way to avoid the negative mental health effects of isolation. Aging isn’t always easy, but it’s much easier when you’re surrounded by supportive individuals that you can talk to openly and honestly. If you have a specific hobby or interest, think about joining a group in your area to connect with others who share your passion.
If you’re middle-aged or approaching your senior years and you’re looking for a new goal to accomplish, consider going back to school to obtain a masters in gerontology. With new online graduate programs popping up every day, you’ll be able to pursue a new career to help your peers stay happy and healthy. Since the courses are done online instead of in a traditional setting, you’ll be able to keep yourself busy with challenging classes that are directly applicable to your life to help you better understand the aging process and how to stay healthy.
Eat Smaller Meals Throughout the Day
As you age, your metabolism slows down significantly. If you find that you feel full and bloated after eating what you’ve always considered a normal sized meal, it might be time to start eating smaller meals more frequently. To help your metabolism and digestive system cope with the changes that come with age, consider changing your eating habits just slightly to include meals that are more manageable for your body. You might find that you’ll be able to feel full while eating quite a bit less than you did in the past.
Stay On Top of Doctor’s Appointments
In your younger years, you might have let doctor’s appointments slip through the cracks as you dealt with life’s other priorities. However, keeping up with medical appointments can be one of the key factors in catching problems early. To ensure that you stay as healthy as possible and free from unnecessary stress, make sure to speak with your doctors often to monitor all aspects of your health. While you might see your primary care doctor often, it’s also important to see an eye doctor at least once per year to check for eye issues like macular degeneration, which is common among seniors.