Aging gracefully and healthfully is something that many of us strive for. As the years go by, overall health and nutrition become more and more important, and we might try tricks or hacks to counteract or slow the aging process. But what if we told you there are everyday things you can do to help you on your healthy aging journey?
Here we have outlined some tips you can incorporate into your life to help you age gracefully, whether you are in your thirties, helping other generations understand the importance of healthy aging, or transitioning to your best years.
Early Morning Exercise. This decade can be a time of great change. Some have settled down and started families, while others might be putting family on hold to focus on their career. Regardless, now is the time to start thinking about a healthy future, if you haven’t already. Reader’s Digest suggests exercising first thing in the morning instead of later in the day, because morning workouts can help to increase your energy level and improve your mood.
A Vitamin a Day. It’s also a good idea to make sure taking vitamins every day becomes a habit, especially if you weren’t taking them in your twenties. Dr. Romy Block, MD, told Reader’s Digest that many thirty-somethings have nutritional gaps that can be strengthened with a few supplements. Dr. Block suggests talking with your doctor about your diet and lifestyle and filling in the gaps with a multivitamin that’s right for you.
Maintain Muscle. According to Live Science, we lose about one percent of our muscle mass each year starting at around age 40. To combat this decrease, try incorporating weight-bearing activities into your exercise regimen, like bicep curls, or cardio, like jumping rope. Aging may decrease flexibility for some, so if you feel a little less stretched out, try attending a yoga class once or twice a week.
Focus on Fiber. At around 40 years old, the metabolism tends to slow down. But eating fewer calories can actually benefit your health, according to Live Science. However, if you decrease your calorie count, you will need to pay close attention to the foods you’re eating and make sure you are getting plenty of fiber. The San Francisco Gate states that women in their 40s should be getting 25 grams of fiber a day, and men ages 19 to 50 should be eating approximately 38 grams of fiber daily.
Better Bones. If you have led an active life so far, you have a better chance of your bones and joints being strong and healthy once you hit your fifties. But even if your activity level has been less than stellar, it’s not too late! AARP says that, “aging and inactivity can lead to achy joints because of the wearing down of cartilage, the loss of lubricating fluid, and weaker muscles.” To help maintain and improve bone health, try weight training and strength training.
Maintain Metabolism. Joy Bauer, a nutritionist and author, recently told the Washington Post, “Metabolism slows with age, so it’s vital to eat voluminous and tasty meals without bumping up calorie intake.” She suggests fruits and vegetables, because they will fill you up since they are high in volume and low in calories.
Vitamin D is Vital. Healthy bones aren’t just something to pay attention to when you’re in your 50s. It’s important to focus on bone health in your 60s and 70s too. One way you can help keep your bones healthy is by getting the right amount of vitamin D. Sure, going outside on a sunny day can help with that, but for adults ages 19 to 70, the Institute of Medicine recommends 600 international units of vitamin D a day.
Recognize Depression. Unfortunately, depression can creep up on you, especially in the later stages of life. Pay attention to signs and symptoms of depression, in yourself or a friend or family member. Some signs are significant weight change (when not on a diet or making a lifestyle change), a change in sleeping patterns, a loss of energy, and the diminished ability to think or concentrate.
70s and Beyond
Test your Hearing. In your 70s, hearing loss is common. Losing your hearing can cause feelings of social isolation, and if hearing loss is untreated, it could even cause the onset of dementia. Getting regular hearing tests can help you determine the type of care you may need in the future.
Nurture Relationships. Retirement can create loneliness, which means it’s even more important than ever at this stage in life to foster meaningful relationships with friends and family. Organize a family movie night, go out and meet new people by volunteering at church or a local homeless shelter.
By incorporating some of these tips into your daily life, you can work on aging healthily. What is something that you do to practice healthy aging that wasn’t covered in the article?