Aging is a natural part of the human experience, and it comes with the experiences of life-changing transitions
and changes. From retiring from your long-term career to grieving the loss of a loved one to facing the reality of developing health issues, it is important to stay adaptive and continually grow from these experiences to age gracefully.
Age is just a number, and the sky is just the limit. Being in your golden years is a stage of newfound independence and freedom, without any commitments to restrict you from truly exploring your true passion. Whether it's finding a new hobby, interest, or routine, being open-minded to changes and knowledge is integral to helping you age gracefully.
However, aging also comes and brings with it some tough dilemmas and difficult-to-ask questions – such as the fear of possibly developing dementia, the decision to move to an assisted living facility, or navigating the slippery slope of making important financial, medical, and family plans.
While these trials and tribulations will require resilience and adaptiveness to overcome, there isn't a reason to fear them, especially when you stay emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy. So read on to learn how you take charge of your health and live life to the fullest!
Cut Out the Sugar, Sprinkle in the Greens
While diets are generally a fad and are marketed to help people lose weight, having a healthy and balanced meal plan
is crucial to helping ensure you get all the nutrition you require and boost your immune system. This should work in conjunction with your daily exercise, as it is also integral in helping you accelerate your quest to lead and maintain an active and balanced lifestyle.
Generally, a Mediterranean-style diet is encouraged. It comprises high fruits and vegetable content, a high quantity of whole grains, healthier fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and leaner types of protein like fish. But, on the flip side, it is also low in sugar, processed foods, and meats with high-fat content, which can cause severe health illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and stroke.
Recent studies have shown that following this particular diet can improve your cognitive and memory functions and cardiovascular health.
Leading a Healthy and Active Lifestyle
In conjunction with your balanced diet plan, leading a healthy and active lifestyle
through performing daily exercises
like brisk walking, jogging, or running can lower the risk of contracting chronic diseases like high blood pressure, cancers, and diabetes. It also strengthens your immune system and helps you to fight off common ailments and infections.
It has also proven to be a huge benefit to the individual's mental health
by helping to significantly alleviate the effects of depression, anxiety while improving their self-confidence, which decreases the risk of social isolation. Most importantly, it has also been proven to boost and stimulate cognitive function, helping to prevent the onset of dementia.
While you might already be battling your pre-existing medical conditions, medical experts highly encourage you to have 30 minutes of exercise to keep your mind and body active. However, this should only be done after your healthcare provider has given you the green light to partake in this activity.
Extinguish the Cigarette
Quitting can be incredibly challenging when you have been a long-time smoker. However, there are overwhelming benefits when it comes to eschewing smoking as a habit, such as decreasing the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In addition, studies have found that completely cutting out smoking has reduced premature deaths by half.
There are bound to be withdrawal symptoms when it comes to quitting long-term smoking. This can be managed by swimming, cycling, or running to overcome and decrease cravings for a cigarette. If you still struggle to cope with the withdrawal symptoms, it might be time to seek more professional help. You can inquire with your general practitioner about smoking cessation programs available to overcome your barriers to quitting smoking.
Getting Sufficient Amount of Sleep
Like breathing, sleeping is just as important. So it goes to say that it is an integral part of our daily routine every night, helping to restore energy level and heal cognitive and physical damages sustained by your body during the day. Therefore, having a lack of sleep can negatively impact your mood, well-being, memory retention, and appearance.
As we age, the number of melatonin (the hormone that determines our sleeping patterns) in our bodies decreases, resulting in older adults being more likely to be woken up by sleep disturbances and have more difficulty falling asleep. If you are facing sleep issues, you should consider consulting with a healthcare expert to address them, as this could have long-term repercussions on your mental and physical health.
Taking Charge of Your Life
As humans, we are creatures of routine. Therefore the habits we have developed and integrated over the years die hard. However, these golden years offer you a great opportunity to re-explore your body's limits, reimagine your potential, and rediscover your hidden interests. After all, life is a continuous learning process, no matter our age.