There’s no doubt that aging can take a toll on your health. You will face aches, pains, and other challenges. However, prioritizing your health is the best way to combat those inevitable difficulties that come with age. Here are the top ten ways you can stay healthy as you age.
- Get moving
This may seem like an obvious one, but for a good reason. As Newton’s first law says, an object in motion stays in motion, and an object at rest stays at rest. Unless you want to be an object at rest continuously, get moving. Maybe its fifteen-minute walks every morning, or perhaps it’s participating in group fitness classes. Whatever works for your lifestyle, make a routine of doing something active every day. Your body will thank you later.
- Eat nutritious meals
Before you roll your eyes, think about all of the possibilities. There are so many creative recipe developers in the world creating meals that are healthy and tasty. Take advantage of the internet and look into creative, healthy meal ideas. One simple change is to try out carb-less pasta instead of filling your body with unnecessary carbs. Do some research on healthy alternatives to the meals that you love the most. Find ways to supply your body with nutrients that will serve you in the long run.
- Use it or lose it
A healthy brain is one that is being used. Similar to exercising your muscles, your mind needs to be used to get stronger. As you learn new skills, your brain rewires itself. Consider bringing in puzzles and other brain games into your daily routine.
According to BrainHQ,
The basic concept is simple. The brain changes physically, functionally, and chemically, as you acquire any ability or skill. You know this instinctively. Something must be changing as your abilities improve, or as new capabilities emerge. You are remodeling your brain machinery by ‘practicing’ the craft; those physical changes account for your learning.
- Prioritize your relationships and social life
An essential aspect of a healthy life is cultivating strong relationships. Staying connected socially can bring joy to your life and help reduce stress. Try to get involved socially by going on walks with friends, doing group fitness classes, or joining a book club.
Alzheimer’s Association suggests keeping a healthy social life to reduce risks of:
- Get rid of the unnecessary stress
Be mindful of the stressors you experience from day-to-day. Maybe it’s clutter in your home, or perhaps it’s your dishwasher making that scary noise. There are inevitable stressors that you can’t control, but there are also many stressors that you can control. Make it a priority to take care of what you can control—schedule those home repairs and clean out the clutter that keeps building up.
- Create an environment for sleep
Did you know that your body can go longer without food than it can go without sleep? Consumer Reports conducted a study and found that 68% of adults report struggling with rest at least once a week. It’s so important to adjust your environment to support your sleep schedule. Try dimming the lights at night, hanging blackout curtains, or decluttering your bedroom.
- Cultivate a self-care routine
Think about how you practice self-care in your day-to-day life. What activities are genuinely enjoyable for you? How often are you doing those activities? Remember that self-care shouldn’t be forced, it should be simple things that help you take care of yourself.
Here are a few ideas for self-care:
- Taking a bath
- Lighting candles
- Walking outside
- Take on new challenges
Exploring your interests and challenging yourself is a great way to empower yourself and stay motivated. Maybe it’s learning how to knit a sweater or reading a new book. Conquering fears and getting out of your comfort zone will help you learn about yourself and help you grow as a person.
Psychology Today makes an excellent point on new challenges—
In everyday life, we will be faced every so often with important decisions such as whether to take on a new problem, like applying for a new job or starting a new course. Taking on such challenges is an integral part of growing and developing as a person. The more we can test our limits and capabilities the more we will learn about ourselves. New challenges are opportunities for us.
- Go wherever brings you joy
Experiencing joy is one of the best parts of life. If there’s a particular restaurant, park, or city that you enjoy, let yourself enjoy it. Similar to self-care routines, regularly going places that we love is healthy. For example, if you enjoy watching the sunset or sunrise, go to places where you can experience that. If you like listening to birds chirping, go into nature. The key is to put yourself in situations that are likely to bring you joy.
- Surround yourself with positivity
Not only should you go places that bring you happiness, but you should also be intentional about bringing joy to you. Making your home a positive environment might mean painting the walls a bright color or merely having friends over. Recognize who and what you surround yourself with and ask whether or not it is a positive force in your life.
About the author: Emma Cook is a recent graduate and freelance writer working hard to build her portfolio. Whether it’s aging, home life, or mental health, her goal is to empower others to live their fullest life—and her strategy is writing.