Aging is inevitable, but there are many things you can do to help yourself age in the healthiest way possible. The choices and decisions you make on a daily basis have an impact on your overall health and well-being. With small changes, you can take charge of your future and set your body and mind up for a fulfilling and healthy future.
Physical activity is crucial to healthy aging, so it’s important to get into a good daily exercise routine, especially as you get older. In addition to the obvious benefits, like keeping your body strong and reducing the risk of diseases, even 30 minutes of low-impact exercise can also reduce stress, boost “happy hormones,” and improve sleep.
When it comes to physical activity, consistency is the most important thing. So whatever activity you choose – walking, pickleball, yoga, anything that gets you moving – focus on incorporating it into your daily life and making it a habit.
A balanced and nutritious diet is also an important part of healthy aging. Incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into meals supplies our bodies with essential vitamins and minerals. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track when it comes to nutritious eating:
- Plan Ahead: Visualize breakfast, lunch, and dinner for at least 5 days. Remember to consider the time and energy you will have to prepare meals. If you plan ahead, you are less likely to need to resort to unhealthy, quick options during the week.
- Think Nutrition: The healthiest meals emphasize whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Stay away from frozen dinners—most are high in sodium, fat, and calories. Also, limit purchases of tempting foods like chips, sodas, cookies, and ice cream. They are high in empty calories and run up your grocery bill.
- Make a Shopping List—And Use It! You’ll be less likely to buy impulse items if you stick to your list. Having a list will also prevent you from forgetting items and scrambling for a quick and unhealthy meal during the week.
Taking care of your body isn’t the only requirement for healthy aging, taking care of your mental well-being is also crucial. Just like building exercise into your daily routine, it’s important to incorporate practices into your day that help strengthen your mental well-being. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Practice mindfulness throughout your day
- Meditate for 5 minutes a day whenever possible
- Do activities that stimulate and challenge your mind and allow you to think critically and creatively
- Seek out coaching or therapy sessions
Healthy aging is an ongoing journey that requires you to build positive habits and prioritize yourself. By focusing on regular exercise, healthy eating, and taking care of your mental health, you can embrace aging with grace.