Aging is inevitable part of all of our lives. Try as we might to fight it, it will happen to each and every one of us in the end. Aging isn’t always a walk in the park, just as the infamous Bette Davis quote goes, “old age is no place for sissies.” That’s not to say that you can’t help prepare yourself for the aging bridge when you cross it. You can help ease yourself into aging well by adopting these useful tips throughout your life.
Keep A Positive Attitude
A seriously underrated component of aging well is actually your attitude towards it! According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, those who perceive aging as a means to increased wisdom as opposed to a means of uselessness or helplessness are 40% more likely to get through a disability. Make sure to stay positive as much as you can!
Maintain A Balanced Diet
There’s no doubt about it: your nutrition is one of the most important factors in determining your health and in turn, how well you age. According to Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, Physician Director of Healthcare Transformation at Kaiser Permanente Primary Care. “The latest research shows that a low-glycemic diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is healthiest.” Following a diet such as the Mediterranean Diet that is rich in nutritious foods is key. In fact, Benabio also claims that “foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, salmon, and flaxseed, help your skin manufacture the essential oils it needs to protect itself and can help skin look younger.”
This one may also seem like an obvious one, but we can’t stress just how important keeping active and exercising regularly is for maintaining our bodies and aging well. As we age, we lose our muscles mass at a much faster rate. However, incorporating regular exercise into our routines can help keep and even increase our strength and muscle mass, even as we reach our 90’s, according to Fabio Comana of the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Secondly, a study conducted by the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience journal found that keeping active helps minimize age-related memory loss, due to the fact that exercise helps keep the hippocampus strong — which is the part of our part that is associated with learning.
An important component to aging better is one that is pretty surprising: socializing with family and friends. According to a study done in the journal PLOS Medicine, having strong bonds improves our chances of living longer by about 50% than those who do not have any close relationships.
Protect Your Skin
We know — it’s really annoying to have to worry about applying sunscreen at the beach, so forget about making it a regular, daily part of your routine! But trust us, you’ll want to avoid spending extensive amounts of time in the sun if you want to prevent your skin from aging at a much more rapid pace. Dr. Jeffrey Benabio says: “After a few minutes of sun, your skin stops making vitamin D…and starts making skin cancer.” Well, we heard that message loud and clear. Long story short: less sun and more sunscreen!
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things to maintain proper health, and can also benefit our aging process. The ideal amount of sleep ranges from about seven to nine hours per night. If that sounds unrealistic consider the following: not getting enough sleep leads to a higher risk of health issues like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Additionally, studies have shown that insomnia leads our brain to age faster. Benabio explains that: “Too many of us treat sleep as a luxury instead of a need. If I could encourage people do make one healthy change this year, it would be to sleep more.”