Want to make the best of your older years? Here are 7 smart tips for aging well, covering everything from diet and exercise through to gratitude practise.
1. Protect your eyesight as you age – it’s one of the most important things you can do for independence and quality of life. Some type of sight-threatening eye problem affects one in six adults age 45 and older. Get your vision checked regularly and protect your eyes from harmful UV light.
In terms of diet, numerous studies have shown that antioxidants can possibly reduce the risk of cataracts. These antioxidants are obtained from eating a diet containing plentiful amounts of fruits and colorful or dark green vegetables.
Studies also have shown that eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration. Also, consider supplementing your diet with eye vitamins to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of the nutrients you need to keep your eyes healthy.
2. Reduce Inflammation through clean nutrition: If your daily meals are filled with foods that cause chronic inflammation, such as vegetable oils, margarine, red meats, white bread, alcohol or sugary, processed foods, you’re not doing your skin any favours. These foods can cause inflammation in your body, which may accelerate wrinkle formation. To prevent premature aging, stock up on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) such as flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, avocados, salmon, and and olive oil. These foods will help your skin maintain its soft and supple look.
A workout a day keeps the doctor at bay. In studies, both aerobic (lower intensity) and nonaerobic (higher intensity) exercise have been shown to lower levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP (the body’s marker for inflammation). The lower the body’s CRP, the less inflammation is indicated.
3. Reduce Stress. Stress can age your brain, increase your blood pressure, and disrupt your sleeping habits, all of which combined can make you look and feel older.
Find movement that helps you balance your stress. Whether it’s walking outdoors; practising yoga in the park; meditating in your tepee; or boxing (of course I put that in there!), mindful movement has been proven to reduce stress and improve cognitive function.
4. Improve Bone Health. We all lose some bone density as we age and bones get thinner as existing bone breaks down faster than new bone builds. As this occurs, our bones lose calcium and other minerals and become lighter, less dense, and more porous. This makes the bones weaker and increases the chance that they might fracture. Osteoporosis often progresses without any symptoms or pain.
Resistance training or weight bearing exercise should be done 2 -3 times per week. We’ve got the perfect workout program for you here.
And don’t forget your time in the sun! Studies also link osteoporosis with lack of Vitamin D, so make sure you get outside.
5. Boost your mental health: Regular, moderate physical activity can help manage stress and improve your mood. And, being active on a regular basis may help reduce feelings of depression. Studies also suggest that exercise can improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function, such as your ability to change quickly between tasks, plan an activity, and maintain focus. Aim to include planned exercise and incidental activity every day. Research indicates that physical activity can actually fight age related decline in cognitive function.
6. Get your zzzzzzzz’s. Stress, hormonal changes and other life factors can negatively impact our ability to sleep well. Lack of adequate sleep can impact weight gain, impaired immune system, decreased focus, sallow skin, and compromised memory. Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime, practise relaxation techniques lying in bed or take one magnesium pill just before you go to sleep – it’s a natural muscle relaxant.
7. Practise Gratitude: While aging may sometimes seem a series of nagging aches, loss of function and decrease in energy it’s important to remember the good things and mindfully focus on positive emotions. One study from the Sheffield Hallam University in the UK showed significant increases in perceived wellbeing over a 45 day study, leading to a conclusion that something as simple as gratitude diaries seem to be a cost-effective method of producing beneficial improvements in wellbeing for older adults.
Whether you’re 40 years old or 70 years old, we’ve got you covered with workouts right for your hormonal profile and fitness level.
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