Although it is a natural process, aging can be a struggle for some people. Who never despaired in front of the mirror after seeing those first strands of white hair or the increasingly noticeable wrinkles around the eyes? Getting older is inevitable, so you need to accept and embrace it.
The good news is that you can slow the decline in aging by making some smart choices in your 20s and 30s. Remember that the excesses you commit in your youth will take their toll later on. So be very careful how you eat, exercise, and spend your free time right now.
Let’s take a look at the four main factors to ensure the best second half of your life.
Faced with the facilities of modern life, the new generations are aging sedentarily and developing a series of health problems as a result. Engage in physical activities as soon as possible, as daily exercise is good for both physical and mental health.
In addition to keeping your body strong and healthy – lowering your risk of obesity and heart disease – being active gives you more energy and stamina, boosts your self-esteem, and even improves your sleep.
It’s never too late to start, although it is necessary to adapt the frequency and load of exercises to your age and physical condition. Some people are better suited to a gym routine, while others prefer to play sports. But even walking 30 minutes every day around the neighborhood helps: experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week to keep your body and brain healthy.
When your body is young, it is a little better able to withstand the impact of overeating, or even a diet rich in fast food. As we age, eating healthy becomes mandatory as several studies link some diet changes to preventing serious diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. Of course, it’s not easy to change a life of excess in a few days, so start with small adaptations in your diet and slowly make it a daily habit. Here are some tips for getting started easily:
- Replace fatty meats, butter, and carbohydrates (such as bread and pasta) with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Decrease the amount of salt in your food, because a low-sodium diet improves your blood pressure and helps with weight loss.
- Avoid processed meats (such as hot dogs, bacon, and sausages) because they have too much sodium, fat and chemical preservatives.
- A deficiency of vitamins like vitamin D can worsen heart disease and bone problems, so add more eggs and fish to your diet.
- Cut down on processed foods and drinks, which often contain a lot of sugar and chemical preservatives.
- Adopt a wholesome diet, with more fiber, to avoid constipation and keep cholesterol under control.
- Do not forget that too much alcohol is equally harmful to your body.
- Whenever in doubt, look at the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to find some expert recommendations for healthier aging.
Sitting still will directly affect your physical and mental health, so incorporate hobbies into your daily life. It can be a small physical activity – such as playing some sport just for fun, dancing, practicing yoga, gardening, etc., or things that keep your brain working, like crossword puzzles, painting, board games, collecting coins or stamps… The sky is the limit!
The idea is to keep your body and mind busy while your chosen activity also works as a stress relief. And don’t forget to have adequate equipment for certain hobbies. A good pair of glasses makes all the difference, even when it’s something seemingly innocent, like reading or doing jigsaw puzzles. If you need to update your prescription, don’t worry: today, you can easily buy glasses online.
Connect With Others
One of the most dramatic stages of aging is the feeling of loss and isolation, as you will inevitably begin to distance yourself from your friends and even lose some loved ones over time. Being connected with others is critical to ensuring physical and mental health.
Keep your friends and family close by for simple activities like dancing, going to the movies, or a simple Sunday lunch or dinner. If you find that they have their priorities and can’t be by your side all the time, don’t worry: try to form new relationships and friendships to feel less alone.
Healthy Aging Depends on You
Adopting healthier habits is a fundamental step towards less traumatic aging. Sometimes a few small changes in your daily routine can help you live longer and better. The important thing is not to neglect your physical and mental health: stay active, eat better, challenge your brain daily, and interact with family and friends whenever possible. The consequences of these key practices are more longevity and more energy to move on. But don’t forget to visit your doctor regularly to see where you can still improve.