Did you know that your chronological age (years) is not the same as your biological age? There are many factors, and lifestyle has much to do with it. This post will give you some great ideas to live healthier and longer, and hopefully happier as well. I will break it down to 4 categories, Nutrition, Sleep, exercise, and mental health.
You've likely heard this before, antioxidants will help prevent illness, especially cancer. Eat foods rich in anti oxidants, and it might even be a good idea to take supplements. Sugar is getting to be a big problem in modern diets. The problem is we under estimate how much sugar we consume because of the hidden sugar in processed food. It's a good idea to avoid them altogether. You don't likely need a special diet if you eat real food and higher protein than carbohydrates. The reason for the higher protein diet is because protein doesn't convert to sugar and mess with your blood sugars. Nutritionists are getting wise to this concept now.
Try adding collagen to your diet to help keep your skin and tissues healthy. You can get it in a powder form at the Health Store.
Many experts now believe that drinking lots of water is helpful to prevent damage to your tissues as you age. See Are you drinking enough water. Also it's wise to eat a diet higher in alkaline P.H other than acidic. Cancer can't survive in an alkaline environment.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep, yes, most people under value sleep. Did you know that it's possible to die after six days without sleep! Getting enough sleep can protect you against many chronic diseases, especially heart disease. Who would have thought? It seems to vary how much sleep you need depending on your lifestyle. I have found that I can cope much better with adversity when I am getting a lot of sleep. It always amazes me how people still believe that they can go without sleep night after night and it doesn't affect them. Well, it will, eventually.
Not just one type of exercise helps reduce signs of aging. You need to work on flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. Not just one or the other. Choose a variety of activities that you love. One combination might be, swimming, tennis and weight training. The importance of weight training is gaining increasing popularity. It helps protect joints and bones. Also, having increased muscle mass allows you to eat more without gaining weight. Strengthening connective tissue is most important as you age. If you don't use your muscle you will suffer from a condition called sacropenia (loss of muscle tissue). Don't forget about endurance, that is cardio work.
I keep hearing these people online talking about thirty second workouts etc. Don't listen to them. While it's true that small doses of exercise may be better for somebody who is frail and old, it doesn't work for those of us who are healthy. I think the point these people are trying to make is that we need to work on anaerobic exercise. This means doing activities like short bursts of exercise. Some people think it helps you burn fat. I am not convinced that 30 seconds of running is better than 20 mins...sorry! It's a new trend. Some of these exercise plans are focused on just keeping people moving. You can't achieve a high level of fitness this way.
Mental fitness is keeping your brain healthy. The experts say that after age 67 your brain shrinks. I don't like the numbers game at all. Everybody is different and people age at different rates, not just the years. Keeping your brain active may help keep Alzeimer's disease away. Reading isn't enough. Try some cross word puzzles, learn a new language, play Chess or learn to play an instrument.
You can also learn a new course on the internet. There are platforms where you can even take university level courses on line for Free!
Most of all...don't listen to people who tell you that you are too old to do anything new! That's just society's limited belief system at work. If you are healthy you can do just about anything. There is much more research now available to suggest that we can maintain much of our physical fitness of our youth, but it's going to be hard work, and it will pay off.
All of this matters as you age. Remember you can help control the chronic disease that chases you around as you age. Maintain a healthy weight and keep moving. Be an athlete if you want to be!