Growing old is something most people apprehend. Many individuals celebrate birthdays every year happily but resent how old they are becoming, especially those who have reached their 30s.
Despite all the negative thoughts about aging, it is good when you come to think of it. With time, you grow wiser, more mature, and more confident than your younger self.
You avoid getting into that unnecessary drama and, thus, take a more rational approach. This is why your grandmother’s little anecdotes are still relatable and legit.
While witnessing and undergoing all those years, you grow and evolve. You let go of certain things that once were impossible to forget. However, this self-realization and freedom become difficult to enjoy when you frequently fail stuff, suffer from different aches, and tire of performing little tasks.
These conditions make you resent growing old, apart from graying hair and lined skin. While the latter two are bound to come, other symptoms are not a precondition of aging.
How to age well?
If you take good care of your health and adopt some lifestyle changes, you will age well. Being grateful, wiser, and mature is not bad, but deteriorating health, dementia, and other ailments are.
Here are a few tips that can lead your way to healthy aging.
1. Stay Active
A sedentary lifestyle is the culprit behind most of your current health issues. Not only this, but it will continue taking a toll on your health when you age.
Furthermore, you must have noticed that the signs of poor aging are interrelated. Most of them originate from the kind of lifestyle a person leads.
Staying active does not mean that a person must be an athlete, but they should abstain from a sedentary lifestyle. Include physical activity in your daily routine if you want to age well.
Incorporate activities and create habits that make you stay active daily. These activities do not necessarily have to be workouts and stuff. It can be simple, like walking more or using steps instead of an elevator.
If you have a 9-5 desk job, you can still manage an active routine by setting aside movement breaks for yourself.
Another excellent and straightforward thing is riding a bicycle. According to one study, individuals aged 55-79, who regularly practice cycling, tend to have better metabolic activity, improved memories, balance, and reflexes than those who do not perform any physical action.
2. Take an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Taking a proper diet is vital to healthy aging. Many conditions of poor aging are linked to chronic inflammation. You can prevent it by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, which includes leafy greens, antioxidant-rich vegetables, and fruits.
An anti-inflammatory diet includes high-quality seafood and meats, healthy seeds and nuts, spices like ginger and turmeric, bone broth, healthy fats like almond and coconut oil, and other anti-aging foods. This diet also necessities avoiding foods and drinks that cause inflammation, as they promote premature aging.
As for maintaining brain health, you should add healthy fats to your diet. Switching to the keto diet on and off effectively manages your brain health.
Probiotic foods and drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir also support the brain, immune system, digestion, and brain.
Although diet is quite effective in obtaining all the necessary nutrients, it is not harmful to take supplements of certain supplements. Food will not fulfill all your needs, especially when deficient in some nutrients.
Supplements like multivitamins, omega-3s, probiotics anti-aging essential oils, and turmeric can be valuable for healthy aging.
3. Manage Stress
Handling Stress is not easy, but still, doing so is necessary. Stress exacerbates the signs of poor aging. Managing Stress at a young age will be fruitful when you get old.
To reduce or eliminate Stress, try yoga or other exercises, meditation and prayer, therapy, acupuncture, spending more time in nature, and journaling.
Also, it would help if you surrounded yourself with positive people, especially those who support you. When you have blues, family, and friends can be a great way to alleviate the stress levels.
According to one study, social support—when combined with an active lifestyle and a healthy diet—can reverse the process of aging. So, stay connected with your close friends and family members, no matter how busy you are.
It will help you avoid loneliness and depression and make going through hardship and loss easier.
4. Avoid Smoking
Tobacco is detrimental to your health. It damages almost every organ of your body. Nicotine products cause cancer, heart disease, gum, lung disease, and other serious health issues.
It is never too late to quit. Your body will start healing even after 20 minutes of your last tobacco. It will shun away your risk of a heart attack. Within a year of quitting, your chances of heart disease will reduce by half.
It will also enhance your life by reducing early death or premature aging risk factors.
5. Add Fiber to Your Diet
Adding fiber to your food can lead to healthy aging and life. A slight change in your diet can help you achieve pretty much. Switch your white bread with whole grain. Add apple slices to your salad and kidney beans to your soup.
These little changes will lower cholesterol levels while reducing the risk of type 2 disease, heart disease, and colon cancer.
They also help you avoid constipation, another common condition in older adults. Once it crosses 50, women should eat 21 grams of fiber daily, while men should consume 30 grams.
Check out these 12 Anti-Aging Foods.
6. Try Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a Chinese exercise that combines deep breathing and slow movements. It is meditation while you move. It prevents older people from falling, a common cause of injury among elders.
Tai Chi can improve balance, strengthen muscles, ease stress, increase flexibility, and reduce arthritis pain.
7. Be Optimistic
The core of healthy aging is staying optimistic no matter what you are going through. Life is hard. It takes away most of your treasured assets, belongings, and people. When you are optimistic about life, your body and mind respond to this positivity.
People who brave the calamities have fewer heart attacks and depression than those who take a pessimistic outlook on life. A positive outlook is known to lower the virus counts in people having HIV.
8. Do not Compromise on your Sleep
You may have seen the meme on social media: “If nothing goes right, go to sleep.” It may seem far-fetched, but a nice, full sleep can do wonders.
However, in older adults, remaining asleep throughout the night is a luxury and an unfulfilled desire for some. Inadequate Sleep can cause memory problems, mood swings and give rise to many other health risks.
So, try to get more Sleep. Here are a few tips to get adequate Sleep at night:
- Keep your bedroom dark and cool. When you jump into bed, turn off all the appliances, even your cell phone.
- Turn the bedside clock away from the bed to avoid looking at it. It may be getting you anxious about the passing of time.
- Go to the bathroom before you go to bed.
Myths on aging
Here are a few things that people generally mistake as preconditions of aging:
Aging is Declining Health or Disability
The risk of diseases may increase with age, but aging does not mean poor health or using a wheelchair. Plenty of older people enjoy good health, even better than young people. Lifestyle changes like healthy eating, exercising, and managing stress can be crucial.
Memory Loss is Inevitable
Over a few years, once you cross 50, you may notice that you cannot remember things as well as you did in the past. The memories may start to come back after a little struggle. But, memory loss is not a result of aging. Learning new skills can be achieved at any age by doing certain things to keep your memory sharp.
That is why you get to hear the stories of 100-year older women doing their graduation or else.
You cannot Try New Things
A growing old myth means you can no longer try new things or learn anything. If anything, this is an ideal time to do so, as you no longer have to worry about funds for sending your kids off to college or giving them pick-n-drops every other day.
It would be best to believe in yourself and that this is not the world’s end. Stay motivated and positive.
Signs of Aging Poorly
Aging does not necessarily mean that you stay confined to your home, become unable to try anything new, or, precisely, start believing that this is ‘the end.’ It still does not mean aging does not affect your body.
It is only that you can reverse aging, not entirely, though. It is written in your DNA and is a normal phase of life. So, do not apprehend aging. It is ‘poor aging’ that you need to look out for.
Here are a few signs of aging poorly that have become so prevalent that they are mistaken as predetermined aging conditions.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that interrupts your breathing when you are asleep. While this disorder can appear at any age, the risk increases as a person ages. According to one study of men aged 20 to 100 years, cases of sleep apnea increase with age.
What’s more, sleep apnea also gives rise to chronic fatigue, another sign of aging. Chronic fatigue is about feeling drained constantly and the inability to have a good night of Sleep.
After age 40, chronic fatigue and daytime sleepiness tend to become inevitable in many people.
Aching, tender joints are a hallmark of getting old. Conditions like osteoarthritis are more common in old age. That is because the cartilage starts to break down, marking degenerative joint disease.
Joint pain is also linked to swelling and inflammation. Both osteoarthritis and DJD have no known cure to date.
Brain fog is another symptom that points to aging. It is caused by chronic inflammation. This condition is marked by forgetfulness, concentration problems, fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation, headaches, insomnia, and anxiety.
While gaining a small amount of weight is a normal part of aging, putting on excessive pounds is poor aging. Average weight gain characterizes as around one pound every one to two years. But most adults gain way more pounds than this because of their lifestyle choices.
A busy schedule, Stress, improper diet, and lack of Sleep are the reasons for excessive weight gain. Adopting a more active lifestyle can reverse this effect of aging.
Dementia is also a sign of aging. The primary reason for dementia is Alzheimer’s disease and many other reasons. Other conditions responsible for dementia include frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), vascular dementia resulting from strokes, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), normal pressure hydrocephalus, and depression.
Dementia is also caused by medication. Also, contrary to popular belief, it is not a precondition of aging. The occurrence of dementia in conditions like Alzheimer’s is closely linked to inflammation, diet, activity level, a person’s job, and gut health.
When these things are in excess or poor condition, the person will likely develop dementia.
Other signs of poor aging include hearing loss, digestive issues, skin and appearance changes, chronic inflammation, and varicose veins.