Aging is something that happens to all of us. Yet, some of us manage to do it better than others. How?? Unfortunately, there is no magic fix that will slow things down. However, there are some things we can do to help us as our bodies and minds reach those golden years.
Prepare your Body
Most people associate aging with illness, poor mobility, and poor bone health. It doesn’t have to be that way. With proper diet, exercise, and sleep habits you can prepare your body to age well.
Following a nutritious diet regime can help keep your body healthy and regular. It’s always best to consult with a physician before making extreme alterations to your diet. Small changes can make a difference, though. Cutting sugary drinks and foods out of your diet, avoiding fried foods, and eating more fruits and vegetables are just a few small changes that you could make.
A healthy diet is only one part of the system. When you couple it with a weekly exercise routine, you’re going to see even better results. It is recommended that people set aside a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes each week for exercise, with at least 2 sessions dedicated to lifting weights. That is only 30 minutes each day, but any amount of time set aside for physical activity can be beneficial. Start small, talk to your provider, and stick to your plan. Learn more about ways you can stay active and healthy here.
Making sure you get enough sleep each night, is just as important as exercise and diet. When you sleep your body recovers from the day, recharging your batteries. If you don’t get enough rest, you body cannot recover. There is a common misconception that people require less sleep as they get older. In truth, it is recommended that all adults sleep at least 7 hours per night. Avoid caffeinated foods and beverages around bedtime and make sure your sleeping area is comfortable to promote good sleep habits.
Prepare your Mind
Not only do you need to keep your body in shape and healthy, but it’s important to prepare your mind in the same way.
As we grow older times change. It is important to adapt your mind to changing world around you. Learning new skills will keep your mind engaged and healthy. If you are someone who does a crossword puzzle each morning, your mind can get used to engaging in this task. Change it up – try something new. It is important to keep you mind growing. Enroll in a class at your local community college or try a new hobby. This will keep your brain as healthy as your body.
Having an active social life can keep you feeling younger. Keep your calendar full with visits to friends, your favorite places, and things you love to do. Stay in touch with your family. If you’re unable to visit them, use social media and programs like FaceTime to keep in touch and active in their lives. Volunteering is another excellent way to stay involved. This will get you engaged in your community, keep you active, and help you meet new friends. (To volunteer at IMH please contact Jim McRoberts at 815.432.7912)
Manage your stress
One of the most important, but most overlooked, causes of aging is stress. Stress has many causes. Once you’ve identified those causes, work towards eliminating them or better controlling your reactions to them. Taking time out for yourself is also important. Having a regular massage or pedicure can do wonders for your mind. Read more about stress – what can cause it and how you can learn to overcome it – here.
With a little effort, we all can take steps to aging well. It’s never too late to start! Be prepared for your future!