Age with Grace: Key Lifestyle Changes to Stay Happy and Healthy as You Age

Age with Grace: Key Lifestyle Changes to Stay Happy and Healthy as You Age

Getting older is inevitable. But many of us don’t want to face it or are too afraid to accept it. But there’s no need to be scared about growing old.

While the life expectancy at birth declined a few points in the past few years, the difference is not astounding. According to a report by the CDC, in the first half of 2020, the life expectancy of males at birth was at 75.1 years while it was 80.5 years for females.

Growing old won’t be too problematic or scary if you make the necessary lifestyle changes so that you can age gracefully:

Protect Yourself from UV Rays

Aging becomes evident on the skin through wrinkling, dryness, and discoloration. One thing that speeds these things up is UV radiation. In particular, UV- A rays cause skin inflammation and premature skin aging. Sadly, this is the type of UV radiation that passes through clouds and windows.

That said, you need to develop a habit of putting on sunscreen even when you’re at home. This is especially true if, during the day, you work by a window.

Stimulate the Mind

In the U.S., around 2 percent of adults at the age of 55 or older experience mental health concerns, such as cognitive disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, among many others.

Mental health is also important in aging with grace. Mental stimulation is one of the most important steps to keep your brain young. Thus, you need to engage in mentally stimulating activities to improve your brain health and reduce your risk of developing mental disorders. Some activities that can challenge the mind include learning a foreign language, picking up a new hobby, playing brain games, and so on.

Stay Physically Active

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An issue that many people with old age struggle with is mobility. The most common causes of immobility among this age group include arthritis, osteoporosis, hip fracture, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.

People can reduce their risk of these illnesses through regular exercise. Thus, you need to exercise regularly starting at a young age. The simplest workouts you can do but will still have a great effect on your body include walking every day, swimming, and running, among others. You can also engage in physical sports as a form of exercise.

With regular and proper exercise, you will preserve your mobility for longer. This will give you the independence you need when you grow old. You won’t have to rely on a family member or a caregiver for your needs. You can even choose to stay in an independent living retirement community rather than stay with family members if you want to.

Eat a Balanced Diet

As the famous adage states, you are what you eat. If you eat healthy foods and observe a balanced diet, then you will also stay physically healthy. Your good health will help you manage your weight and avoid chronic illnesses that may affect your well-being as you age. Staying healthy will also keep you energized even at old age so that you can still enjoy a lot of things.

A balanced diet must include carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, and fat. This means that you need to avoid fad diets that restrict your food intake in certain groups. For example, many people believe that lowering or eradicating carbohydrates from their diet will help them lose weight. But skipping carbohydrates can introduce a lot of other issues to your body.

If you’re not sure what is the right diet for you, you can consult a nutritionist-dietician to give you tips and create a meal plan that is tailored to your needs and body type.

Amp Up Your Skincare Routine

Aside from a balanced diet and exercise, it’s not a bad idea to seek help from the skincare department. Besides, your skin is the protective layer of your body. So you need to pamper it and keep it healthy as well.

You can do your own research online or go straight to a dermatologist for expert advice. The most basic items you’ll want to add to your facial skincare routine are a cleanser, a toner, and a moisturizer. If you pick the right items with the right ingredients, you’ll be able to keep your skin healthy and supple as you age.

Everyone’s bodies change as they age. Some of these changes may be negative, such as wrinkling skin, weaker muscles and joints, and so on. Still, if you make the right lifestyle changes at a young age, you can at least slow down the development of these changes and age gracefully.