Exercise, diet, and attitude can be as important as genetics when it comes to growing old gracefully. "Old age," as Bette Davis once said, "is no place for sissies." Sure, growing older affects nearly every part of your body—including your hair, skin, heart, muscles, etc… but aging well may be as simple as adopting these fairly easy habits.
Tip #1 Maintain a Positive Attitude:
Research has found that YOU are what you think you are when it comes to aging. People who think of age as a means to wisdom and overall satisfaction are more than 4o percent more likely to recover from a disability than those who see aging as synonymous with uselessness, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Tip # 2 What You Eat Matters:
Nutrition plays a major role in how your body ages. “The latest research shows that a low-glycemic diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is healthiest,” says Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, Physician Director of Healthcare Transformation at Kaiser Permanente Primary Care. One great example of this is the Mediterranean diet as in Turkey, it is rich in plant-based foods, whole grains, and nuts! It also involves eating fish twice each week and cutting down on salt.
Tip # 3 How Much You Eat Matters:
To age well and live longer, it’s best to stick to a balanced diet and portion control. Overeating can lead to a shorter life span, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes, according to the National Institute of Health.
Tip #4 Exercise Regularly:
Staying active is a very important part of aging well. “The average woman can lose 23 percent of her muscle mass between ages of 30 and 70,” says Fabio Comana, a faculty instructor at the National Academy of Sports Medicine. You lose muscle more rapidly as you age, but exercise, resistance workouts in particular, can increase mass and strength, even well into your 90s, says Comana. Staying fit may also reduce age-related memory loss, according to a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Tip # 5 Stay Social, it Makes a Difference:
Friends and relatives can help you live longer. Those who have strong social ties were shown to have a 50 percent higher chance of living longer than those with poor or insufficient relationships, according to another study published in the journal PLoS Medicine.
Tip #6 Keep your skin protected from the sun:
Too much time in the sun can cause wrinkles, not to mention skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen helps slow down your skin’s aging. And while the sun’s UV rays do trigger vitamin D production, which is essential for bone health, that’s still not a good reason to be in the sun too long! Most people get plenty of Vitamin D, but if you think you’re not, try eating more salmon and eggs (don’t skip the yolk).
Tip #7 Get Plenty of Sleep:
You probably already know that you should sleep for seven to nine hours each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. But did you know that not sleeping enough may have an adverse affect on your body and lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes? It is important to note that naps can improve memory and can assist with making up time from missing nightly Zzs. And it turns out that “beauty sleep” isn’t a myth. “During sleep, your body releases a growth hormone that helps restore collagen and elastin, the essential building blocks of young, healthy skin,” says Benabio.
Adapted from: http://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/habits-of-people-who-age-well
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