As you grow older, it is not necessarily true that you automatically become ill and immobile. You can stay healthy much longer than many people think – possibly even into your 80s and beyond. The key to healthy aging is taking care of yourself and following some basic guidelines.
Sooner or later, the signs of aging are going to make an appearance. It will happen regardless of what you do to try and stop it, although some people are better at hiding it than others. Instead of trying to beautify the outside only, you must reinforce health and youthfulness on the inside.
Healthy aging begins with being active. Once you slow down, health problems can get a foothold in your body. You may begin to see issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Cancer may also develop.
Staying active and exercising regularly helps fight disease by strengthening your immune system. It also helps fight the development of dementia and other cognitive problems. Exercise can also help you feel better and reduce the aches and pains you may begin to feel as you age.
Exercise and Stress
One cause of premature aging is stress. Regular exercise helps reduce stress and its effects on your body – such as premature wrinkles. When you exercise, your brain produces endorphins – which help you feel good – reducing and possibly even eliminating depression. Exercise also helps reduce the effects of stress, which protects your organs, brain, and heart.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Drinks such as sodas, fruit juices, and specialty coffees contain a ridiculous amount of sugar. Too much sugar in the diet will put pounds on you and make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
In addition to exercise, the best way to stay healthy is to eat a Mediterranean-style diet. It focuses on natural foods and has many vitamins and nutrients – and no processed foods, extra salt, or unhealthy chemicals. It contains many fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and olive oil.
Eating more natural foods strengthens your immune system. They provide antioxidants and other valuable things to help ward off diseases, and they protect your cells from DNA damage.
Lose the Bad Habits
Smoking and drinking a lot of alcohol are harmful. Both will increase your risk of several types of cancer, including stomach, cervical, breast, and mouth cancer. Smoking and too much alcohol also increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Reduce and Prevent Inflammation
Researchers have been studying inflammation a lot lately. They now know it is behind the formation of more than 100 different diseases. Many of them are fatal.
Chronic inflammation is unhealthy. One common source of inflammation is gum disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease – particularly with periodontitis – get into the bloodstream and your immune system fights against it – all through your body. This leads to chronic inflammation, but seeing a dentist can help remove or control it.
Healthy aging can help increase your longevity. Remember to get regular checkups and specialized scans as recommended to help detect more problems before they become serious. While none of us can help growing old, you often can help stay healthy longer.