We are all growing older.
Not everyone, however, will enjoy healthy aging in their senior years. Whether or not you will is partly up to your lifestyle choices – although your genes will also play a part in it.
As you get older, one of the most important things you can aim for is maintaining good brain health. Without that, you could not enjoy a healthy life, your loved ones, or even life in general.
Keeping your brain sharp is an essential part of healthy aging.
You can keep your healthy brain through the years by doing activities that challenge the mind and keep it active. It can include crossword puzzles, table games such as chess and checkers, writing, reading books, and more. Even playing video games can help.
You can also learn new things, such as a new language, a new hobby, or by taking courses at a nearby college. These activities – when engaged in for six hours a week – and more – can help reduce the risk of dementia. Meditation can also help reduce depression, improve memory, ability to focus, and increase verbal fluency.
Brain health is closely tied to physical health, which requires that healthy seniors maintain a regular exercise program. Getting your heart pumping helps your brain get more oxygen and good nutrition. There are many types of exercise you can engage in, including walking, biking, swimming, gardening, and more.
Include some strength training with your exercises to help maintain strength and muscle mass.
You can use resistance bands or light weights. Studies have shown that regular exercise will increase your longevity.
Eating a healthy diet is also important because your body will not absorb the needed vitamins and other nutrients as easily as before. You will need to eat less junk food, sugar, carbs, and salt, and start eating more healthy fruits and vegetables. Studies involving calorie restriction have shown that it significantly improved the lifespans of animals.
Maintain social interaction.
Meet with friends or family or have them come to your place for lunch or other activities. You can also meet friends at church and do other activities – such as groups involved in quilting, scrap-booking, wood carving, painting, or some other handcraft. Keeping active socially – active aging – also helps remove depression and feeling alone.
Seniors can also stay socially active by learning how to use social media. It can be an excellent way to stay in contact. Volunteering is another way to interact with people regularly.
Activities should also give a purpose for living. The right activity, such as volunteering, can add meaning to life and value to others. Meeting with young people, at times, could also give you an opportunity to share things you have learned over the years.
Keeping a good attitude about growing older is also healthy. It can prevent the development of a depressing attitude that can shorten life and take away the value of living.
Getting enough sleep is essential to a longer life.
It helps clean the brain while you sleep, but you need to get enough sleep to help prevent dementia.
Take care of your health, too, by avoiding smoking and drinking in excess. You also want to get to and maintain a healthy weight, watch and treat high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels – and see a doctor regularly for checkups. Managing your stress will also help you age well.