Aging is a fact of life that no one can avoid, but simple healthy choices can make all the difference in how that aging occurs. Daily choices you make to take care of your mind and body can affect your quality of life as a senior. While no one can look like they’re in their twenties forever, by prioritizing a couple of healthy habits, everyone can live a meaningful, active life, with the physical and mental capabilities to enjoy all that entails.
1. The Cornerstones: Nutrition and Exercise
Everyone knows that you are what you eat. While keeping a good diet and exercise routine can be easier said than done, a few healthy habits can make a big difference to your longevity and health.
Eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, grains, and healthy fats every day can prevent disease, help you live longer, and increase your quality of life as you age. Staying away from alcohol and tobacco products increases longevity and even keeps you looking younger. Eating mostly whole foods and avoiding packaged and processed foods will also contribute to healthier aging.
Staying physically active is also key to slowing down the aging process. Many studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to premature aging and disease. Start small with a brisk walk or aerobics routine. Maybe even dance? 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise will help support optimal health.
Origin Active Lifestyle Communities not only have exercise classes every day such as aqua fit, chair fitness, and endurance classes such as the ones seen below!
2. Don’t Sleep on Sleep
We often sacrifice sleep in favor of other aspects of life, but we do so to our own detriment. Multiple studies have shown that a chronic lack of sleep hastens biological aging and leads to illness and disease. Getting a good night’s sleep has been shown to help lower the risk of obesity, reduce stress and alleviate depression, reduce inflammation in the body, and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Chronic lack of sleep also lowers your decision-making ability and memory power over time. Following a regular sleep schedule, avoiding naps in the afternoon, and not watching television or using your phone before bed all contribute to better sleep.
3. Mental Health is Health, Too
Aging well is just as much about good mental health as it is about physical well-being. Staying mentally engaged with new hobbies and participating in regular social activities has been shown to increase mental well-being, reduce stress and depression, and ward off cognitive decline. Practicing mindfulness, sometimes through activities like yoga, meditation, or tai chi, is another great way to increase focus and lower stress. Lowering stress, in turn, has been shown to have a host of benefits to aging adults, from reducing wrinkles to lowering the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Keeping an active lifestyle through working, taking up new hobbies, and maintaining an active social circle, is excellent for mental health. Trying new things—for example, taking up painting or joining a dance club—is one of the best ways to stay mentally young.
Find a Senior Living Community That Supports Your Wellness
Although aging is inevitable, again well is within our grasp. Surround yourself with a community that helps you look, feel, and act young.
At Origin, we believe that healthy habits for the mind and body help seniors enjoy a high quality of life. See where life can take you today with our global Origin communities.