5 Ways to Tweak Your Routine to Achieve Healthy Aging
Little actions can make a big difference when it comes to your health. Forget overhauling your entire lifestyle to match the far-fetched fantasies of fitness infomercials.
Introducing even small changes, from diet to exercise and self-care, can pack a powerful – and healthy – punch that will add years to your life. Here are a few suggestions to help you achieve healthy aging.
Get on a Routine Exercise Routine
Perhaps you work out, attend a yoga class or go for a walk, but only sporadically. Prioritizing staying active by finding an exercise or heart pumping activity to do every day is just the tweak your brain and body are looking for.
Regular exercise carries with it a vast array of mental and physical health benefits from improving mood and preventing mental decline, to fighting hypertension and reducing your risk of getting cancer.
As we age, our chances of falling and risk of injury increase exponentially year to year too – and bouncing back certainly isn’t as easy as it used to be. Long-term, routine exercise promotes flexibility, coordination and balance which are essential in preventing injury.
Listen to Your Body to Achieve Healthy Aging
Injury, illness, stress and even depression will manifest themselves through signals in your body, including pain and inflammation in the back. We’re wired this way! Tweak your day-to-day schedule by adding a 5-minute check-up where you scan your body with your eyes and your mind.
Standing in front of a mirror, scan your body and face. Any changes, discolorations or noticeable new marks? Tune in with how you and your body are feeling: are there any pains or sensations that weren’t there before? This deep self-awareness and daily care routine will help you address potential illness or injury, and also give you a baseline for your own physical and mental wellness.
Increase Your Health Food Intake
You don’t need a “triple blended kale, flax and seaweed soy protein smoothie” every morning to be healthy. Small modifications to your existing diet can be just the tweak you need to fuel a healthy mind and body.
Pumping up the calcium intake by adding foods like whole milk, kale, cheese and broccoli to your meals will help maintain strong bones and fight osteoporosis as you age.
Limiting sugar intake as well promotes a healthy weight and prevents heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Experts recommend topping out at 37.5 grams (9 teaspoons) of sugar per day for men, and 25 grams (6 teaspoons for women). An easy way to kick-start your sugar detox is to decrease processed foods you eat and sugary beverages you consume like soda or sports drinks.
Have you thought about taking care of yourself lately? This small tweak can make a huge difference for your overall mental and physical wellbeing. Perhaps you are getting to all your doctor appointments on time, and helping watch your grandkids, and taking care of your spouse – but are you taking time to relax, recognize your own wants and needs and really care for yourself?
Mindfulness practices like meditation, yoga, and self-soothing with a nice bath or relaxing music shouldn’t just a way to “treat yourself,” but a regular component of your daily care routine.
As we get older, chances are your daily routine involves more and more sitting – from sitting down to eat breakfast, to sitting down to watch TV, to sitting down to check email – even sitting down to read or crochet. Perhaps the easiest tweak you can make to a routine full of sitting is to get up and move around!
Experts recommend not going more than 45 minutes sitting in one place at a time without getting up to stretch, walk around and change positions. This alleviates spinal pressure, stretches your muscles and tendons and helps prevent back pain.
The Roman poet Virgil once wrote, “The greatest wealth is health.” Imagine having a nickel for each small tweak you made to your routine that boosted your health and wellbeing – you would be a rich woman indeed!
What steps are you taking to ensure that you experience healthy aging? What daily routines do you practice for healthy aging? Are there other tweaks you would recommend? Please share in the comments.
Jessica Hegg is the content manager at ViveHealth.com. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living a healthy lifestyle. Through her writing, she works to share valuable information aimed at overcoming obstacles and improving the quality of life for others. You can find her on Twitter @Jessica_Hegg.