7 Tips for Staying Healthy as You Grow Older

aging gracefully staying healthy grow older senior fitness elderly wellness

There are a number of anti-aging studies that are worth looking into. For example, there's RNA manipulation, which could reverse cellular aging and regenerate diseased tissues in older people.

Another study focused on telomeres, which is one of the hottest subjects in the anti-aging community. Telomeres, as you probably know, are caps on chromosomes. The longer your telomeres are, the longer and better your life will be. 

And there are more studies. But it may be some time before we see actual products or treatments. These will have to undergo several clinical trials, after all. The good news is, aging gracefully or at least the steps to achieve it are something you can do right now. 

Here, we'll talk about 7 of the best tips you can follow for staying healthy and well as you age.

1. Aging Gracefully: It's Within Your Control

Getting premature gray hair or wrinkles are something you can blame on your parents. But the rest is all you. 

How you eat, respond to the stresses in your environment, and take care of your immunity all contribute to graceful (or not) aging. And these are all factors you have control over. 

So if you know, for instance, that your family has a history of hypertension or diabetes, you should be doing all you can to maintain your target blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol levels. It may be hard at first, especially if you're not used to monitoring these things. But the more committed you are, the more you can keep the effects of aging at bay. 

2. Get Enough Sleep: A Not-So-Secret Anti-Aging Tip

Everyone needs a good night's sleep. Babies to young adults need to sleep a specific amount of hours to grow well. And older adults need at least 7 hours of shuteye for a number of reasons.

When you lack sleep, your hormones get out of whack. And that leads to a number of undesirable effects.

You crave sugary foods. You feel tired and unfocused the next day. And you lose out on the essential benefits of sleeping including recovery and repair. 

Now, if you have sleep problems such as sleep apnea or insomnia, you'll need to see a doctor. You may need to take sleeping pills. But before your doctor prescribes anything, he or she will try other methods first including recommending a sleep routine or referring you to a sleep physician.

3. Age Better by Training Your Brain

Are you worried about getting Alzheimer's disease? If you have family members who have been diagnosed with dementia, you may be relieved to know that most dementias are not inherited by children and grandchildren.

But don't celebrate just yet. Even with information about medications for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, you can't be lax about taking care of your brain.

And the best way to do that is to engage in activities that stimulate your mind on a regular basis. The sooner you start, the better. Learn a new instrument, sign up for an art class, or start a new hobby like blogging.

There are many methods to train your brain. You just need to keep experimenting. And don't think you have to go at it alone. 

Join group activities or find friends who'll be happy to try a new thing. This way, you'll get the benefits of social interaction and condition your mind at the same time.

4. Say Goodbye to a Sedentary Lifestyle

Take it from Jack LaLanne, who lived to the ripe old age of 96. Exercise and fitness do a body good. 

And of course, the opposite is true as well. Not being active can lead to the decline of your body. 

You've probably read about the risks of sitting too much

In fact, some consider it to be the new smoking. The best way to combat that is to get up and exercise. It doesn't have to be as intense as a bodybuilder's routine.

Just make sure you find an activity that gets you moving. Walking or swimming are gentle enough so they won't hurt your joints. And the more active you are, the more you decrease your risk of heart disease and other aging-related conditions.

5. Catch Some Rays

A lot of how to age well articles talk about staying away from the sun. And they have a point. But they don't tell the whole story.

Yes, some UV rays are harmful, which is why you have to be diligent about putting on sunscreen. But it doesn't mean you should shun the sun forever. 

Don't forget about vitamin D, which you can get by catching some rays for a total of 20 minutes daily. Vitamin D is essential for keeping your immune system in tip-top shape. And it can also help prevent certain types of cancers, especially bone-related ones.

Try to wake up early so you can also enjoy the fresh air. You'll want to avoid sun exposure from 10 am to 4 pm because these are the hours when UV rays are strongest. 

6. Relax and Embrace the Positives That Come with Aging

Stress will age you. And it's not only because you may turn to stress-coping mechanisms such as binge eating. When you're stressed, your body releases cortisol.

Too much of it and you get elevated blood sugar levels. High cortisol levels can also make you gain weight, put you at risk for cardiovascular problems, and suppress your immune system.

If you want to avoid all that, find ways to relax. Learn some breathing exercises or take up yoga. You can also practice meditation. 

And most important of all, don't let the thought of aging stress you out. Reaching old age is good.

As they say, with age comes wisdom. But if you don't feel that way, you can use the time to study. Learn more about yourself and the world around you. 

This is your time to pursue things you never could have done in your younger years. Take advantage of it.

7. Eat Right, Live Longer

The older you get, the more you'll have to watch your diet. Know what you're putting into your body. Read labels and stay away from anything you know isn't good for you.

We're talking sugar, alcohol, processed products, foods high in sodium, and so on. Be a fan of veggies and whole grains. And drink more water instead of soda or artificial juices. 

Train yourself to cook more meals at home. That way you don't have to worry about excess sugar and sodium. Besides restaurant servings are more than enough for one person.

But if you can't stop eating out, at least make sure to track the calories you've been consuming. And make up for it by eating healthier at home and working out.

Final Thoughts on How to Age Gracefully

There are no secrets to aging well. Aging gracefully is a matter of committing to your health goals and doing the steps to achieve them.

We've listed some tips here, which you can use as a starting point for a healthier you. But for more old age health tips, you may want to read How to Keep Up With Your Fitness Goals in Your Retired Life.

New Frugal Finance Blog Posts & Articles