The 21st century has seen the prevalence of many age-related health problems. Everyone knows that growing older is (unfortunately) inevitable. There are however many ways in which you can help delay the ageing process and remain healthy into your elder years. The key to healthy ageing is about making the right lifestyle choices to help to preserve your health and wellbeing.
Keys to Healthy Ageing
The first factor to healthy ageing is to eat well with a balanced diet including lots of fresh fruit and veg. Opt for organic foods as they contain more antioxidant compounds linked to better health than regular food and also lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides (The Guardian). If you struggle to cook homemade meals you could perhaps ask a family member for advice or buy a simple recipe book to get you started. A great tip on maintaining and controlling your eating habits is to plan your meals in advance and avoid fast food where possible. Avoiding processed foods is also crucial as consuming too much food high in fat and sugar can lead to an insulin spike which can disrupt your body's immune system, trigger fat retention and cause premature ageing of your internal organs (Sklar Center Research). Vitamins or dietary supplements can also help defy the ageing process, particularly supplements rich with omega-3 fish oil which can help with arthritis pain, high blood pressure, and inflammation (Sklar Center Research).
"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter" - Mark Twain
Stress is also a contributing factor to premature ageing. Avoiding stressful situations can be difficult, however, finding the time to switch off from the daily stresses of life is important. Switch off by doing things you enjoy and maintain a healthy mindset by nurturing healthy relationships with friends and family and remove any toxic relationships from your life.
The next factor to healthy ageing is by exercise to keep your mind and body healthy. Yoga is a good choice of gentle exercise which can help you destress and practising regularly can provide a number of different health benefits. You can read more about the benefits of yoga here and here. Nevertheless, exercising in any form is great for your health and wellbeing even if it's just a brisk walk around your local park. This is a great article which explains the exercises which are essential for healthy ageing (click here).
Last but not least is getting the right amount of sleep. Sleep is so important to your physical health. Whilst you sleep your body has time to heal and repair itself. Ongoing sleep deficiency can lead to many problems including increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke (NIH, 2012).