Consistent Habits of Aging

7 Consistent Habits of People Who Age Well

7 Consistent Habits of People Who Age Well

When it comes to living long and gracefully aging, lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet, and even attitude can be just as important as genetics. Bette Davis once said, “Old age is no place for sissies,” but that doesn’t mean you have to be scared every year on your birthday. It’s no secret that aging affects nearly every part of your body—hair, skin, heart, muscles, brain, and more—but giving yourself a fighting chance at aging well could be as simple as adopting these healthy (and mostly easy) daily habits.

Here are some of the best ways to help your brain and body age gracefully.

1. Keep a Positive Attitude towards Ageing

When it comes to aging, you are exactly who you think you are. According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, seniors who view aging as a source of wisdom and overall happiness are more than 40% more likely to recover from a disability than those who view it as a source of helplessness or futility. As a result, your perspective and mindset can have a big impact on how physically and emotionally resilient you can stay as you get older.

2. Consume Nutrient-dense, Whole Foods

Nutrition has a significant impact on how your body ages. According to Jeffrey Benabio, MD, physician director of healthcare transformation at Kaiser Permanente Primary Care, “the latest research shows that a low-glycemic diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is the healthiest.”

The Mediterranean diet, for example, has been named the Best Overall Diet in 2020 for the third year in a row by U.S. News & World Report. It’s a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet that includes whole grains, nuts, seafood, and healthy fats—and even allows you to drink red wine (in moderation). The Mediterranean diet recommends eating fish twice a week and limiting salt intake. According to Harvard Medical School, this type of diet may help you age better by preventing heart attacks, strokes, and premature death. Additionally, foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, extra-virgin olive oil, salmon, and flaxseed, according to Dr. Benabio, assist your skin in producing the essential oils it requires to protect itself and can help skin look younger.

Sugary, carbohydrate-heavy, and unhealthy fatty foods, on the other hand—think chips, soda, and white bread—can hasten the aging process, according to Dr. Benabio. “Always choose whole grains and natural sweeteners when shopping or dining out,” he advises.

3. Stop Eating when You’re Satisfied, Not Stuffed

Overeating on a regular basis—eating past the point of feeling full and satisfied—can lead to a variety of health problems, including a shorter lifespan, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. It’s best to stick to a balanced diet and healthy eating patterns if you want to age gracefully and live longer. Check out the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 for in-depth information, research, and tips on nutrition.

4. Exercise on a Regular Basis

Staying active is an important part of living a long and healthy life. According to exercise physiologist Fabio Comana, a faculty instructor at the National Academy of Sports Medicine, between the ages of 30 and 70, the average woman can lose 23 percent of her muscle mass. As you get older, you lose muscle mass more quickly, but exercise—specifically, resistance workouts—can help you gain mass and strength well into your 90s, according to Comana.

According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, staying fit can help prevent age-related memory loss. Furthermore, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 70% of all dementia cases, according to Comana, who adds that increasing physical activity can reduce this statistic by 25%. This is due to the fact that exercise strengthens the hippocampus, a brain region associated with learning and working memory.

5. Keep In Touch and Socialize

It’s important to be a part of a community and keep in touch with the people you care about. Spending time with friends and family is not only enjoyable, but it can also help you live longer. According to a study published in the journal PLoS Medicine, those of us with strong social ties have a 50% higher chance of living longer than those with poor or insufficient relationships.

6. Make Sun Protection a Top Priority

Spending too much time in the sun can lead to wrinkles and even skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen, on the other hand, can help to slow down the ageing process. While the sun’s UV rays do stimulate the production of vitamin D, which is necessary for bone health, this is hardly a compelling reason to expose yourself. Dr. Benabio says, “Here are the facts.” “After just a few minutes in the sun, your skin stops producing vitamin D and begins to produce skin cancer.” Most people get enough Vitamin D, but if you don’t, increase your intake of salmon or eggs (don’t skip the yolk). Wear sunscreen every day, even if you’re going to be inside or traveling, and make it a habit to include an SPF in your regular skincare routine. Purchase a sun hat that you enjoy wearing as well as a pair of sunglasses that offer genuine UVA and UVB protection.

7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

You are probably aware that you require seven to nine hours of sleep per night (and that a solid power nap can help make up for lost night of Zs). But did you know that not getting enough sleep on a regular basis is linked to a higher risk of obesity, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, depression, and diabetes?

It turns out that “beauty sleep” isn’t a myth after all. According to Dr. Benabio, your body releases a growth hormone while you sleep that aids in the restoration of collagen and elastin, the essential building blocks of young, healthy skin.

According to Dr. Benabio, recent research has found a link between insomnia and accelerated brain ageing. In other words, chronic sleep deprivation has a negative impact on brain structure and function, as well as hastening the ageing process. “Too many of us regard sleep as a luxury rather than a necessity,” Benabio says. “If there is one healthy change I could encourage people to make, it would be to sleep more.”

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Sphie Ross

Sophie Ross has written, edited, and produced beauty and fashion content for more than 3 years. She works full-time in the fashion and beauty categories as a copywriter, but she is passionate about all things related to beauty.