Better with Age
Posted on March 30th, 2015, by iMinerva
WebMD.com posted a piece entitled “50 is the New 40.” The fact is, we’re all much younger in body, mind and spirit than our parents’ generation….by at least ten years, maybe more.
Their tips for healthy aging apply to all of us – regardless of our decade. None of these are new or surprising but all are worth a reminder. Basically, there are three categories to keep in mind. So listen up – and get young again.
Diet is a weighty matter
We can’t ignore the billions of dollars spent on research telling us that diet really does impact our aging process. It’s like the gas you put in your car. Put in the wrong fuel (like diesel instead of unleaded) and the car doesn’t run well – if at all. Diet affects your heart, brain, muscles, joints, even your attitude. Top 3rules:
- Eat healthy fats like fatty fish, plants such as flaxseed and nuts. This is good for your heart and your brain. Reduce red meat, butter and saturated fats.
- Cut the sodium (watch out for processed foods and bread) or watch your blood pressure go up the chart. Potassium in bananas is considered a “sodium-buster” so if you ate too many salty cashews, eat a banana.
- Choose nutrients, not nibbles. Our metabolism is slower so we need fewer calories. Eat dark leafy greens, colorful veggies and fruits, low-fat dairy, and foods fortified with vitamins B12 and D.
Work it out
- Exercise – even 30 minutes of walking or gardening – will make a difference boosting the blood flow to your brain and lowering the risk of memory and thinking problems.
- Regular strength training for the whole body has been shown to reverse muscle aging so lift weights, pump iron, strengthen your core and your body will thank you.
- Protect your joints by strengthening the muscles that support them. If you run, keep running. If you have knee or joint weakness, get walking or biking or any low-impact exercise that will build joint muscle strength.
- Balance becomes critical with age as falling can literally bring you down. Tai chi is a great balancer or practice standing on one foot while you do dishes or watch TV.
- Sex can also be a great overall exercise, tension-reducer, and happiness-inducer if you have the right partner. No partner? Then you need to spend more time at the health club.
A busy mind is a healthy mind
- Challenge your brain cells with something new. Learn a language, go to a lecture at a museum or art gallery, learn to play the ukulele, join a community group and meet new friends. New challenges will build new pathways in the brain. The research is clear – You can teach an old dog new tricks!
- “Make new friends, but keep the old – one is silver and the other gold.” That old Girl Scout song applies to young and old scouts. Visit friends, volunteer, mentor a student, for good brain-work.
- Bring a pet home and you’ll never be lonely. Pets bring laughter and unconditional love. Plus they keep you active, lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. It’s a trifecta.
Make a new start! That’s the most important advice from WebMD. It’s never too late to learn new habits and start on the path to better health. The fact is that our body is constantly creating new cells and getting rid of the old ones. That’s every cell in our body! So start today. Clean out the closet and replace those old cells with some exciting, healthy new ones.
There’s a new you about to begin. Be healthy and be happy!