The fountain of youth … a magical elixir that prevents aging, illness and death.
It sounds great, but for those of us with a more realistic outlook on life, we can do simple things right now to feel good and to help give our bodies their best shot at longevity.
Here are 13 of them:
13 Ways to Age Healthy
1. Stay active. Keep moving. Walk, work in the garden, play tennis or golf. Do anything that sounds fun if you can. Not all of us will be skydiving on our 80th birthday, but regular activity keeps the circulatory and respiratory systems in better shape, burns calories, warms us up, and helps lower the risk of debilitating diseases. And it’s good stress therapy.
2. Use your brain every day. Do mental math, crossword puzzles, jumbles, etc. Keep those neurons firing and active to help preserve healthy neural pathways. Also eat brain foods and brain supplements known to support brain health and function.
3. Antioxidants. Fight cellular damage to your skin, eyes and circulatory system by getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet. These nutrients have extra electrons that neutralize dangerous free radicals caused by sunlight, pollution, radiation and other things in our environment. Choose colorful fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens like spinach, purple and red fruits, orange and yellow veggies, tomatoes, dark chocolate and more. Or drink your antioxidants in a potent beverage like Thai-Go® or in a supplement like Super Orac.
4. Put things on your calendar. Look forward to a concert, a family gathering, lunch with friends, etc. Australian researchers found that elderly people who are more social live longer compared to those with fewer friends.
5. Drink plenty of water. Proper hydration keeps blood and waste moving and helps the kidneys flush toxins and waste out of the body.
6. Take a nap! Naps may help combat stress in the body. One study of 24,000 people found that those who take a nap regularly are 1/3 less likely to die from heart disease than those who don’t get regular naps.
7. Go fishing. At the dinner table that is. Fish provides important essential fatty acids, including omega 3s and 6s, that are often lacking in our diets. These EFAs support circulation, heart health, brain health, blood pressure and more.
8. Eat less. Cutting back on calorie consumption by 20–25% is enough to increase your lifespan markedly. Instead of filling your stomach, fill your time with learning, moving and socializing.
9. Get a little nutty. Adding uncooked nuts and seeds to your diet adds important trace minerals like selenium and the essential amino acid tryptophan. The former helps quench free radicals and eliminate heavy metals, and the latter helps with both mood and sleep.
10. Pray. A 12-year study of adults over 65 shows that people who attend religious services more than once a week had stronger immune systems that those who did not attend services. They were also less likely to die. Worshipping together creates strong social bonds between friends, which may boost health.
11. Sprinkle on the seasonings. Shakespeare was right. Rosemary is for remembrance. Cooking with herbs like rosemary, sage and turmeric can help improve mood and memory.
12. Watch your waistline. Being overweight puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and other unwelcome conditions. Stay active and eat smart to keep your weight in check and disease at bay.
13. Invest in a healthy future. Get a physical once a year, and stay on top of your recommended health screenings.