Getting older is scary for many of us, with fears that we might start to accumulate more medical conditions and not live a good enough quality of life. While certain aspects of the aging process cannot be avoided, there are ways you can support your physical and mental health by picking up some healthier habits.
As a medical professional myself, I have been fascinated by the aging process and the science backing healthy aging. This is why I have recently launched my very own anti-aging line, including my NMN supplements.
In order to age well and feel great, there are numerous healthy habits you can pick up to maintain and even improve your overall health. Sometimes all it takes is a small lifestyle change!
In this article, I will be covering main points that include:
- What happens within our bodies as we age
- 10 Tips for healthy aging
What Can We Expect When It Comes to the Aging Process?
Before I talk about the tips you can follow to ensure better health, it’s important to understand some of the mental and physical changes happening as we age.
According to MedlinePlus, aging can decrease the density and mass of bones, which can lead to osteoporosis. Low bone mass can also increase the risk of breaking bones, such as those in the spine. Although osteoporosis and low bone mass are more common in women, men can still get them.
As you get older, your large arteries may become stiffer, which can increase your blood pressure. Also, the walls of these arteries may accumulate fatty deposits, which can narrow and harden them, reducing the flow of blood to the heart. A buildup of fatty deposits known as atherosclerosis can lead to coronary artery disease, which is a major cause of heart attack. Although it is not always possible to prevent heart disease, regular exercise and a healthy diet can help keep the arteries and heart healthy.
As people get older, they may experience some forgetfulness. According to the CDC, this can affect their ability to carry out tasks and keep track of information. However, if these problems go beyond the minor forgetfulness every so often, they should be checked by a medical professional. Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders can also affect the brain.
Your digestive system becomes slower as you get older, which can lead to issues such as constipation and stomach pain. Certain medications can also contribute to this issue. To prevent these kinds of conditions, you should always make sure to drink plenty of fluids, eat a diet that's rich in fiber, and find ways to manage stress.
As you get older, your skin will start to sag and lose its elasticity. However, by protecting yourself from the damaging effects of aging, you can keep it looking young and healthy. One of the most effective ways to keep your skin looking young and healthy is by using sunscreen and moisturizer.
After menopause, many women experience changes in their sexual function, such as decreased vaginal lubrication. According to the North American Menopause Society, this can lead to a reduction in their sex drive. Men, on the other hand, may experience an increase in their sexual desire. However, according to the American Society for Sexual Health, this issue may be caused by a medical condition. Many of the physical issues that can affect a person's sexual performance can be treated and, if not, accommodated by one's partner.
10 Best Tips for Healthy Aging
Now that you have more of an understanding of what goes on in our bodies as we age, it’s time for me to go over some healthy habits you can follow to try and manage some of these changes we will experience.
1. Stick to a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it's never too late to start. Having nutritious food can help lower the risks of various diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
The U.S. Department of Health and Services, or HHS, suggests that adults should eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, reduce sodium, and cut down on added sugars and saturated fat. Older adults typically don't get enough protein, so some of these can be added to their diet by consuming meat, seafood, beans and eggs.
Due to not feeling as thirsty, older adults are prone to dehydration. Drinking water throughout the day can help prevent dehydration and even assist with digestion. Stay away from processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats as best as you can!
2. Cut out Unhealthy Habits
One of the most important factors that people can consider when it comes to maintaining their health is cutting down on unhealthy habits, such as drinking too much alcohol and smoking. Studies have shown that quitting smoking can lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and even improve your sense of smell and taste.
According to the National Institute on Aging, older adults should limit their alcohol consumption to prevent them from developing problems related to alcohol misuse. Also, the institute noted that the use of alcohol among older adults has increased. Eliminating or reducing alcohol from one's diet can improve one's health and reduce the risk of premature aging.
It's important for older adults to avoid becoming dependent on substances, such as prescription opioids. If they need help, they should speak with their physician or mental health professional.
Physically active adults can improve their health and avoid developing chronic diseases. It can also improve mobility and prevent people from falling.
Even those with disabilities or frailties can benefit from regular physical activity, but make sure to always follow your doctor's recommendations.
According to the Department of Health & Human Services' Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults, adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous-intensity exercise a week. This should include both strength and aerobic activities. Before starting a program, people should consult with their doctor to determine their fitness levels.
Common aerobic exercises include:
4. Keep your Mind Engaged
Being intellectually engaged can help improve one's well-being and memory. Some of the activities that can help you keep mentally engaged include reading books, taking a class, or playing games. According to the institute, people who participate are more likely to feel happy and healthier.
Being mentally healthy is also a part of having a good life. Managing stress can help prevent it from damaging your memory and increasing your risk of developing Alzheimer's and other mental disorders. Some of the ways to do this include:
- Taking part in regular exercise
5. Maintain Social Networks
Having a strong social network can provide you with various positive opportunities. Although the size of your network may vary, it's important to maintain a positive relationship with people who you know well.
You should be open to expanding your social networks. Participating in clubs, volunteering at an organization, or becoming a mentor can help you meet new people. Religious places of worship and senior centers can also help you meet individuals with similar interests and values. Social media can be used to connect with old acquaintances and make new friends.
6. Keep up with Dental Hygiene
Older adults are more prone to experiencing receding gums, which can expose the root or base of their tooth. This condition can lead to decay and inflammation. Although brushing too hard can cause receding gums, gum disease is the most common cause of this condition.
Early stages of gum disease can involve inflammation and the buildup of tartar and plaque. If left untreated, severe gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests brushing twice a day and regularly cleaning your teeth. It can help prevent inflammation and keep your mouth healthy. In addition, regular dental hygiene can help manage conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
7. Get Adequate Sleep
Contrary to popular belief, older people don't need less sleep. It is actually more difficult for them to get the amount of sleep they need as their bodies age. From hormonal shifts to stress, people over 40 are not getting the adequate amount of sleep they need.
Getting enough sleep is considered to be one of the most important factors that can protect a person's health. Unfortunately most people don't get enough sleep, which can lead to health issues such as depression and chronic disease. If sleep is affecting your everyday life, it's important to consult with a sleep expert.
Some bedtime tips for better sleep include:
- Go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Weekends included!
- Don't take naps after 3 p.m, and don't nap longer than 20 minutes.
- Stay away from caffeine in the evening.
- Avoid nicotine.
- Get regular exercise, but try to avoid a lot of physical activity within 2-3 hours of your bedtime.
- Don't eat a heavy meal too late in the evening.
8. Schedule Checkups + Follow your Doctor’s Orders
Getting regular checkups with a doctor, dentist, and eye doctor can help identify potential problems early and prevent them from developing into more serious issues. Although it may seem obvious, it’s still important to follow the doctor's orders when it comes to taking any medication. It’s also important to regularly review your medications with your primary care physician to see if they still need to be taken. Having too many prescriptions can make it hard to remember when to take all of them, and it can increase your risk of side effects and drug interactions.
If you have multiple medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you may want to talk to a geriatrician about possible treatment. A geriatrician can help you manage your health issues and develop a personalized care plan.
9. Try a New Hobby
One of the most important factors that people should consider when it comes to staying active after they retire is having a plan. Many people have their own wish lists, but they can sometimes be put off due to busy schedules.
A great way to stay active is to pick up a new hobby. This may include starting activities such as:
Activities such as these can stimulate the brain's neuroplasticity, which is the process of connecting nerve cells. The strengthening of these connections can help people feel more connected to their surroundings and improve their mental health.
10. Try an Anti-Aging Supplement
As I mentioned earlier, I have recently come out with my very own anti-aging line with a variety of healthy aging products available from my website. One of these products include my Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) supplements, which works to aid energy metabolism and repair DNA at the cellular level. Boosting the levels of NAD+ in your body is very important to maintain healthy cells. NMN is the chemical composition which helps increase these NAD+ levels, and aid our cellular health overall.
These supplements are 3rd party tested for purity, and manufactured in a Certified GMP facility.
Start the Journey to Healthy Aging Today
It’s safe to say that aging is something many people avoid thinking about. However, anyone can pick up a couple of these healthy habits to enjoy a healthy aging process as time goes on. Stay committed, you got this!