Genetics plays an integral part in how we age, but there are ways you can enhance your own wellbeing to age gracefully. Integrative physicians can offer guidance for living longer, healthier lives.
These healthy lifestyle changes don’t involve spending thousands on beauty rituals, foam rollers for your face or chin carpet cleaning services – instead they involve five key things.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Diet is an integral component of healthy longevity. According to a February 2022 study, eating whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes, nuts, whole grains and reduced-fat dairy while limiting red and processed meat consumption as well as sugary beverages can extend healthy lifespan.
Maintaining an optimal body weight is of critical importance, too. Being overweight increases your risk for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, shortening life span.
Buettner organized experts from medical researchers, anthropologists and demographers for his Blue Zones project in order to learn the habits of those who lived long lives. Researchers discovered that healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle changes reduced cellular damage caused by aging because these activities promote the production of an enzyme which lengthened chromosomes.
2. Exercise Regularly
Research now supports what has long been believed: regular exercise helps the body and mind. A study of US veterans discovered that adopting eight healthy lifestyle habits by middle age — physical activity, freedom from opioid addiction, nonsmoking, stress management, nutritious diet, minimal binge drinking and adequate sleep hygiene — could add an average of 24 years for men and 21 more for women.
At least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (such as brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity should be completed every week, such as yoga or dance classes. Furthermore, finding ways to enjoy them may also help slow the aging process in the brain by increasing cognitive function and balance. A recent study confirmed this fact.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Studies suggest that getting enough restful sleep is an integral component of increasing lifespan and well-being. Individuals living longest and strongest in regions known as Blue Zones – regions in which there are numerous centenarians aged 100 or above who remain healthy and content – tend to have healthy sleeping patterns. Walking, meditation and breathing exercises have all been scientifically proven methods of relieving stress and promoting sounder sleep; making small tweaks to bedroom environments and daily routines may make all the difference in ensuring high quality zz’s!
Researchers recently conducted a study that assessed individuals on their healthy sleep habits and discovered that those who prioritized five behaviors that contribute to better rest — falling asleep quickly, staying asleep throughout the night, waking up rested and forgoing sleep medications — saw nearly five additional years added onto their life expectancies! That’s an enormous advantage!
4. Stay Active
Aging may be inevitable, but many factors within our control can help to slow it down gracefully. Selecting a healthy diet and exercising regularly are just two ways we can manage our aging gracefully.
A diet free from processed food and added sugars can be one of the best defenses against diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer. Regular physical activity – such as balance and flexibility training – may also reduce falls – the leading cause of nonfatal injuries among older adults.
Recent research suggests that men adopting a healthy lifestyle by middle age could add 24 years to their lifespan while 21 years were gained for women. An ideal healthy lifestyle includes physical activity, diet and social connections to increase lifespan.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Over history, many diets have come and gone, but one that remains consistent for longevity is one based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and sufficient water consumption.
Nurturing curiosity as you age is another crucial lifestyle habit to ensure longevity. Studies show that it can reduce stress, improve memory retention and help maintain a positive attitude toward aging. You can do this through reading new books, attempting new hobbies or activities and socializing with friends; regular doctor checkups to receive screenings and vaccines can prevent disease early and provide better care solutions – see also: Tips to Keep your Mind Sharp As you Age.