Ageing is a natural and inevitable process. Our cells will eventually cease dividing, and any damages will no longer repair. Plenty of living things like plants and animals around us experience ageing.
In humans, ageing may refer to physical, social, and mental changes over time. We may have more wrinkles and white hair, but our knowledge and wisdom will expand. However, ageing is also known to be one of the most significant factors for human death. There are over 2 million people who die at around 60 to 70 years old.
While we can’t control our age, there are smart choices we can do to make us age gracefully. With the right care, ageing can be living the best life while being physically and mentally healthy. From being physically active and eating the right meals to connecting to yourself and friends, it affects how your body ages.
Eat Right, Eat Well
As you age, your body also changes. Thus, it is crucial to improve your eating habits so that your body can age better. Proper nutrition can lower the risk of many diseases, improve mental sharpness, and boost your energy levels, making you feel younger than your age. A healthy diet can also keep you emotionally balanced.
It is a well-known fact that a healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, less salt, whole grains, and healthier proteins and fats. There are also certain types of food you need to consume more to improve your health as you age. These include fibre, omega-3, and water.
Fibre slows the breakdown of nutrients. As you age, you’ll need more food rich in fibre, such as beans, almonds, barley, and oats, to help your digestive system move waste through your body. Fibre can also help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation, and control your blood sugar levels. People aged 50 and older should consume at least 21 to 30 grams of fibre daily.
Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseeds, sardines, and salmon can also help your body, heart, bones, joints, and especially your mental age. Our brain function declines as we age, and plenty of studies have linked that an increase in omega-3 consumption can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Omega-3 can also help improve your vision, reduce obesity, and help prevent autoimmune diseases.
Just like fibre and omega-3, water is also essential as we age. Like other organs, our kidneys’ ability to filter the toxins from the blood progressively declines as we age. Kidneys require more water to function effectively. Thus, it is crucial to keep yourself hydrated. Water is also essential as it lubricates the joints, helps pump blood to the muscles, and regulates body temperature.
Aside from increasing the presence of power-food in your diet, it is also essential to decrease or eliminate specific food as you age. Numerous studies have discovered that higher sodium content and chemical preservatives from processed food and beverages cause higher risks of age-related diseases, like diabetes and heart disease.
Thus, lean into more organic, natural, and unprocessed food choices as you age. Try to live your adult life looking for healthier options to your favourite packed chips or canned food. You can also try going vegan, low-carb, or try trendy meal plans like the South Beach Diet, as these diets aim for a healthier lifestyle.
Age Well With Physical Therapy
Physical therapy may not be the first thing that people think of when it comes to ageing well. A lot of people associate physical therapy with injury rehabilitation. While this is true, physical therapy is also an effective way to make your body more reliable and coordinated. We all want to grow old and still move without any pain and use or body effectively.
We all know that maintaining physical health is essential, but mobility significantly declines with age, and moving can be complicated. You’ll eventually have trouble walking or standing, and moving your body can be painful. Doing physical therapy will help your body maintain adequate balance, endurance, and strength.
By doing strengthening exercises and stretching, you’ll restore your body’s mobility. Doing physical therapy will also help your body maintain adequate endurance, balance, and strength. Therapists can also help you improve coordination and determine if you need assistive devices to help you move safely. Physical therapists can also reduce vertigo symptoms and restore proper vestibular functioning, which is often associated with ageing.
Physical therapy also aims to prevent and reduce pain and help improve your body’s different functions. Manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercises can significantly relieve pain and restore joint and muscle function. These simulations can also help prevent pain from returning.
Physical therapists can also help patients with arthritis or osteoporosis, heart and lung disease, breast cancer, fibromyalgia, lymphedema, and constipation. They can also help individuals recover from surgery, stroke, and fracture.
Like PhyxMe Physical Therapy, many physical therapy clinics can guide you on how to safely improve your physical ability despite the presence of complicated medical conditions. They offer services designed with your specific needs and cater to any of your medical conditions that limit your ability to move and function. With physical therapy, you’ll have a better quality of life.
Aside from a healthier body, ageing gracefully also means a healthier mind. Our brain is responsible for keeping our bodywork throughout our lives. But, as we age, our brain neurons degrade, and the receptors don’t fire as quickly because these functions become stagnant. Thus, it is vital to challenge and exercise the brain as we age.
Try new hobbies or activities that will challenge and exercise your brain. Some everyday activities you can try are puzzles, art and crafts, and meditation. These activities are proven to stimulate the brain and improve cognitive health.
Puzzles can stimulate and give the mind a workout. Solving a puzzle increases your brain’s dopamine production. Dopamine is responsible for how we feel pleasure. It helps make us feel happier. Puzzles can also help fire up neural pathways, improve memory, increase motivation, and enhance concentration.
Art is also a great way to inspire an ageing mind. Activities like playing music, dancing, photography, quilting, painting, singing, and writing can add happiness and a vibrant sense of well-being. Art is also a brilliant way to use imagination and can keep the mind active.
You can also improve your chances of ageing well by considering doing yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation are proven to improve mood, attention and focus, strengthen thinking skills, help avoid depression and stress, and strengthens the mind’s ability to multitask.
Our mental health plays a significant part in making us satisfied and optimistic. When you grow old with a well-balanced mind, you will most likely recover from any disability than those who view ageing as a sign of helplessness.
To age successfully and gracefully, you will need to embrace the things that will make you achieve this goal. It’s not a secret anymore, so live a happier life by keeping your body and mind healthier. The good thing is, it’s never late to start!
Melissa Bell is a content writer and copywriter who specializes in fitness, lifestyle, and health. She’s known for being a health junkie and is crazy about yoga, tea, biology, and self-help books.