Aging is something we all go through, but it doesn’t have to be so scary. Sure, as we get older it gets harder to out-eat or out-exercise our genetics, but we can still build up a defense by making meaningful and lasting lifestyle choices that may payoff in our later years.
So how do we do it? Aging with grace requires putting time into your physical and mental wellbeing each week. You won’t always succeed, but doing your best is all it takes.
So what should you be doing? Keep reading to discover a few changes you might consider making to help you live the best possible life!
It’s easy to get lost in the humdrum activities of home life. Sitting for long hours and repeating the same tasks is not a recipe for health.
For any age group, not getting enough physical activity can contribute to many problems, like increased frailty, balance issues, and health problems related to weight gain, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol.
- Ages 20-30: This is the time to take advantage of your youth and push yourself. Aim for 30 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week. Add in 45-60 minutes of straight cardio 3 times a week. These routines can overlap if you’re up for it. Take one day to recover.
- Ages 30-40: You will start to lose muscle mass, so think about adding more weight to your resistance training. Aim for 1 hour of combined cardio and resistance training 4 times a week. On the fifth day, do cardio that lasts 45-60 minutes at a high intensity. The sixth day is your choice; if you can handle more, go for it. Use the seventh day to recover.
- Ages 40-50: If you haven’t been very active, now is your chance to turn it around. Aim for 1 hour of full bodyweight training 3 days a week. Plus, 5 days a week complete 45 minutes of cardio, but at a lower intensity. Take the sixth and seventh day to recover.
- Ages 50-60: Expect more aches and pains, so switch to lower impact exercises while being mindful that you don’t let things don’t get too intense. Perform 4-6 cardio sessions for 20-40 minutes a week; these should be intense enough that you can barely hold a conversation. Add 30 minutes of weight training twice a week, completing only 8-12 repetitions of those routines if using a heavier weight; complete more reps if using less weight.
- Ages 60 and up: Start thinking about the risk of falls and how you can improve your balance. Perform challenging, but not exhausting, cardio 3 days a week. Also complete 3 days of weight training using lighter weights. Make sure to stretch frequently, take walks, and do daily balance exercises. Bone health may also be a concern to speak with your doctor about. Also ask about bone support supplements like Bone Guard Forte from Perque and whether they are a smart way to provide your bones additional support.
Remember that a recovery period and energy replenishment are important after physical activity. Whey Protein Isolate from Bluebonnet can be a great way to provide the muscles the protein they need to grow, to help control your appetite, and to promote energy during the day.
Eating right is an important step to getting the right nutrition so you can remain active, maintain your healthy weight and overall cardiovascular health. To understand healthy eating, take a look at MyPlate.
MyPlate replaces the old food pyramid many of us learned about growing up in favor of a more straightforward system that breaks down your food plate into manageable portions for each food group.
What goes onto your plate is important, and should include:
- Lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans)
- Fruits and vegetables (anything orange, red, green, and purple)
- Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, granola, etc.)
- Low-fat dairy (milk or dairy-alternatives)
If you are on a fixed budget and think it is hard to eat right without spending big dollars, take a minute to learn about eating healthy on a budget.
Build Relationships with Family and Friends
Depression, loneliness, and cognitive decline are common issues facing an increasingly aging population. Building a support structure with family and friends can help you keep your mind sharp, help you feel happier, and can keep you active with your favorite physical activities and hobbies.
Do your best to make connections, practice hobbies, join clubs or volunteer organizations, and even consider taking an adult education course to open the door to meeting new people and building lasting relationships.
Get Enough Sleep
Research shows that more than half of men and women over the age of 65 have at least one sleep complaint. It is important to note that as we age, sleep patterns change. We will spend less time in light sleep and are more likely to experience disruptions, with health problems and medications being a significant contributor to this. Moreover, older people spend less time in the restorative stage 3 (REM cycle) of sleep.
It is hard to make a general diagnosis for why you aren’t getting enough sleep, but for all age groups, the following are some common causes.
- Napping during the day.
- Caffeine intake.
- Poor sleep environments, such as too much noise or light, too hot or cold, and an uncomfortable mattress.
- Not sticking to a sleep schedule.
- Too much screen time 60-90 minutes before bed.
- Alcohol or consumption of narcotics.
Sleep is important for maintaining energy levels, focus, a healthy mood, and much more. If after changing your lifestyle you still can’t sleep, speak with your doctor. While there, ask about sleep support supplements like Melatonin 5 Mg from Cardiovascular Research and how it may help with a healthy sleep cycle, feelings of restfulness, and vitality.
Many things in your day-to-day cause stress, but while aging larger life changes such as changes to finances, mental health issues, personal life challenges, gradual or sudden declines in health, and changes to your level of independence and freedom can lead to chronic stress.
Chronic stress can impact your physical and mental health, lead to depression, lasting health problems, and a shortened life span.
This is why learning about how to manage stress can be so invaluable. But it is a big topic, so take a moment to read this guide to learn about managing stress each day. Additionally, consider a stress support supplement like Calm Now Capsules from Zhou Nutrition. This formula may help you balance your mood and promote healthy reactions to difficult moments in your life.
Prevent the Preventable
Finally, the best way to age with grace is to learn about the things that you can control through therapy, medications, and other treatment options. Speaking with a healthcare professional is the best place to start. They can assess your current health and let you know your risk factors for disease or other problems you may experience down the road.
Some argue that the “third age” are the golden years of your life – these are ages of 65-80 and beyond! At this point in life, a person’s experience, hobbies, education, and other learned skills and attributes are at their peak, providing individuals a sense of confidence and self-esteem that can open the door to new experiences that aren’t always available to people in their younger years.
Reaching old age is no guarantee, but living a healthy life today and prioritizing the needs of your body and mind will increase your chances of living the best life and its many possibilities.