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Aging is a natural part of life. With the passage of time, the heart needs to work harder, skin becomes drier, vision deteriorates, and reaction times become slower. But getting older doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. By finding the right balance between physical and mental health, now you can slow the effects of the aging process and stay sharp along the way. We’ve compiled a few tips to help. The important thing is to incorporate them in your life today. The sooner you start, the better you’ll age.
Exercise your brain like a muscle.
Your brain might not be a muscle, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect it. Like a muscle, the brain needs exercise, stimulation, and a little TLC every now and then. Because as we age, the brain undergoes changes in both structure and function. These changes can lead to slower cognitive processes and make it harder for us to learn new things or recall information as quickly as we used to.
That’s where brain exercises come in. Because whenever we force ourselves to learn something new, we’re stretching the brain by forcing it to use different parts. This keeps us sharp for the long haul.
Food for thought:
Try spending 30 minutes a day with a mentally-stimulating activity. This could be learning a new skill, reading, writing, or a challenging gem like crossword puzzles or sudoku.
Move it, move it.
And by “often,” we mean every day. Exercising doesn’t mean hitting the gym, pumping iron, or participating in your local Spartan Race. It means moving your body every single day. Practicing tai chi, qigong, or taking up yoga are especially beneficial to aging because they’re not hard on the body, and they also engage you both mentally and physically.
These simple exercises come with big benefits. For starters, they improve balance which tends to wane the older we get. They also improve strength, endurance, and flexibility. Taking up these mindful exercises will leave you sleeping better, thinking more clearly, and feeling happier during the day.
Find a new movement.
Try a new movement exercise this month. It could be a yoga class or a tai chi group at your local park (there are many). Just try one class and then pay attention to how you feel afterward. If you like it, make it part of your daily routine.
Eat like your life depends on it.
A proper diet and a healthy life go hand in hand. You won’t find one without the other. And this is especially true as we age. Older adults have different nutritional needs than their younger counterparts, and this is important to remember when planning your diet. Make sure to eat lots of Omega-3s, calcium, fiber, and plenty of water. This is also what makes Vitality Stack so useful – they’re designed to make sure the heart, brain, eyes, and other vitals are running like well-oiled machines.
Take a food inventory.
As we age, our hearts, brains, digestive system, and bones tend to gather a bit of rust. Go through your pantry and take an inventory of all the foods your body needs. Leafy greens, milk, and yogurt for calcium. Fiber-rich foods for your digestive system, and seafood as well as nuts for the Omega 3s your brain and heart need. And if you don’t have enough, go to the grocery store and buy some.
Laugh like there’s no tomorrow.
You ever heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine”? Turns out there’s a lot of truth to it. When we laugh, the body produces pain-relieving hormones called endorphins. But endorphins do a lot more than just make us feel good. They slow down our blood pressure and improve heart health. Laughter also connects us with people. It helps us develop social bonds and relationships. And happy relationships and a great life are tied together.
Keep a laughter journal.
Start a journal this month. Record every moment that made you laugh – something your kid says, a joke you read, or a snippet of a conversation you overheard in passing. Life is full of funny moments, recording them helps us laugh a little more. And laughing a little more can improve our health a lot.
One step ahead of the next.
Growing mentally and physically stronger as we age doesn’t take expensive gym memberships, drastic life changes, or a personal chef. What it does mean is approaching today with an eye for tomorrow. Start making small, incremental changes that can help you think, move, eat, and live a little healthier. You’ll thank yourself years down the road. We promise.