Healthy Aging Tips


How We Age is a Choice.

If you’re reading this article about healthy aging tips because you’re clinging to youth and what you think you’re losing, you will, hopefully, experience a positive change in the way you view aging by the time you finish reading. 

The word, "aging," evokes images of stereotypical and inevitable decline. The fact is, you've been "aging" since the day you were conceived. Healthy Aging Tips includes evidence for reasons to change your perception of what aging is.





When we were children, we wanted to grow up. Gradually, we gave up childish things as we entered adulthood. The journey forward has always been a time of discovery, challenges and new experiences. Healthy aging is not about counting losses, but blessings, and a whole new range of possibilities without the responsibilities of things such as careers and raising children.

Approaching retirement and elderhood is a season of rewards – a time to travel, learn a new language, write that book, learn to play an instrument, take dance lessons, pick up new hobbies, learn a new sport, or give back by volunteering for causes you are passionate about.

In other words, aging is a time of freedom. We’re all going to age; but, how we age is a choice.


Age is an Attitude -- Keep it Positive

Ask a healthy senior what they think is the most important thing to healthy aging. Most will say, “Attitude.” Your attitude toward life and circumstances in life can have serious health consequences. It's a major predictor of how long you will live as well as the quality of that life.

Studies indicate that people with positive/optimistic attitudes live longer, even when faced with life-threatening diseases, and catastrophic illnesses such as cancer and HIV. Positive attitudes enabled a generation to weather the Great Depression, WWII, scarcities, and other inconceivable circumstances. An excellent book on this subject is "Positive Illusions" by Dr Shelly Taylor.

Characteristics of optimistic people include:

  • A 'can-do' attitude;
  • Refusal to replay ‘loser’ messages in their thoughts or memories;
  • Belief that they are not powerless, but able to make real changes in their lives or circumstances;
  • Not always looking for reasons why something won’t work or can't be done;
  • Acceptance that past decisions were made at the time based upon what they knew at the time; and
  • Not perceiving every problem they face as forces working against them that are out of their control.


Attitude is everything!


If you're curious about where you are on the scale of optimism vs pessimism, the Life Orientation Test is a widely-used tool to measure your levels of optimism and pessimism. 





Since we know that a positive attitude ranks high on the list of healthy aging tips, consider the following courses of action if you are struggling with maintaining a good attitude:

  • counseling; 
  • disclosing a troubled past by talking to a close friend or spiritual adviser;
  • reading books and articles on the subject; 
  • associating with people who have positive outlooks; 
  • listening to positive and inspiring messages; and 
  • thinking about things that are positive and motivating because you don't have to entertain thoughts just because they pop into your head. 

Stop believing the myths and stereotypes about aging. The last thing you want to do is incorporate them into your own thinking about the world and about yourself. If you accept negative stereotypes, it will:

  • lower your self-esteem; 
  • decrease your desire to try new things or take risks; 
  • increase feelings of loneliness; or
  • cause you to develop help-seeking behavior, fatalistic attitudes and learned helplessness.

It is currently indisputable that we have an enormous degree of control as to how we age based upon our perceptions and choices. A healthy attitude will propel you towards good lifestyle choices.





Healthy Aging Tips Include Making Good Lifestyle Choices

Among the top aging fears are: frailty, illness, loss of independence, loss of family and friends, and moving into a nursing home. It’s time to change the way we think about aging, and  consider the following healthy aging tips about diet and exercise.


Exercise

It is impossible to discuss healthy aging tips and exclude the importance of exercise. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States.

We now know that there are profound social, psychological and physical health benefits associated with active living among older adults. Exercise increases energy levels, enhances mobility, improves mood and mental health, protects the heart, helps manage pain, reduces body fat, and improves brain function and memory.

The evidence is overwhelming that exercise is the most effective way to confront these fears. By including the right kind of exercise in our lifestyle we have the power to slow, stop, and reverse the downward slide that was once considered an inevitable part of the aging process.





Diet

It's important to know the role of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

As we age, our bodies begin to absorb less and less protein. It is, therefore, mandatory to increase protein intake as we age. Without sufficient protein, we aren't able to maintain muscle strength and may develop Sarcopenia -- a wasting away of muscle tissue.

Carbohydrates are a primary means of storing and using energy. They are a great source of fiber which helps prevent stomach and intestinal problems.

Fats protect our organs, maintain cell membranes, promote growth and development, and assist in the absorption of essential vitamins. It helps to know what the best fats are, such as the health benefits of olive oil.

More healthy aging tips can be found in the links below.


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The content of this website is for informational purposes only and not intended to be taken as a replacement for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment by a doctor, dietitian, physical therapist, nutritionist or fitness instructor.

DO NOT BEGIN ANY EXERCISE PROGRAM WITHOUT CHECKING WITH YOUR DOCTOR FOR UNDERLYING CONDITIONS THAT MAY PREVENT YOU FROM DOING SO.



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