If you could drink from the Fountain of Youth, wouldn't you do so? The idea of staying young and controlling aging seems like fiction. However, if you were to believe the recent developments in scientific technology, you would say otherwise.
So, why even bother to control a biologically natural process? Well, there could be a couple of reasons.
With age, the risk of disability and chronic disease rise dramatically. This reduces the quality of life in older adults. As one grows older, they are also less likely to contribute to the economy. In fact, their reliance on healthcare services goes up. Therefore it is crucial to know how to age well. However, you don't need to go deep into science to learn that.
With simple lifestyle changes, you can slow down aging naturally. In fact, a study by Harvard found the following five habits to increase life expectancy by 10 years:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Eating a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
So, how much of the aging process is in your own hands? Let's see.
Aging well explained
Your genes are responsible for around 25% of your longevity. However, there are other contributing factors too, some of which you know all too well.
In fact, as per a study by Harvard, even 15 minutes of exercise every day can boost your life expectancy by three years!
That's why people who live a sedentary life tend to be "older" than the ones who maintain a highly active lifestyle.
However, to address the other side of the coin is equally important. While exercising is vital, so is rest. You need to consistently get quality sleep to give your brain a proper rest.
You know the saying, 'you are what you eat'? Nothing rings truer as you age. Your eating habits not only affect your gut health and overall digestion, but your physical and mental wellbeing as well.
Apart from eating a balanced diet, make sure you do the following:
- Eat more whole foods and less refined ones
- Quit smoking and cut down on excessive drinking
- Protect your skin from harmful UV rays
- Stay hydrated by drinking water and consuming foods with high water content
- Consume protein-rich whole foods to get 25 to 30 grams of protein in every meal
- Social connection
Poor social connections, often categorized by loneliness and social isolation, can increase the risk of heart diseases by 29% and the risk of stroke by 32%, according to CDC. They are also linked to risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and other serious medical conditions.
It is clear people who have healthy relationships tend to live longer and healthier lives. If you stay socially engaged and approach the idea of aging positively, you can slow down the mental aging process.
By keeping a positive and optimistic attitude towards life, it may help you avoid depression and anxiety-related concerns. It will also help you cope with your health conditions better.
If you can master the above three factors, you can learn how to age well and take care of your health as you grow older.
While aging is a biological process, and you cannot stop it; it is not completely out of your control. As explained above, you can make small changes in your daily life and reap significant health benefits over the long run!
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