We can’t stop the aging process but we can limit its harsh effects on our skin, our health and how we feel each day. There are 5 healthy habits that you can start at any age to will help you age well and Live Your Life each day to the fullest.

Get More Sleep
You know you should get 7-9 hours of sleep a night but sleep patterns can change as you get older. It doesn’t mean you need less sleep, but you may need to make some changes to ensure you are getting enough sleep. Talk to your doctor about any medical conditions or medications that may affect your ability to fall and stay sleep and then try these tips to get a more restful slumber.

Stick to a regular routine of going to be and getting up at the same time each day so your body becomes used to it.

Avoid TV, electronics and bright lights right before bed and instead opt for reading, listening to music and maybe a relaxing bath to help you unwind.

Get fresh air and exercise during the day but try to complete any exercise prior to 3hrs before bedtime.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and large amounts of water before bedtime that may affect your sleep once you have fallen asleep.

Drink More Water
Drinking water is an important way to replenish the fluid your body losses on a daily basis. When your water intake does not equal your output, you can become dehydrated. More water is required in warmer climates, if you are exercising or sweating and for older adults whose sense of thirst deteriorates with age.

The benefits of drinking water include maintaining the balance of body fluids. Your body is almost 60% water and contributes to digestion, circulation, transportation of nutrients and maintenance of body temperature.  Water helps energize muscles through maintaining electrolytes and preventing muscle fatigue.  Water is also responsible for proper kidney function and normal bowel function.

Have water with every meal

Eat more fruits and vegetables which have a natural high water content

Carry water with you

Get a water bottle or glass that you love and drink through a straw if that helps you drink more.

Fill your water bottle with frozen fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, lemons, limes or cucumber for flavour rather than sugary drinks.

Do More Strength Exercises
Strength training is a type of exercise that uses resistance and weight to increase muscle. Both body weight and external weight can be used in repeated action until muscle fatigue which in turn builds strength and tones. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day.

Why Strength Train?  Muscle continues to burn calories even at a resting state and strengthening muscle around bones increases bone density and decreases risk of osteoporosis. Regular exercise relieves stress
while increasing your energy level. You will reduces risk of injury, enjoy overall better health, have a stronger heart, bones, and muscles which all prevents disease.

Talk to your Doctor before beginning any new exercise regime and look into low impact strength classes or yoga flow stretches.  Your body will thank you.

Eat More Protein
Protein is important. It is a basic requirement to almost all bodily functions. It plays a role in our muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissue, enzymes, hormones, cells and fluids, in building muscle and maintaining a healthy weight. Proteins in the body are made from smaller molecules which come from food and need to be replenished on a daily basis.

A 150lbs adult requires a minimum of 55 grams of protein daily. If you are active or looking to build muscle, you have higher requirements. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietician to be sure of how much protein is right for you, then make adding protein to your diet a priority.

This list of protein in common food provides a good starting point to add more protein to your diet and try having a protein smoothie for a snack or to start your day.

Stretch Everyday
Stretching increases and maintains your flexibility – an important function for all muscles, joints and increases your range of motion. Stretching post exercise is especially important to decrease muscle stiffness and pain. Stretching can also improve posture, manage stress, promote circulation and reduce muscle tension.

Try to stretch warmed up muscles, after an exercise class, a bike ride, a swim or a long walk. Even better is try a yoga class; one that provides a great overall full body stretch.  You will walk taller, breath better and feel lighter.