What are the secrets of successful aging? The thing about aging is that it’s inevitable, but some seem to be doing it so much better than others; what is their secret?
Aging happens naturally and after we reach our 40th birthday, we seem to age faster. Our muscles get weaker, our energy gets lower, our eyesight is strained, our memory isn’t what it used to be, we are less flexible and more exhausted. The good news is we can control many of the physical effects of aging process.
While much of it may boil down to good genes, there are some steps we can take to slow parts of the aging process. I am not talking about botox or eating more kale, rather getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, engaging your brain, staying socially active in your community or group of friends, getting enough protein and making exercise a part of everyday. These factors are the difference between aging and successful aging.
Secrets of Successful Aging
Sleep + Social Interaction + Learning for Brain Health
A huge part of aging well is in the brain. Not just physical, but mental health and wellness is one of the secrets of successful aging. Maintaining a positive outlook can help set you on the right path to good health and wellbeing. And never stop learning. Learn new card games, take up bridge, do crosswords, learn to tap dance, to sail, to do yoga or do puzzles, or word searches to keep your brain engaged.
One way to ensure a more positive outlook is to stay social. Many people, after they retire or the kids have all moved out, find that their social lives diminish. Think about your interests and find groups that will support them. Do you like to travel? There are many travel clubs for people over 50, catering to their needs and making it fun and manageable. What about a walking group? Book club? Or how about a yoga group? Whatever your interests are, one of the key secrets of successful aging is staying social.
Get enough sleep. Important at every age. While we need less sleep as we age, that tends to be as the result of a more sedentary lifestyle. If you stay active and busy, with exercise and activities, you’re going to need your rest. It’s the time when your muscles, organs, and particularly your brain, repair themselves.
Activity +Protein + Strength Exercises for Muscle Health
Exercise is not only one of the secrets of successful aging, it is the key to healthy aging. Whether you work out at home, join a gym or a walking / running / cycling group, or maybe you just get in some strength training and easy exercises in several times a week, keep moving. Being sedentary is the worst thing you can do for your body, as you age.
The key is to find activities that you actually enjoy, so that you’ll stick to doing them on a regular basis. Some cardio is essential to keeping cells healthy and active but ultimately, any exercise is better than none.
Research proves we can fight aging with regular exercise, particularly high-intensity exercise and strength training. Unhealthy habits (like a sedentary lifestyle) appear to speed up cell death and the release of damaging substances from these dying cells. For the first time, research has demonstrated that exercise can prevent or delay this process of aging; that our lifestyle choices play a major role in cell aging; and that exercise may help guard against the aging process by interfering with the rate at which cells die. (Source)
Cardio alone does not build what we need most of as we age: muscle. Strength training helps the body to build muscle, strengthen tendons and ligaments and improve our resistance to injury. An increase in power and strength is known to slow down the aging process at the cellular level.
Our bodies change as we age, from loss of muscle mass and deterioration of cognitive function, to changes in hair and physical balance. None of these things, however, are outside of your control.
Age-related muscles loss (known as sarcopenia) starts in your 40s and accelerates as you get older. Proper protein intake is one of the secrets of successful aging and has been shown to slow the rate of muscle loss. New research shows the amino acid, leucine, the key factor in muscle repair and muscle preservation is the key inhibitor to slow muscle loss, with or without strength training.
Many older adults struggle to eat enough protein to maintain muscle mass and may not be active or include resistance training to preserve muscle as they age. This is where protein powders such as Boomer Nutrition ENERGY and NEW Organic Vegan Protein comes in.
~ The combination of protein and leucine found in Boomer Nutrition ENERGY and NEW Organic Vegan Protein has been clinically proven to be effective in building new muscle which in turn slows age-related muscle loss. ~
Fibre + Hydration + Superfoods for Overall Health
Awareness of key foods that can aid in healthy aging is one of the key secrets of successful aging.
Water is vital. We’re 60% water and if you are dehydrated, your cells won’t work properly. As you age, you may not realize that you are thirsty as quickly, leading to dehydration. That can lead to fatigue, cognitive issues (thinking clearly), headaches, constipation and that’s just with mild dehydration. Chronic or severe dehydration can lead to impacts on organs, including the fluid surrounding the brain, joint and muscle damage, an even death. It’s that important to stay hydrated!
In order to keep your digestive system functioning at peak performance, you need to flush it out regularly. That means a good dose of dietary fibre to prevent constipation, control blood sugar (and lower your chances of getting or worsening diabetes), better cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure. With all that going for it, skipping out on fibre is just not a good idea.
You may have less interest in eating because of changes to taste buds or no one to cook for now that kids are gone and this can lead to eating inappropriately or not enough. One of the secrets of successful aging is making sure the foods you do eat are nutrient dense. Certain foods can boost your immune system, your level of antioxidants, your good cholesterol (HDL), retain muscle mass as well as bone density.
- Blueberries – these are a great superfood, loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries & all work in this Blueberry Almond Vegan Protein Smoothie!
- Fish – Loaded with Omega 3s, fish like salmon and sardines have a lot of the fatty acids that your body needs to stay heart healthy.
- Yogurt – Low fat yogurt is an ideal way to get the calcium your body needs to maintain healthy bone density, as well as some of the proteins you need too. Add to that the fact that yogurt can be very helpful in regulating digestion and tastes amazing in smoothies like this one.
- Tomatoes – Chock full of lycopene, a natural anti-cancer chemical, you can also derive other fabulous vitamins and minerals. Some studies suggest that you’re better off with cooked tomatoes, as the cooking process releases more lycopene.
- Nuts – Omega 3s, fibre, protein and unsaturated fats. What’s not to love? A handful of this heart-healthy snack is a great way to supplement a diet.
You can’t stop the aging clock, but you can slow how you age and improve how you feel. Use these secrets of successful aging and get started now. Improvements made in your 40s and 50s means you’ll feel stronger and healthier in your 60s and 70s.
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