Seven Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Everywhere we go, it seems companies are trying to sell products to help prevent us from showing the signs of aging. We see these ads on the covers of magazines, billboards, and on television. While seeing all of these ads daily, one thing is clear: people want to age as healthfully and gracefully as they can.

All of these messages and advertisements can be a bit overwhelming, and the products they are selling may not work for everyone. Fortunately, there are simple, less expensive ways each of us can ensure we live a healthier lifestyle!

Close up portrait of two elderly women jogging outdoors.

Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

  1. Live with Purpose

It is vital to find purpose in your everyday life. An individual’s purpose may come through volunteering, finding a book series to read, completing a creative project, or visiting with friends. Having a sense of purpose to each day will help to maintain a healthful outlook on life and may help avoid symptoms of depression and loneliness.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Stress Level

Did you know stress plays a factor in many diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease? Life isn’t always going to go as planned. Try to focus on not letting small stresses affect you too much so that you will be better equipped to handle bigger stresses. When you start to feel stressed, try methods such as meditation, getting some fresh air, or reading a book to unwind.

  1. Exercise! You Don’t Need a Gym

It’s a common misconception that you need a gym membership in order to get a good workout. You can get exercise almost anywhere! Active.com recommends that going for a 20 minute walk each day exercises your heart and a 30 minute walk aids to burning fat. Walking is one of the easiest and most inexpensive forms of exercise. There are also household items that can assist you in completing a safe and effective workout, such as a chair or the wall. Don’t be afraid to try out different methods of exercise to find the one that works for you.

  1. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!

We often misjudge just how many hours of sleep per night we actually need. Agingcare.com suggests adults and seniors should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep increases risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and chances of getting into automobile accidents. If you are feeling extra tired one day, it’s okay to take a nap. Listen to your body.

  1. Eat the Right Foods

You don’t need to go on an extreme diet to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Just give your body the nutrients that it needs. Before starting a diet plan, make sure you talk with your doctor to make sure it is right for you.

Ways to eat a more healthful diet:

  • Eat more whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices. Aim for eating 1 ½ to 2 servings of fruit per day.
  • With veggies, the more colorful they are, the better they are for you! Aim for 2 to 2 ½ servings of vegetables per day. Eat dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli to add more antioxidants to your diet. (Broccoli is also great for your brain!)
  • Talk with your doctor to find out how much calcium you need in a day. Calcium can then be found in milk, dairy, cheese, and yogurt, and in non-dairy items like almonds, kale, and broccoli.
  • Choose whole grains over processed grains. When shopping, look for pastas, breads, and cereals that say “whole” on the label.
  • Our bodies need protein to help maintain healthy muscles and bones. Protein can be found in fish, beans, eggs, nuts, cheese, seeds, and low-fat milk.
  • Hydrate! Aim to drink eight 8 oz glasses of water per day. Dehydration can lead to many medical conditions, so make sure you’re keeping hydrated.
  1. Cultivate a Sense of Belonging

Just as it’s important to have a sense of purpose, it is equally important to feel a sense of belonging. Make sure you connect with family, friends, neighbors, or caregivers several times throughout the day. You are never too young or too old for a support system. Find those who have similar interests as you. Watch the game with the guys or go golfing. Get a group of girlfriends together to take a cooking or art class. Join a book club, go to a group exercise class, or find a church group that fits.

  1. Practice Your Spirituality

Practicing Spirituality goes along with a sense of belonging and purpose. The practice of spirituality could include anything from going to church, a temple, mosque, or synagogue to meditation and channeling inner strength. For some, getting out in nature is a religious experience in itself.

 

With the simple lifestyle habits listed above, aging healthfully and gracefully is doable!

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