Healthy habits in life

Healthy habits you can cultivate to age gracefully

When it comes to ageing, what matters more is how you maintain a healthy lifestyle that can help you age well while caring about both your body and mind.
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Getting older is an inevitable phenomenon no one can avoid. It’s the final stage of our life where our bodies become frail and our health deteriorates. While some people manage to stay healthy in the autumn of their lives, many struggles with diseases and weaknesses that make life quite difficult. It becomes strenuous to live without the support of others. The good news is we can slow the decline of ageing by cultivating positive habits and making the right lifestyle choices while we are still young and healthy.

So, how should you prepare for ageing? This is an important question that most people ponder over in their 30s. The concept of ageing well is not just limited to looking younger or staying 20 forever. As you grow older, your body will naturally show signs of ageing, bringing about changes in every part of your body—hair, skin, muscles, cognition, and more. But what matters more is how you maintain a healthy lifestyle that can help you age well while caring about both your body and mind.

Here are a few tips to age gracefully.

Get plenty of sleep

Good sleep is of paramount importance if you want to live a healthy life and age gracefully. The amount of sleep you require depends on your age. According to Sleep Foundation, adults require around 7-9 hours of sleep every day. When you get a good night’s sleep, it helps you feel rejuvenated and motivated. Moreover, it reduces stress and anxiety and lowers the risk of heart diseases.

Maintain a nutritious diet

A healthy diet is crucial if you want to live healthily and age well. Create a healthy habit of starting your day with a nutritious breakfast, which will help you avoid overeating throughout the day and keep your energy levels high. Avoid eating junk food and follow a nutritious diet rich in dietary fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. According to a study, “individuals with high intakes of dietary fibre appear to be at significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases.”

Set up a daily exercise routine

Exercise is food for the soul and the body. It’s a healthy habit that not only helps you stay in shape but also keeps your body young, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham and King’s College London. Moreover, exercising also keeps your cognitive abilities sharp as you get older, and prevent diabetes, heart disease and reduce depression and anxiety, according to Mediline Plus. You don’t need to go to a gym every day. Create a daily schedule and exercise for at least 30-45 minutes. You can go for brisk walks and runs and do stretching exercises, or practice yoga.

Maintain a positive attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude helps you focus on the good even in challenging situations. What’s more, having a positive attitude can help you live a longer life. According to a study, having a positive attitude can lead to an 11–15 percent longer lifespan. Additionally, it’s also important to have a positive outlook towards the process of ageing. Instead of worrying about getting old, develop acceptance of this inevitable aspect of life and make the most of the present.

Prioritise your mental health

While physical fitness is important for our bodies to stay healthy, mental fitness is necessary if we want to cope with the stress and challenges of everyday life. Ignoring mental health can prove dangerous in the long run and have a detrimental effect on your life. A study published in JAMA Network found that “people who experience psychiatric conditions when they are young experience age-associated physical diseases when they are older.”

Therefore, it’s crucial to pay more attention to your emotional and psychological health daily and practice self-care to avoid the risk of diseases as you age. Ensuring good mental health will boost the quality of your life and help you age gracefully.

Engage in purpose-driven activities

Find time out to engage in activities that bring a sense of purpose to your life. If you like spending time in nature, then go out for hikes in your favourite nature trails. If you like music, take up an instrument that you always wanted to learn. You can also engage in social work, such as volunteering at an NGO. Pursue new hobbies and keep learning. These activities will bring you satisfaction, which, in turn, will boost your happiness quotient. When you are happy and free from stress, you will lead a healthy life and age well.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to ensure healthy ageing. It helps improve your focus, relaxes your mind and also boosts your quality of sleep. Not only that, research titled Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation has shown that “meditation may change the brain and immune function in positive ways.” When practiced regularly, mindfulness meditation can boost your immune system’s defense against diseases. This approach to life can ensure that you lead a quality life and age beautifully.

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