We’ve all heard that some things get better with age. Why not make yourself one of them? We cannot stop the passage of time, so when it comes to aging you have two choices: you can age gracefully or you can just plain age.
If you’ve made it past the mid-century mark (and then some), you’re an expert at handling change. It may not feel like it, but you’ve been adapting to change your whole life. Your gray hairs are evidence of wisdom, and your laugh lines are evidence of a life full of really good days and really hard days. You’re a survivor. It’s high time to move past the misconceptions about aging. Here is a quick review of seven things you can do to make aging feel as natural and as graceful as it should.
Don’t Stress Out – Stay Positive
Staying positive is a conscious choice. Some days it’s harder than others, but ultimately only you can decide whether you’re going to be optimistic or not. Avoid negativity, and don’t carry problems that aren’t yours to bear. Taking care of your mental health and getting rid of emotional baggage can add years to your life. Avoiding stress or refusing to give in to it can help you avoid high blood pressure, which can lead to dementia and other issues down the road.
You’ve been told that regular exercise is necessary since you were a kid. That still holds true. Some exercise is always better than no exercise. To stay limber and flexible, try to get 45 minutes of aerobic exercise in at least three or four times a week. This will make you feel better and younger while improving your physical appearance, your mindset, and your mental acuity. Walking is a great start!
Another principle that has been hammered in to you all of your life is that eating right will keep you healthy. This fact hasn’t changed, either. Eating fresh greens and plenty of vegetables is still a great idea, as is avoiding processed fats, sugars, and empty carbohydrates. Sodium is another trigger for hypertension, which can lead to decreased cognitive functioning and provoke serious health complications, like a heart attack or stroke.
Don’t Overdo It
Now is definitely not the time to start overindulging in your vices. Too much of a good thing is definitely a bad thing. Don’t smoke – period. If you drink, limit your intake to no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. You’ve made it this far, and if you commit to enjoying all things in moderation, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the same comforts for years to come.
Stay Out of the Sun
You need protection when you go out in the sun, and this isn’t just about keeping your wrinkles to a minimum. Staying out of direct sunlight can reduce your risk of melanoma, dry skin, and sunspots. This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid the sun entirely, of course – you still need to get as much vitamin D as possible, and natural sunlight is the best way to do this. Just be aware of how much time you spend in direct sunlight, and make sure to wear sunscreen and dress appropriately.
Sleep it Off
It becomes increasingly difficult to sleep through the night as we age. You may already be experiencing this. Even so, it’s a good idea to try. Your body needs 6.5 hours of sleep every night, and getting less than that increases your risk of experiencing physical and mental issues. Try using a white noise machine to block out sounds that might wake you up, or talk to your doctor about natural, prescription, or over-the-counter sleep-aids.
Keep Your Mind Active
You can keep things sharp upstairs by making a point to learn one new thing every day. Challenge your mind with crossword puzzles, read a book, or research something online that you’d like to know more about. The more active your mind is, the better it will perform. It’s always good to expose yourself to new and varied subjects, and to participate in group activities and discussions.
Whatever aging gracefully looks like to you, you can always rely on HealthMarkets to help answer your questions. We’re here to make sure you have the health insurance you need – and it won’t cost you a penny to discuss your options. Call HealthMarkets Insurance Agency today to get the answers you’re looking for.