As your body ages, you can expect gradual changes, at your body’s own pace. But your lifestyle choices have an impact on how your body ages. Here are four healthy habits that can help extend your life.
Don’t slow down
Staying active is vital for living longer and it can also reduce your risk of heart disease, improve your memory and contribute to better sleep. The trick is to not fall into a more sedentary lifestyle just because your kids may be leaving the nest or your work requirements are slowing down. You need to turn that extra time into activities that help keep you healthy and alert. Aerobic exercise is best for heart health, but you can choose anything that you enjoy doing and feel like you will stick with. This can include gentle walks, gardening, cycling or just about anything that takes your fancy. Take a dance class with your partner, to keep you both involved in an activity.
Switch your diet
If you haven’t been sticking to a healthy diet, once you turn 55 you may want to consider changing your eating habits. You should try eating fish at least twice a week, perhaps replacing some of the red meat from your diet, which can be harder to digest as you age. Try cutting out saturated fats. The easiest way to do this is to use olive oil in your salad dressing and in your cooking. Most importantly, be sure to eat plenty of vegetables.
As mentioned earlier, your kids may be leaving the nest, or you may find yourself cutting back on your work commitments. At this stage, it is important that you don’t allow yourself to lose touch or to become isolated. You may need to foster some new relationships and support networks. You can do voluntary work or take up classes to pursue new hobbies and meet different social groups.
Perhaps you have tried to quit smoking before, and failed. Don’t give up on giving up, though. It takes the average person seven attempts before quitting for good. The health benefits of quitting are immediate, and every day you’re not smoking is bound to add more to a longer lifespan.