Posted November 12, 2015
Healthy aging is becoming a popular topic for baby boomers, and there's no quick fix. Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle can slow aging at the cellular level. Here are 10 ways to feel younger and live life to the fullest.
1. Don’t Smoke
Quitting at age 30 could increase your lifespan by an entire decade. Kicking the habit at age 40, 50 or 60 can add 9, 6 or 3 years to your life, respectively.
2. Have a Support Network
Results from over 150 studies show a clear link between social ties and a long life. Married people tend to outlive their single friends. Having a close network of friends who have healthy lifestyles will help you maintain yours. Additionally, the strong social network that develops among people who worship together may also contribute to your overall health.
3. Manage Your Diet
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and fish can mitigate risk of metabolic syndrome -- a mix of obesity, high blood sugar, increased blood pressure and other factors that make you more likely to get heart disease and diabetes. If you're overweight, slimming down can protect against diabetes, heart disease and other conditions that take years off your life.
4. Drink in Moderation
Too much alcohol promotes belly fat, boosts blood pressure and can cause many other health problems. If you drink alcohol, limit it to 1 drink a day for women and 1-2 for men. If you don't drink, don't start.
5. Exercise Regularly
People who exercise live longer on average than those who don't. Regular physical activity lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some forms of cancer and depression. It may even help you stay mentally sharp into old age. Make it a goal to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week.
6. Make Rest a Priority
Getting plenty of quality sleep can lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and mood disorders. It also helps you recover from illness faster. Additionally, researchers believe naps might help your heart by keeping stress hormones down.
7. Forgive Others
Chronic anger is linked to decreased lung function, heart disease, stroke and other ailments. Forgiveness may reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and help you breathe more easily—benefits that increase as you get older.
8. Prevent Falls
Having good balance is one of the best ways to prevent a fall — and potentially serious injuries. Simple balance exercises can easily be a part of your day: Stand on one foot or walk heel-to-toe as if you are walking on a balance beam. Tai chi is another excellent way to increase balance. Other recommendations could include a change in footwear, investing in a cane or walker, and physician-supervised medication changes.
9. Possess a Sense of Purpose
Hobbies and activities that have meaning to you may lengthen your life. Being sure of yourself and clear about what you're doing and why can lower your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and heart disease.
10. Manage Stress
Stress never goes away completely, but you can learn ways to better manage it. Even a few minutes of Yoga, meditation or deep breathing can make a dramatic difference. Always keep a positive outlook, and try shifting your expectations of others and situations if needed.