Toothless smiles, frowns, wrinkles, grey hair, and frailty—mostly, old age is defined by these factors. But things are different for different people.
Aging is inevitable but how you age is a subjective matter. Some people stroll into their final lag of life loaded with enthusiasm, positivity, and satisfaction, while others welcome old age with a heavy heart, pessimism, and discontent.
After some years down the line, you will experience the same thing. But wouldn’t it be great if you embrace senescence with a happy heart, positive mindset, and strong arms?
For this, you need to start preparing from now. Here is how you can prepare to age well.
- Stay physically active
Exercising regularly is a significant way to lower your susceptibility to acquiring age-related illnesses. Working out now will help you prevent the conditions likely to develop after a few years.
Whether you are in your 40s or have already entered senility, start exercising to bring positive changes in your mind and body.
Device a workout routine, including moderate-intensity exercises and some vigorous-intensity exercises. Do muscle and bone strengthening exercises and aerobic activities, such as cycling, walking, dancing, swimming, etc.
Be physically active. Go on walks and hikes. Participate in group exercises.
- Take care of mental health
Taking care of your mental health is significant in living and aging well. Sans a good mental makeup, every day seems like a burden. Hence, at every age, taking care of your mental health should be your priority.
Foster meaningful relationships, say goodbye to toxic relations, create a strong social network, and do things you enjoy.
Moreover, accept that you are aging. Embrace all the changes that senility brings.
- Take a healthy diet
You are what you eat. Everything that goes down your stomach shows on your physical attributes. Take a healthy diet comprising fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein (beans and fish), whole-grain cereals, fat-free or low-fat dairy products (cheese, milk, or yogurt), and lots of healthy fat.
Say no to refined sugar, processed foods, and unhealthy fats.
- Work on stress management
Stress comes as a part and parcel of life. Hence, you should always be equipped with an effective stress management mechanism to shield yourself from its negative effects.
Work on ways that help you relieve stress, such as relaxation exercises like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. Take adequate sleep. Talk to your friend about the things that are raiding your mental wellbeing.
• Take care of your skin
Wrinkles, sagging, sun spots, and dryness are the common signs of aging that raid your face and declare your senescence to the world. But if you take a proactive approach, you can win a war against these unsightly signs of aging.
Of course, you would not like to be seen with those crow feet and dry and flaky skin, so start laying the foundation for healthy skin now.
Treat your skin right. Wear sunscreen and steer clear from stepping out without protective clothing. Incorporate an anti-aging skincare routine and stick to it no matter what. Drink lots and lots of water and get yearly screenings for skin cancer.
Nurture your skin now so that it doesn’t lose its radiance after some years.
• Stay hydrated
Can you believe that a simple thing like drinking water can help you stay younger for years to come? To age beautifully, gracefully, and with good health, drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated directly affects your brain function and energy level. It helps in maintaining the texture and elasticity of your skin and prevents early signs of aging.
Make sure you drink at least ten glasses of water every day to age well.
• Bid farewell to bad habits
You hear it every day, and you will hear it for as long as you live- smoking and alcohol are bad for your health. Apart from putting you at a higher risk of getting some fatal diseases, these bad habits also cause premature aging.
Quitting these habits is not as difficult as it seems. And think of all the benefits you will have once you bid farewell to these habits. Your chances of getting a cardiac disease will drop by 50 percent. You will save yourself from the risk of getting cancer. Your liver will lead a healthy life.
Now that you have ample reasons to quit smoking and alcohol, speak to a doctor about it. Ideally, the recommended quantity for men is not more than two drinks a day, and that for women is not more than one drink a day.
• Hit on the snooze button
Exams, projects, long-distance relationships, social media, Netflix, and the list has no end. We know that you have many reasons to stay up late at night, but do not disregard the fact that this habit is affecting you physically and mentally. Though the signs of the ill effects may not be very obvious right now (except for the dark shadows under your eyes), you may experience them some years down the line.
Taking seven to eight hours of sound sleep every night is necessary to maintain sound physical and mental health. Plus, it’s good for your skin too.
Research and studies say that taking enough sleep lowers your risk of getting heart-related ailments and stroke, reduces inflammation, reduces stress and depression, lowers the risk of obesity, and enhances your concentration and focus.
So, hit that snooze button and do not wake up until you have consumed your daily dose of eight-hour slumber.
• Take care of your oral cavity
Most people lose their teeth as they grow old. But this is not the rule of thumb as long as you take care of your oral cavity.
If you want to keep flaunting an ear-to-ear smile without hesitation for as long as you live, start investing a little time every day in oral care.
Brush twice and floss your teeth once regularly. See your dentist regularly because they can spot the signs of infection, nutritional deficiencies, cancer, and other diseases.
• Invest time in your hobbies
As people age, they tend to lose their sense of purpose. With lesser things to engage in, they fall prey to boredom that translates into more severe things like depression.
Engaging in hobbies is known to make people happier and live longer. People who indulge in hobbies, leisure, and social activities tend to experience less depression.
Hence, make it a point to spend some time every day indulging in your hobby. Even as you grow older, find new hobbies to keep you busy. If you think you are ageing gracefully, but have a lot of free time at hand.
You can enroll into a CDPAP program and find ways to get paid as a caregiver. This will help you earn some extra bucks and care for a family member in need.
• Stay optimistic
Life is not a bed of roses. Sometimes you experience highs, and sometimes you experience lows, but life goes on.
People who accept every aspect of life with a positive attitude tend to live happier and longer. They do not experience depression and fewer heart attacks.
The key lies in acceptance. Accept that you are growing old and things are going to change for good. Smile more. Stop dwelling in the past. Be grateful and maintain a gratitude journal.
Get rid of toxic relationships and invest in good relationships. Be kind and compassionate. Live your life to the fullest.
• See your doctor
Seeing your doctor regularly will help in diagnosing health issues in their early stages. Depending on your age, health history, family history, and lifestyle, determine the appropriate time interval to see a doctor.
Go for regular check-ups and screenings.
- Prepare your home
The prospect of aging well requires you to work a lot on yourself. But amidst this, don’t forget that other things also need your attention, for instance, your home.
Adapt your home to your changing needs. After a few years, some areas of your home might present a hazard for you.
Update your kitchen, bathroom, and staircase to make them more suitable for your growing age. Make sure your home is brightly lit.
- Know about the healthcare plans
“Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”
Keeping yourself prepared for unforeseen conditions is always the wisest thing to do. So, educate yourself on all the healthcare plans available to you.
From Medicare to Medicaid, enlighten yourself about every federal or state-run scheme. The American government offers an array of healthcare coverages, including short-term coverage, long-term coverage to schemes where family members get paid to care for a loved one.
Determine the kind of care you would want if you get ill in the future.
The bottom line
If you want to age gracefully, you need to think a little ahead of time. Remember, following these tips can allow you to hold the reins of how you enter into growing years.
So, start preparing from now so that you can have a happy, healthy, and peaceful tomorrow.