When it comes to getting older, one of the most important things to keep in mind are age-related diseases and what you can do to prevent these. In most cases, a simple (or wide-reaching) lifestyle change can greatly reduce your risk of seeing age-related illnesses crop up in your life, and can even extend your lifespan considerably.
With science now letting us know that both diet and exercise, and their effect on gut bacteria and a myriad of bodily functions are allowing us to live happier and healthier, there’s a good chance you’re looking to do all that you can to slow your ageing process.
All of that said, we have some tips and tidbits on how your diet and lifestyle can slow the ageing process, and how to make integrating a few healthy changes a little easier this year.
Exercise is Paramount
Off the top, one of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to ageing is the fact that exercise is (and always will be) your very best friend here. There is a reason why aged care and assisted living homes like Kew Gardens place such a strong focus on exercise, and it’s down to the fact that a fit and healthy body fights to keep itself young.
Whether just thirty minutes a day, or even a few hours, focusing on exercise as a means of slowing down ageing is a fantastic place to start.
You’re not only seeing weight loss come as a result of exercise, but also everything from sleep, mental health and so much more are improved – all of which have a major effect on our longevity and the speed at which we age.
When it comes to actually getting the exercise into your day, the process shouldn’t be one that you fight with, but rather invite. An hour or so walking in the morning or evening, a short run or a thirty minute exercise routine at home is all you need to get the ball rolling on boosting your aerobic fitness and slowing down your ageing process.
Diet and Our Microbiome
Another key point to keep in mind when it comes to ageing is that science is now telling us that our gut bacteria play a massive role in our overall health, and can slow down our ageing process.
Not only do healthy foods, and primarily whole foods, make us feel good and more energised, but they also foster a microbiome of gut bacteria that assist us in everything from our bowel movements through to our sleep and levels of happiness!
For example, a decrease in processed foods, sugars and other ‘nasty’ foods, and a boost in healthier whole alternatives will give your body the support it needs to replace cells more effectively and cut back on our chances of seeing age-related illness.
That out of the way, it can be easy to add healthy and whole foods into your diet if you know where to look and have a few pointers.
Getting Some Sun and Out Amongst the Trees
When it comes to our lifestyle, it is imperative to make your way into the great outdoors at least once a week, and ideally once a day in order to get the full effects of the wilderness.
Research following the COVID-19 pandemic has now shown us that getting outdoors allows the body to reduce stress hormones and ‘cool off’ after a long day at work or school.
Added to this, if you’re making your way outside on a sunny day, be sure to slap on some sunscreen and keep exposure to a minimum. You’re still able to get an optimum amount of that all-important vitamin D with sunscreen on, and the protection from those UV rays certainly trumps an ultra-high vitamin D level.
A High Level of Hydration
One point that far too many of us overlook is the lack of hydration.
It is integral to understand that much of our body is made up of water, and when our level of hydration is decreased, a whole range of bodily functions don’t operate correctly – which has a knock-on effect whereby the whole system simply works more poorly than it should.
With that in mind, as we age, our level or ‘requirement’ for water goes up and so it’s always important to keep on top of hydration and get in those litres each day, whether it be by keeping a bottle on your desk at work, or setting reminders on your phone.
Stress is a Killer
Though quite morbid, stress is a literal killer when it comes to the ageing process, and so it’s important to understand how to manage stress and keep it to a minimum.
Of course, some situations will always be quite stressful and seem overbearing at times, though with a system in place that allows us to unwind and keep calm throughout the day, we’re looking at a life that is healthier, happier and certainly going to last longer than if we ignored our stressors and allowed them to take a hold of us.
Now that you have some more insight into how your diet and some specific lifestyle choices can accelerate or slow your aging process, you can work to actively adapt your day-to-day to focus more heavily on living as long as possible.
Keep in mind that diet, exercise and low-stress are key here, though be sure to adapt these to your own lifestyle to make these changes easier to commit to in the long term.