Aging brings with it many challenges, primarily in physical and mental health. The agility, strength and immune system that were taken for granted begin deteriorating as we grow older. The youthful skin and clear vision, and the ease of building a social network slowly decline. Without proper care, older people develop an assortment of chronic diseases. Elevated blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels lead to heart problems and diabetes. As friends leave or die, or retirement comes, depression sets in. Anxiety and worry, suicidal tendencies, Alzheimer’s disease are also common in older people.
But healthy practices begun while young can prevent or reduce the risks that growing old brings. Cultivate them to prepare yourself for the inevitable aging process.
7 ways for a healthy body and mind
1. Build up your brain.
Do daily activities that stimulate the brain. Scientists have long recognized the role of the brain in physical and mental health. By keeping it active, you can prevent or delay the onset of its deterioration and keep yourself fit into old age. How do you do it?
Read regularly. It may be books or news media. Don’t just read for information. Analyze and visualize to gain a better grasp of what you’re reading.
Keep your brain in motion with video games, word or math puzzles such as crosswords and sudoku. Improve manual dexterity by learning how to draw or paint, or using the less dominant hand in daily acts like eating and writing.
2. Make physical exercise a part of your regular routine.
The positive effects of physical activity on your mind and body is well documented and touted by all healthcare professionals. Indulge in your favorite sports or physical routine. There is no lack of exercises that do not demand a great deal of your time and money to make an excuse for not doing it.
Using your muscles increases the blood flow to the brain and heart, and helps to lower the risk for predispositions to high blood pressure, elevated sugar levels and poor bone health. It improves blood circulation and nerve cell connections that aid in warding off mental conditions, like Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression and anxiety.
3. Eat right.
You surely know by now what foods are healthy and which ones to avoid. Yet it’s difficult to stick to a healthy diet for lack of time and energy. Work and keeping house take time and effort, so it’s easier to eat at fast-foods or buy pre-cooked meals. These are laden with sodium, fats, sugar and other toxic chemicals to make them taste good. Vacations, office parties and business lunches mess up your diet. Count in monthly hormonal changes and emotional stress, too.
But with discipline, eating the right foods (whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts) is possible. Cook a week’s worth of meals on your free day. Stack up on healthy snacks. Identify restaurants that serve healthy options.
4. Take food supplements.
Your diet may not be enough to supply you with sufficient amounts of vitamins, minerals and other health-boosting elements. Support it with the proper and high-quality food supplements. A Consumer Survey in the US showed an increase in dietary supplements, with 76% reporting that they find them trustworthy. Read up on the various supplements available in pharmacies and most stores. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider for recommendations.
Check for supplements that are produced in trustworthy laboratories under strict manufacturing conditions. DuraScience™ is an institute that does innovative research and development to come up with advanced products like ExCell™ which contains DHEA, a hormone for improving health that id depleted by up to 80% throughout one’s adulthood.
5. Take good care of your emotional and mental health.
Stress can affect the levels of your brain chemicals and interfere with moods, sleep and health. It can reduce serotonin and dopamine levels, and increase cortisol production. The former are the so-called “happy hormones” while cortisol is the stress hormone. Unabated stress leads to anxiety and depression, a predisposing factor for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
6. Practice mindfulness meditation on a regular basis.
Take a 20-minute daily timeout from your busy day to meditate. Banish all thoughts and focus on the now. Meditation only requires mental silence, physical stillness and simplicity of thoughts. Be aware of your surroundings in a nonjudgmental way. In time, you’ll learn how to handle anything that life brings to you.
7. Build a network of friends.
Human beings are social in nature. Hence, having a supportive social network and relationships are necessary to keep you happy. Without these social ties, you’ll have a higher risk for physical, mental and emotional disorders. Supportive friends lengthen life expectancy and enhance the quality of living. Contact old friends and make new ones by joining social or civic groups that interest you.