The Fountain of Youth
There are few things as sure in life as aging. Aging healthfully and gracefully, though?? That’s entirely up to you. (Unless of course, you’ve been blessed with what they call, ‘good genes;’ in which case I hate you and you can skip this post.) In any case, while it may seem to be a rather morbid topic to bring up on a glorious day like today, when life looks good and we’re all going to remain young and spritely forever, I’m going to ignore it all and move on to discuss exactly which steps you can take to ensure you age as beautifully as possible. Because September is National Heathy Aging Month, folks, that’s why😉 Think Positive
Think positive and it will be positive. Ughhh, these words could not ring any truer. And no, please don’t just relegate this quote to a Pinterest board or refrigerator magnet. Internalize these words and live by them. In fact, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association, adults who think of age as a gateway to wisdom and overall satisfaction, are 40% more likely to recover from a setback or disability, than someone who views aging as tantamount to helplessness. So keep up that positive attitude!
This is a loaded one. Particularly because in today’s day in age food is so over-processed and so high in sugar. Even foods that ‘look’ healthy shouldn’t always be taken at face value. More often than not, ‘health foods and drinks’ are simply masquerading as such thanks to expert marketing and packaging. I could go on and on, but I’ll have you know that based on the latest research, a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, is proven to be the best. For example, a Mediterranean diet. It calls for lots of plant-based foods, whole grains, nuts and fish… And research has proved that it can help prevent strokes, heart attacks, and premature death. By contrast, super sugary, fatty foods only serve to make you age at a much faster rate. Exercise
Exercise isn’t always fun. (For most.) But exercise is absolutely, 100% vital to aging healthfully. Did you know that the average woman can lose 23% of her muscle mass between the ages of 30 and 70?? *gulp* Exercise, however, can help you increase muscle mass and strength, well into your 90’s. True story. As an added bonus, physical exercise can help reduce age-related memory loss. Win-win! Avoid the Sun
Avoid the Sun
You love the sun. I love the sun. That’s actually a lie; baking in the sun is NOT my thing (hello, oily skin!). But for some people, telling them to avoid sunbathing is like telling them to give up summer completely. I can’t relate, but for the sake of this piece, I will pretend to be flabbergasted at the mere suggestion! SAY WHAT?!?! Alright, settle down, people. Let me break it down for you. You know that thing that we’re all absolutely petrified of?? I can whisper it if you’re afraid to hear it said out loud… y’know, wrinkles…shhhhhh! Yeah, so that thing. That ‘thing’ comes from too much sun. Not to mention skin caner as well. Buuuut, by applying sunscreen liberally you can avoid the effects of the sun. And I know you’re going to tell me the sun is SO important because it triggers the production of Vitamin D. And it is. However, after a few minutes of sun exposure your skin stops producing Vitamin D, and instead produces cancer. So do yourself a favor and slather up or skip the sun. Catch some ZZZZ’s
Catch some ZZZZ’s
Beauty sleep is a real thing. And you need between 7 and 9 hours of it. And since we’re on the topic of aging as gracefully as possible, I’ll have you know that while you sleep your body releases a growth hormone that stimulates the restoration of collagen and elastin, which are the essential ingredients to young, healthy skin. And on the flip side, if you do not get enough sleep, or if you suffer from insomnia, you can really cause your brain to age at an accelerated rate. Sleep is very much not a luxury. It’s a necessity of life.
There you have it. The secrets to aging well. And share it with all your nurse friends, because wadaya know?? Those that have strong interpersonal relationships have a 50% chance of living longer than those with weak ties. Happy National Healthy Aging Month!