The Cottages Blog

While we cannot reverse the aging process, it is possible to make a few changes to your daily routine in order to ensure that you live healthier and longer lives. Here are some healthy ways that you can get into that can help you to live the longest, healthiest life possible.

1. Eat Well

Portion control is an often overlooked but very important part of eating a healthy diet. Overeating can lead to many different health problems, like type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In order to maintain proper portion control, try to get about 3 cups of vegetables a day, 3 servings of fruit, 6 ounces of whole grains, 3 cups of dairy, and 3 ounces of protein. Drink water throughout the day. Staying hydrated can also mean staying full, and it will help you avoid snacking.

2. Protect Your Skin

We need the sun’s UV rays to help our bodies produce vitamin D, but too much sun can increase your risk for dark spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Whenever you’re going to be out in the sun,  consider wearing a hat or a light sweater for extra protection. Make sure to put on sunscreen as well, even if it’s a cloudy day. Use a sunscreen that says it has protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends you use sunscreens with no lower than 30 and no higher than 50 SPF protection. Anything lower or higher will not protect against both types of UV rays.

3. Sleep

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that the average person over the age of 65 get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep can put you at a higher risk of developing a number of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. One study even found a connection between insomnia and cognitive decline. If you do notice that you’re not getting your recommended amount of sleep, try making your sleep up during the day by taking a nap. Taking short naps of about 45-60 minutes during the daytime can refresh your brain and help to improve learning and memory function.

4. Socialize

One study found that having several healthy social relationships is just as beneficial to a senior’s health as quitting smoking is. Also, according to that same study, seniors who are more social can have longer lifespans. Seniors who have many strong social relationships were found to have a 50 percent higher chance of living longer than people with poor or few social relationships. Stay connected with friends and family using social media, text messages, and phone calls. If you live near your friends and family, find ways to meet up in person to socialize.

5. Strengthen Muscle

Doing regular weighted or resistance workouts to focus on strengthening and toning your muscles are just as important as cardio exercises for your health. After the age of 30, people who are not as active can lose 3-5 percent of their muscle mass each additional decade. Having muscle loss and muscle weakness can put you at a higher risk for falls and injuries. To make and maintain strong, healthy muscles, do at least two muscle-strengthening activities a week during your regular workout routine.

 

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Written by: Lana Crews

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