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Aging Gracefully Through Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Changes

Senior couple holding hands while walking with backpacks through the city

Aging is a privilege that not everyone gets to experience. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s always easy. Indeed, the years can take quite a toll, both on how you look and how you feel.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You are not helpless against the onward march of time. There are things you can do to keep your youthful vitality for decades to come. This article describes strategies to help you age gracefully through the power of healthy eating and lifestyle changes.

Nourish Your Body

When it comes to aging gracefully, there are few things more important than giving your body the nutrients it craves. For many of us, food is a source of pleasure, entertainment, and comfort.

But if you want to stay healthy, strong, and youthful across the years, then it’s important to see food not simply as a pleasant diversion but as fuel and medicine. Getting the proper nutrition as you age is essential for cellular functioning and repair. Certain superfoods can lower your stress levels, even.

When it comes to eating for health and vitality, the key is balance. Eschew fad diets and trendy supplements in favor of a varied diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Get a Move On!

If you want your body to stay strong and supple no matter your age, then you need not just to feed and hydrate it well, but you also need to keep it moving. Regular physical activity will help preserve bone and muscle strength. You’ll retain your flexibility and agility, which can significantly decrease your risk of frailty and potentially life-threatening falls.

In addition, by keeping physically active, you can also prevent or even reverse common conditions associated with aging. For example, varicose veins are a chronic and painful condition that often arises as we age. However, a consistent exercise regime, particularly one that features gentle, low-impact activities, such as yoga, can help you avoid the development of varicose veins and may even reduce vein inflammation and swelling if you are already affected.

Listen to Your Doctor

Let’s face it: it gets increasingly difficult to accept sound advice as we age. After all, by the time you get a few decades under your belt, you’ve cultivated a good deal of life experience. You don’t stick around in this hard-knock world without being pretty savvy about life in general and your own needs and interests in particular.

Sometimes, though, it’s important for even the wisest and most experienced among us to heed the advice of others. And what that means is that sometimes you need to submit to the guidance of your physician, even when it’s difficult.

The key, though, is to remember that your doctor’s recommendations aren’t meant to be authoritarian or punitive. Rather, in the vast majority of cases, the advice is based on solid evidence and vast professional experience. Above all, it is rooted in a goal that the two of you share: the goal of keeping you healthy, strong, and vital for as long as humanly possible.

Thus, learning to see your doctor not as some unapproachable authority but as your partner in health can be the first step in defining healthy lifestyle changes that you can get on board with and embrace for the duration.

Play Like a Kid Again

As critical as it is to eat well, exercise, and listen to your doctor, there’s one tip for aging gracefully that may well trump them all. It’s the trick of remembering how to play. Look at your grandkids. Think back to your own childhood, and do what you must to recapture that spirit of fun, curiosity, and wonder.

So, spend time with the grandkids and hang around with other young people and try to do what they do and think as they think. Get out in the front yard and walk around barefoot in the grass. Play a game of dress-up with your granddaughters. Build a fort of boxes and blankets in the living room and camp out with your grandsons there.

And then, above all, spread the joy. Gather together your friends of all ages, young and old alike, and simply play like you did when you were a kid. There’s perhaps no better way to re-energize and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit, no better way to feel like a kid again than to act like one!

The Takeaway

Just because the sands of time may be slipping away doesn’t mean your health, youthfulness, and vitality have to slip away with them. There are many things you can do to ensure you’re aging gracefully, keeping strong and well in mind and body for all the decades to come. The key is to feed and hydrate your body, to keep your body active, to listen to the wise counsel of your medical team, and, above all, to maintain (or rediscover) your childlike spirit of fun, curiosity, and wonder.

Written By

Sam Bowman

Sam Bowman writes about people, aging, wellness, and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

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