The best thing you can do to slow down aging is to move every day. Yes, every day! The old use it or lose it mantra is absolutely on target. Our bodies are made for activity. Exercise does not need to be strenuous to be beneficial.
Moderate activity such as walking and swimming have low likelihood of injury. This means your body is getting an anti-aging boost doing something you are more likely to turn into a healthy habit.
Aerobic exercise can change your blood chemistry to make it more anti-inflammatory. This is good news for those with pain from arthritis. Regular exercise can actually reduce that pain.
Strength training helps to keep the muscles and bones strong. As we age, muscle and bone loss accelerate with every decade unless we intervene. You don’t need to join a gym or purchase fancy equipment. Free weights, elastic bands and even your own body can be used to improve strength, stability and balance.
Aging Slowly Key Two:
The next most important key for aging slowly is to eat well. That means focus on vegetables and fruit for half of your daily intake. Whole grains and meat/fish/poultry each get a quarter of the plate. Avoid highly processed pre-packaged foods and make as many home-cooked meals as you can.
Replace sugary drinks with water and a slice of fruit. Avoid solid fats and fast food places. Trade out white rice & bread for brown rice and whole grains. Stop eating before you feel “full”. Limit alcohol to 1-2 drinks per day.
Lose the excess weight. Not only does carrying around extra fat cause strain on our joints. High fat food and excess body fat seem to create an environment for chronic inflammation, which can lead to many of our more serious diseases.
Aging Slowly Key Three:
People who interact with others regularly stay younger longer. Have you heard that volunteers live longer, happier, healthier lives? So, the third key is to get connected to a cause or organization – or your neighbors! The song is right – people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. And they age more slowly, too!
Just keep these top three keys for aging slowly in mind: regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and staying involved in your community. You will be able to make your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s some of the best years yet!