Scientific Secrets to Healthy Aging

The second half of your life can bring some of your most rewarding decades. You may be more confident than your younger self. You gain wisdom and patience. Sure, your hair sprouts more grays and your face sports more lines. But you can grow older with your body and mind as healthy as they can possibly be.

Here are science-backed secrets to do just that.

Many of us are looking for ways to stay young and although you can’t stop the clock, you can fight the signs of ageing and the ageing process with a few wise moves. The following 10 tips will help you to look and feel younger for longer.

Statistics from the ONS show that the population is living longer, and on average men can expect to live for 15 years after they retire, and woman can expect to live for 20 years after they retire. If you were born in 1960, statistically you could only expect to live on average, a shocking 52 years! Now the average is 72, which is definitely a better outlook for your golden years.

Despite the increase in life expectancy because of better health care and more information about keeping healthy, how long you live can still be hugely influenced by your choices in life. Your quality of life is also within your control to a certain extent, and avoiding the need for elderly care as long as possible can be influenced by your decisions.

Avoiding bad habits and exercising are both incredibly important aspects of staying in great shape.

What you eat and drink is also central to your overall health, and it is especially important as you age and your nutritional needs change.

To help you stay in great shape as you get older, put these essential foods on your shopping list:

Eat Whole Foods
It’s more a way of eating than a formal diet. You load up on veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy. You eat less fatty meats, butter, sugar, salt, and packaged foods.
Many studies have found that this diet can help you live longer and protects against heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers believe one way it works is by physically changing parts of your chromosomes linked to age-related diseases.

Walk
Aim for 30 minutes every day. If that’s too much, break it up into shorter strolls. Regular exercise — especially if you do it briskly enough to feel a little breathless — delivers huge health benefits. It helps keep brain cells healthy by delivering more blood and oxygen. In fact, research suggests aerobic exercise may delay or improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

It also helps:

Control your weight
Boost your mood
Keep bones and muscles strong
Helps you sleep better
Makes you less likely to get heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol

Are you an older adult who is losing weight without wanting to? There are many reasons why you may experience unplanned weight loss. With a little planning, you can help maintain your weight and avoid the negative health effects that weight loss may cause.

What causes unplanned weight loss in older adults?
Below are some common reasons why you may be losing weight without intending to:

Eating too little food
Not having enough money to buy food
Not being able to go grocery shopping or cook or feed yourself
Feeling depressed, sad, isolated and eating alone most of the time
Having swallowing problems, mouth or tooth problems
Not being able to smell, taste, chew or digest food properly
Having an illness or a medical condition like cancer, heart conditions and digestive conditions such as ulcers or gall bladder disease
Taking medications that may cause nausea and vomiting, difficulty swallowing, taste loss and poor appetite
Drinking 3 or more alcoholic beverages every day

When you hear high protein diet do you think of bodybuilders? Men and women with large arm, chest and leg muscles? Bodybuilders need high amounts of protein because they build muscle.

But a high protein diet is important for seniors, too. No matter your age or level of fitness, you also need protein. Your body relies on protein to function. Seniors especially need a high protein diet to maintain:

Overall health
Muscle strength
Balance, agility and resilience
Why do Seniors Need a High Protein Diet?
Protein is one of the foundational nutrients that make up your body. Every cell in your body relies on protein to function including:

Skin
Hair
Nails
Muscle
Bones
Internal organs
Protein is essential for healing, building and repairing cells and body tissue. You need protein to:

Heal from injuries
Keep your fluid levels in balance
Recover from surgery or illness
Maintain healthy vision
Balance your hormones and digestive enzymes
Without protein, your body starts to break down muscle mass and bone strength. Research has found that seniors are not able to use protein as easily as younger people, so their bodies may need more protein to meet its needs.

A diet high in protein can protect you from losing muscle, and muscle is important because you require the use of your muscles for everything you do.

Strong bones and muscles allow you to get out of a chair, walk to the store, do yard work, go dancing, or play with your grandchildren. Even simple tasks like pulling on your socks and getting out of the shower are made easier by healthy and strong muscles.

As we age, it is normal to lose muscle mass, but a loss of strength can also cause you to fall. You may also be more susceptible to illness and injury.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that seniors were not getting enough protein, with 6% of men over 71 and 4-6% of women over 50 not getting the recommended amounts of protein.

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