As we grow old, our overall health condition is mostly determined by things that we do. These include what we eat, how we exercise, and how much sleep we get daily. While growing old is unavoidable, there are things we can change in our lifestyle that will promote general health in the coming years.
The Importance of Healthy Aging
Our health is not at the top of our minds during our 20s and 30s. But it is the age where we can truly benefit if we begin to think about healthy aging. Think of it as an investment – you put things in it now, and you will reap the benefits later. It is the best time to lay the groundwork and develop a healthy lifestyle to improve your aging process.
According to Northwestern University, staying healthy in our 20s and 30s is strongly associated with the risk of developing heart disease. The study shows that most people who adopted healthy habits in their younger years have stayed well, with no major illness.
In this blog post, we will explore some of these habits to help you understand that the best time to look after your health is now.
1. Healthy Eating
Practising mindful eating will make it a lot easier to keep healthy eating throughout your life.
Start by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also turn into lean meats, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Ditch your love for fast foods and prepare your own meals in the kitchen. Discover healthy eating as a concept, and you will bring down the risk of many chronic illnesses from your list.
2. Get Active (Wherever you are)
Little steps can lead to bigger changes. Develop a taste for exercise and other physical activities that you can bring until your 30s, 40s, and even 50s.
You can play your favourite sport, run in the neighbourhood, or take swimming classes regularly. Do whatever things you enjoy as long you keep moving. Take note that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with increased heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.
3. Learn to Sleep
Getting enough sleep is a healthy thing. Spend time in your younger years to build strong sleep skills. Learn how to fall into a deep sleep within 30 minutes to 1 hour after hitting the pillow.
Make sure to get enough sleep every night and seek a healthcare provider if you think you have the chance of having a sleep disorder.
Not getting enough sleep and rest at night can affect your body. It increases stress which can lead to compulsive eating and weight. Your sleeping habits can also affect how well you work and how much you enjoy life.
4. Get Regular Checkups and Preventive Screenings
Now is the time to start screening and testing. Do not think that you are not at risk for illnesses just because you are at a certain age. Lifestyle illnesses may be already starting, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Take actions to reduce the risk and catch these diseases fast.
Get a few tests and screenings, especially if you have a family history of cancer or cardiovascular disease. Talk to your healthcare provider about prevention and get tested regularly.
5. Pay Attention to Your Mental Health
The state of your mental health can affect the way your body feels and functions. Taking good care of your mental health can be tough, especially for those who juggle work, studies, and family. When feeling stressed or depressed, take a deep breath and do something to be out of it. If one thing does not work, try something else.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Connect with friends and family
- Practice gratitude
- Try out different ways of coping with stress
- Do something you enjoy
- Learn Mental Health First Aid
These are only a few of the healthy habits you can start practicing to lead healthier lives.
Taking care of your body and mind is about preparing for the future by making better choices. While you may need different changes depending on your age and where you are in life, you can make small changes for better health.