You're already familiar with the tell-tale signs of aging, like deepening wrinkles or graying hair. But while scientists are still unraveling the many mysteries of aging, research has revealed several ways you can set yourself up for a healthy, long life. There are surprisingly simple tips can help you prevent some of the less desirable aspects of aging like getting enough sleep, meditating, eating more fruits and veggies, drinking enough water. As a result, you'll be more likely to gracefully move through the years while still enjoying the things you love to do most.
Healthy Habits to Prevent Aging
Eating well can help prevent signs of aging and is linked with overall wellbeing. When you have an unhealthy diet, it will impact the body in many negative ways, including inflammation, hormonal changes, cell damage, and deterioration. Replacing processed foods with whole, organic foods—including fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts—will help. A Harvard study found that women who ate 2.5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day had a 12 percent lower risk of death compared to those who ate 2.5 servings per week. Establishing many others healthy habits will affect not only the aging process but also your mood, mind, body and positive outlook.
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation
When you only get a few hours of sleep per night, your health starts to degrade. Sleep is the time when our body repairs itself and restores your health. Sleep deprivation is linked to many chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.The most immediate impacts of sleep deprivation are loss of memory, making you more likely to make costly mistakes. As your stress levels rise, your body may produce cortisol, a hormone that stimulates the production of antibodies to combat any foreign cells that invade your body. In the longer term, sleep deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and stroke—all of which are age-related diseases.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Everyone knows that making time for some mental rejuvenation is crucial, but these activities should be in addition to other well-being practices like eating well and exercising. Many people do meditation or mindfulness exercises while they meditate, but a recent study suggests that taking a few minutes to be still and "be present" in your current thoughts and experience can also help prevent stress, improve mood, and improve overall well-being.Staying active can also help you fight stress, improve mental and physical health in long terms. Researchers in Spain found that older adults who exercised regularly were also much more likely to see a reduction in depression. Meditation may slow the loss of the brain's gray matter and the shortening of telomeres, compounds that protect the ends of chromosomes and cause cells to age as they shorten, per the study.
Drinking More Water
While many of us feel best when we're drinking something cold, but as we get older we're less likely to drink enough fluid. As you age, you're more prone to urinary infections, which can cause health problems such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and other symptoms that can disrupt your everyday life. Water is needed for almost every function in your body, including pumping blood into the muscles and lubricating your joints. Being persistently dehydrated can cause confusion, rapid heart rate, and other more severe symptoms that can hospitalize seniors. When we're drinking, we're not just putting water in our stomach, but we're hydrating every cell in our body. Your body depends upon that hydration to maintain good cellular health.
No matter what your plans are for the future, there are small and simple ways you can keep aging at bay. You might not be able to reverse your aging, but there are many things you can do to stay healthy and, above all, enjoy life to the fullest.