Ageing is a natural and normal process. Although ageing can not be stopped, there are many different things you can do to prevent feeling old. Here are some practical tips you can apply to your everyday life to help ensure that you are healthy ageing.
1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep
Sleep plays an important in reducing mental and physical ageing. Sleep helps to consolidate memories, clear toxins, repair tissues and promote muscle growth. Decreased sleep has been linked to high inflammation rates, cognitive impairment and chronic disease which all play a role in unhealthy ageing. It is important to get a good nights rest and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
Exercise helps to improve cardiovascular function, muscle strength, bone density, mental health and improves immune function. All of these are can result in increased longevity. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week.
3. Weight control
As we age, the risk for many different chronic illnesses increases. These risks can be further increased if a person is overweight or obese. These illnesses include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and mobility issues. To promote healthy ageing it is important to maintain a healthy weight. If you need help starting this process, check out our 8 tips for weight loss and call the clinic for an appointment (587-521-3595).
4. Eat Vegetables and Fruits
Fruits and Vegetables are high in antioxidants. As we age, the number of antioxidants in our body’s decrease. Eating antioxidants can help prevent chronic disease, and ageing processes that occur as a result of free radicals, as discussed in last week’s article. Some of the vegetables and fruits highest in antioxidants are blueberries, blackberries, kale, and spinach.
5. Not smoking or vaping
Free radicals can cause a lot of damage to our skin, hair and organs which are typically associated with getting old. One of the main sources of free radicals is smoking. When something is smoked (tobacco, marijuana, or even meat), there is an reaction called incomplete combustion that occurs. This creates free radicals that are linked with unhealthy ageing.
6. Limited alcohol consumption
Alcohol can increase the amount of inflammation in the body, which can lead to chronic disease and decreased organ, tissue and cellular function. Alcohol also decreases the immune function and depletes some vitamins, such as vitamin B1 (thiamine) which is important in turning our food into energy. In an older population, it is important to monitor alcohol intake closely as it can cause falls, which is one of the major causes of older adults having to move into more assisted living facilities. Ensure that you are limiting alcohol and drinking lots of water to best support healthy ageing.
7. Seldom snacking
Because one of the processes that occurs in ageing is glycation, it is important to monitor what is put in the body and how often. Consider limiting snacks, as it improves insulin sensitivity. This means that the body is able to take up and utilize the sugars to make energy for the cell. Therefore, there is less sugar in the blood to make Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) and cause damage to our cells. Try eating only at 2-3 times a day and eliminate any snacks you may be having in between.
Despite growing older every day, we want you to feel the best you’ve ever felt physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Healthy ageing can start with these 6 easy tips. If you need more guidance, Dr. Mason-Wood is happy to help.