Understanding what predicts longevity and happiness will help you age well. You might imagine your genetic heritage plays the biggest role in how fit you are as you enter old age, but studies show your biology isn’t necessarily the greatest precursor to fitness and contentment.
These tips describe behaviors to help you take your autumn years in your stride, in many cases by leveraging new technologies for assistance.
Watch your waistline
The chances of cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes increase with the size of your girth. The National Health Service suggest individuals aim to reduce the size of their waist if it measures over 37 inches if a man and 31.5 inches if a woman, stating you should do so “regardless of your height or BMI.”
To increase your lifespan and shrink middle-age spread, do an aerobic exercise like rapid walking or swimming. Also, strength training with weights, whether you use tins of beans at home or visit the gym, can reduce body weight. Make sure you consume a healthy diet including lots of fruit and vegetables too. If the weight still doesn’t shift, eat from a smaller plate than usual.
There are an ever-growing number of highly useful weight loss apps available for Android and iOS devices that can make the process easier.
Smoking cigarettes makes you look older because it destroys elastin, collagen, and tissue and impacts your health. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to get cancer and may suffer from emphysema, stomach ulcers, stroke, and other diseases.
Many problems people face in old age are exacerbated by smoking like trouble sleeping, shortness of breath, tiredness, and bone density loss. The NHS recommend creating a plan to help you quit smoking.
Recognize triggers, such as how you light up more often when you drink alcohol and take your findings into consideration. As well as avoiding protagonists, you can spend more time with non-smokers and list reasons you want to stop smoking.
While so-called “vaping” comes with its own health risks, it is a decidedly less harmful activity than smoking. New results from a University of Otago-led study provide preliminary insights into how easy or difficult the transition from smoking to vaping to eventually quitting altogether may be.
Research shows strong relationships have a favorable impact on longevity. People who age well have many friends, see their families, and take part in social activities. Isolation and loneliness can cause a shorter lifespan as people become anxious and susceptible to stress-related illnesses and depression.
If you are alone too often, get involved in local events, contact old friends, and stay in touch with your family. Make new friends with similar interests and engage in voluntary work. You’ll meet people, and your social life will improve.
For many older individuals, social isolation is a result of untreated hearing loss. With new conversation-enhancing earbuds and headphones offering more accessible and affordable alternatives to hearing aids, technology is aiming to help solve this issue.
Keep using your brain, and it will stay in better shape than if left to stagnate in front of the TV. It’s never too late to learn a different language, join an evening class to learn a new skill or study a topic that interests you.
Likewise, activities such as reading, and doing puzzles and crosswords will help keep your mind young. You might also enjoy quizzes and traveling to new places to learn about different cultures.
New research shows that contrary to conventional wisdom, older brains absolutely have the ability to learn and acquire new skills, especially those that involve computers and/or coding.
You will age, so why not take care of your health and mental well-being to increase your lifespan and make life more enjoyable? Stay active, in a physical and mental sense, and you are likely to stay content in your twilight years.