Collaborative Post¦ No matter how you look at it, getting older is certainly the best outcome of life. Being able to look back at several decades, having a head full of memories, and a body that is still reasonably able is a gift everybody isn’t able to enjoy – and, if you’re one of them, you have a lot to be grateful for.
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As we approach older age, on the other hand, is becomes increasingly important to ensure that we’re taking the necessary steps in order to enjoy this luxury. What you do today could, after all, have a huge impact on your quality of life in a few decades and it’s not really all about your genetics either.
The sooner you begin to look after your health and your brain, in general, the more you’re increasing the chances of enjoying rich and fulfilling years as a senior later on. If you’d like to get started as soon as possible, you’ve definitely come to the right place; here is a handful of ways to age a bit more gracefully, whether you’re 25 or 55.
First: Make exercise a priority
Let’s start with the most obvious one first. Everyone knows by now that they should be exercising but far from everyone is able to get into a steady routine. The secret is, of course, to find something that you genuinely enjoy and actually look a bit forward to.
While some are able to settle for the lovely rush of endorphins they get from any kind of exercise, others need a bit more of a helping hand in order to follow through with it. If the gym and the regular treadmill isn’t for you, it’s time to throw in the towel and find something that brings you a bit more joy.
Try a couple of different types of exercises and don’t allow yourself to stop just because you dislike it the first or the second time you try it. Find a local dance group, for example, go jogging outside or somewhere picturesque, try a competitive sport such as tennis or soccer, and allow yourself to focus on enjoying it rather than viewing it as exercise.
That way, the health you gain will be an added bonus and you can look forward to a life filled with fun sports and hobbies that make your life so much richer as well. It certainly beats that old treadmill, doesn’t it?
Include both cardiovascular exercise and strength
Although overall movement is great for your health, but you’d want to ensure that you’re getting the kind that strengthens your body as well. The point is, after all, to make it a bit more likely that you’re healthy and able as you age – and not just for the next year or two.
Generally, it takes a balance of both cardio and strength to keep your body in shape, and building muscles are especially important for us women who tend to lose bone density as soon as we hit thirty.
Focus on getting a good cardio workout before you start to lift those weights, though – or yourself, if you prefer to build strength like this. It’s better to get this over with before you start to lift as you’d otherwise be too tired to get the most out of your heart pumping routine.
Enjoy the benefits of high-intensity interval training
High-intensity interval training is an excellent idea if you’d like to unlock the fountain of youth, though. In order to look and feel years younger than you actually are, or just prevent the signs of ageing in the first place, you will need to push yourself a bit more than you might think.
A nice and steady jog is definitely good for a lot of things, but it’s going to have to be more intense if you want to reap the kind of benefits we’re talking about here.
In a study from a few years back, sedentary adults were set to exercise high-intensity interval training for about three times a week. The results baffled the scientists more than they expected; a skin sample showed that by simply squeezing this into their everyday routines, they had reversed the signs of ageing in their skin by twenty to forty years.
The study showed that while both age groups experienced benefits from HIIT workout with the younger group seeing a 49 % boost to their mitochondrial capacity, the older group actually saw a staggering 69 % increase.
To clarify; this capacity is the cell’s abilities to take in oxygen and produce energy which, of course, means that their bodies also enjoyed a significant boost in the oxygen it could deliver to the rest of their organs and brain. It’s the kind of stuff that keeps you younger for longer – both in terms of their mental health and their physical wellbeing.
Have fun to preserve your memory
While a strong and able body is good for a lot, you’d definitely want to store all of those important memories somewhere they’ll be safe for many years to come. This means that you need to look after your brain and ensure that it gets a proper workout as well.
Keep in mind, however, that regular exercise also is great for your brain and you can certainly consider it a job well done if you manage to get three to five sessions of HIIT per week. Yet, boosting your brain power doesn’t have to be all about staying active physically as a good mental challenge and regular socialisation also helps tremendously.
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This is why it is so dangerous to be lonely as you get older as certainly why you should step up a bit and spend even more time with your older loved ones. Play a fun game together, have a good laugh, and keep in mind that everything that makes you happy is great for your health – both the physical and the mental kind.
Focus on taking care of yourself
While we’re on the topic of being happy in order to enjoy your golden years a bit more; de-stressing and learning to put yourself first when you need to should also be a part of the plan you make for your future senior self.
This means that you should teach yourself some relaxation techniques for when life throws all of its lemons at you, learn to open up a bit more to those around you and remember that a nice spa day can do a lot for your mental health as well.
Create a ritual for yourself and complete it once a week, for example, in order to feel a bit more rejuvenated. It could include a session of yoga and meditation, a fragrant face mask to prevent smile and lip wrinkles, a long bath, and an early bedtime.
The last part if important, by the way, if you’d like to both feel and look young for as long as possible; sleep is fundamental for good health as well as your overall mood. Even if you manage to do everything in this article, exercise until you drop, and eat your greens every single day, it won’t really matter that much unless you get enough sleep.
Routine is everything and particularly when you’re trying to look after yourself. The more you’re able to repeat healthy behaviour, it will turn into good habits – which again turns into excellent health and general wellbeing, in the long run. It’s the kind of stuff you’ll thank yourself for, in the future.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.