Most of the time, when self care is mentioned for those older in age, it almost always focuses on the vanity aspect of aging. Most ads, targeted mainly at women, tout the benefits of this night cream or that under-eye serum, zoning in on how to make ourselves look better. However, there’s plenty of different aspects to take a look at when you’re talking about taking care of yourself when you’re younger that will make aging easier on our bodies, and they don’t all have to do with wrinkly skin.
Being Heart Healthy
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and has been for some time. An unhealthy diet is one of the main causes of heart disease, but thankfully it’s something that can be corrected. With so many fad diets being promoted by celebrities, it’s easy to be tempted by one that claims to solve all of your problems with little effort on your part.
The truth of the matter is a healthy diet takes work, but the payoff is worth it. Focusing on your nutrition when you’re younger helps build the foundation for a healthier body once you get older. If you’ve found yourself indulging more than you like lately, take a look at what you’ve been eating.
If you discover foods in your diet that are high in saturated fat and sugar, it’s time to give them the boot and replace them with more heart-healthy foods. Start adding lean meats and fish that are high in protein. Not only does protein help you feel full for longer, which can help with cravings, but it also aids in repairing cells and tissue within your body. Next up, begin working more fiber into your meals. Fiber is a big help in the fight against heart disease but it also helps lower the risk of obesity. Fiber can be found in foods like brown rice, whole grain bread, as well as in certain fruits and vegetables. You can also boost the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your regular diet. This is found in food like sardines, tuna, mackerel, soybean, and nuts. These fatty acids help with reducing inflammation but they’ve also been proven to help prevent heart disease too.
Determine Your Stress Relievers
It’s no secret that stress not only is a danger to our mental health but did you know that stress can have serious consequences on our bodies too? In fact, stress can exacerbate or even cause major problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Our bodies are equipped to handle a little bit of stress, but it’s important we learn how to manage it from a young age in order to stay healthy as we get older.
As we begin to age, so do our parents, and that can easily lead to stressful situations involving their care and well being. Balancing a full-time job, our own spouse’s and kids’ needs, combined with caring for our aging parents is a reality many of us face in the near future. It’s important we learn to deal with stress now instead of trying to navigate those waters at the same time we try to wade through them.
For many, physical exercise is their number one stress reliever and exercising regularly is crucial to living a healthier life in old age. However, there are many other stress relievers you can add to your daily or weekly routine that can help keep your physical and mental health in top shape. For example, maybe your ideal evening after a stressful day is a warm bath to relax your muscles, or maybe it’s trying out a new local yoga class that not only allows you to get some physical exercise but lets you meet and interact with new people as well.
We shouldn’t forget the social part of “staying active” because that can be just as helpful. Loneliness is a problem many seniors encounter as their families are busy with their own lives. If you make strong connections and bonds with people when you’re younger, they’re more likely to last as you age. This way you have friends of a similar age and you can share similar experiences.
No matter what you do to manage your stress, as well as your physical and mental health, if you develop strong routines at a young age, it’s easier to identify when you’re beginning to feel stressed and what you need to do to relieve the stress as you get older. There are no downsides to learning the best ways to take care of yourself when you’re younger and you’re only setting yourself up to have an easier and healthier life you can enjoy in your later years.
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