Nine Scientific Tips for Aging Well

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Ever wonder what the secret sauce is to living a long and happy life?

It’s not just one thing. Health and happiness as you age is shaped by your choices, lifestyle, diet and exercise habits. The sooner you make healthy habits a regular part of your life, the more likely you are to age well as the years go by.

So what are the things that make a difference to help you age well?

1. See your doctor

At least once a year makes sense. A physical exam, blood test and other exams based on your age and other risk factors gives you and your doctor a snapshot of your overall health.

2. Eat healthy foods

You’ve heard the advice before. And it’s true. People who eat more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, fish and lean meats, tend to be healthier and live longer than those who don’t.

Looking for an easy way to eat healthier? Check out the complete menu of Senior-Friendly meals. Pick your favorites, and we’ll handle the rest.

3. Walk every day

Aim for 30 minutes. If you can’t do it all at once, take three 10-minute walks. Moderate exercise will help improve balance, strengthen your heart and lungs, and maintain muscle mass as you age.

4. Be social

Research shows that people with strong social ties and healthy relationships are happier and live longer. Being isolated and alone has the opposite effect. Stay in touch with family and friends via phone, email, letters, and in-person visits. Plan an outing with friends. Attend events. Volunteer or be an active part of a club or group.

5. Eat fiber-rich foods

It’s a smart and easy way to keep your heart healthy. Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.? It doesn’t have to be.

Eating more fiber-rich foods helps lower cholesterol and the risk for heart disease. And it’s easy. Whole-grain bread, pasta and cereal, beans, and some fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber.

Or keep it simple, and have this for breakfast: Whole Grain Pancake & Sausages, Sweet Potatoes & Cinnamon Apples

6. Improve your balance

Strength training and balance exercises can help you prevent a fall. You can also improve your balance by practicing Tai Chi.

7. Get your Zzzs

Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. If you have trouble sleeping, take a nap about mid day, and get the rest of your sleep at night. Sleep helps your body reset hormone levels tied to stress and inflammation.

8. Be positive

Is the glass half full or half empty? You’ve heard this before. There’s really not a right or wrong answer. But research shows people who are positive, hopeful and optimistic live longer than those who focus on the negative.

9. Train your brain

Here’s another tip to help you age well. Train your brain. Be a life-long learner. Read books. Solve puzzles and crosswords. Learn a new skill or hobby. Research shows keeping your brain active can help ward off age-related memory loss and improve your quality of life.

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to sit back in a rocker and watch the world go by. Healthy lifestyle habits, regular exercise, and smart diet will help you age well and enjoy life well into your golden years.