How Does a Healthy Lifestyle Affect Health as you Age?

A healthy lifestyle is essential for living a longer, healthier life. It is never too late to adopt healthy habits and make changes to improve one’s health and life expectancy. As people age, it becomes even more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to support healthy aging. This includes eating a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet, getting regular physical activity, managing stress levels, and getting enough sleep. 

Healthy Diet and Aging

Eating various fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help manage blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels. Fruits and vegetables are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can help improve overall health. According to Harvard Health, fruit and vegetables prevent blood sugar spikes and promote weight loss. Uncontrolled blood sugar can cause significant health challenges as we age, as diabetes can lead to kidney failure, loss of vision, and death.

Whole grains can provide complex carbohydrates and fiber, helping to keep blood sugar levels stable and reduce the risk of heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fiber protects your heart, maintains your digestive health, and reduces your risk of colon cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 106,870 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed in the U.S. in 2023.

Lean proteins such as fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and seeds provide essential amino acids needed for healthy tissue growth and repair. Eating various foods can help support a healthy lifestyle and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Without a proper diet, your body will age prematurely, and you will be at a higher risk of developing diseases.

Exercise and Aging

Exercise helps to prevent muscle loss and keeps bones strong, which is especially important as people age. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, exercise can treat and prevent osteoporosis. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are the most beneficial for your bones, but even swimming and hiking make a difference.

Regular exercise can help keep your muscles strong and healthy and prevent them from losing mass over time. Weight-bearing activities such as walking, running, jumping, or lifting weights also help to protect bones from becoming weak and brittle. Exercise also helps to maintain flexibility, balance, and coordination to reduce the risk of falls in older adults. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can prevent or help manage various conditions, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, cancer, arthritis, and metabolic syndrome.

Sleep and Aging

Getting enough sleep helps the body repair itself while reducing stress levels which can help protect against numerous diseases associated with aging. According to the National Institutes of Health, lacking sleep increases your risk for heart disease and infection.

When we sleep, the body repairs itself and helps reduce stress levels. This helps with maintaining a healthy immune system and regulating hormones, which can help protect against diseases associated with aging. 

Getting enough sleep can also help improve memory, concentration, and mood. It can also help reduce inflammation in the body and your risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Taking steps to improve your diet, exercise routine, and sleep schedule can help keep you healthy and active as you age. It is never too late to begin making healthy lifestyle choices that will get rid of your bad habits and add new ones that will improve your health and increase your longevity. Making small changes can have a significant impact on an individual’s overall health. If you or a loved one discovers that you need more care and support as you age, it might be a good idea to learn more about assisted living and memory care services. At Garden Care, we can help you live independently and happily as you age. Contact us by calling 303-566-1085 to learn more.

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