Our bodies change as we age, and things that we may have been able to do in our earlier years can have a larger impact on our health. Making small lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Try changing your lifestyle a little at a time with these six ideas to age better and stay healthy.
1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables aren't just something that kids should be encouraged to eat. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends eating one-half of a plate of vegetables and fruits at each meal for optimal health. Eating a diet rich in produce has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.
2. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
As careers and family keep us busy, we may skip breakfast in favor of a cup of coffee. A healthy breakfast with 15 to 20 grams of protein has been shown to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. This contributes to fewer cravings and decreases the likelihood of eating something unhealthy when your blood sugar levels drop.
3. Visit the Doctor Regularly
Many people get by in their earlier years with just the occasional visit to the doctor. As we age, however, regular visits to the doctor become extremely important. Preventative check-ups screen for weight changes, blood pressure and cholesterol that can lead to further problems if not under control. Cancer screenings such as mammograms, prostate checks and colonoscopies can catch cancer in its early stages when it is more treatable. The doctor can help diagnose and suggest treatment options for things like cancer as well. For example, a high intensity focused ultrasound may be a good option for someone battling localized prostate cancer, according to the experts at International HIFU. Regular exams should happen at least once a year or as directed by a doctor.
4. Cut Back on Television
Research has shown that television bundles several behaviors that can be detrimental to a healthy lifestyle. When watching television, we tend to be sedentary rather than active. Additionally, we may snack on unhealthy food while watching television. Cutting back on television watching to two hours or less a day can help you stay in a healthy weight range.
5. Limit Alcohol
Too much alcohol can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and contribute to high triglycerides. Men should drink no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women shouldn't drink more than one.
6. Reduce Stress
When people become stressed, the body releases cortisol throughout the body. Cortisol contributes to weight gain and aging. Additionally, stress can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack stroke. Breathing exercises, yoga and regular exercise can all reduce stress and release endorphins throughout the body, which promote peace and happiness.
It's never too late to get healthy and make lasting lifestyle changes. Changing one thing at a time can have a big impact on health, helping you to live a longer and more meaningful life.