When it comes to the art of ageing well, there’s no magic potion. One golden rule just doesn’t exist. It's a combination of attitude, being pro-active and most importantly, looking after yourself. You should view it from a holistic standpoint and create a balance in your life that’s easy to maintain and realistic to you as an individual.
Be your own best friend and don’t beat yourself up if you falter along the way. If you’re looking for some answers, here are five rules to ageing well.
Food is not the enemy. In this day and age, it can be easy to get wrapped up in guilty feelings surrounding mealtime decisions. Some foods are not healthy for you, but on the flip side, there are so many which are excellent. What you eat is one of the most significant and personal choices you can make. Nutrition is fast becoming a hot topic as more research shows the benefits of eating well on both body and mind. For example, avocados are full of monounsaturated fat that helps skin stay hydrated while at the same time boosting brain function.
Ageing does leave your cells vulnerable, which is why you should start to add nutrient-dense foods into your diet now. Healthy fats, protein and vegetables will aid your body in later life and leave you feeling more energized and full of vitality.
Some people view stress as a simple fact of life. It shouldn’t be this way. Stress is an element of life which you should try to eradicate, not manage. It can be a part of your life whether circumstantial, emotional or physical. Ultimately, this can have a disastrous effect on your health in old age. You could end up suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease or other stress related ailments.
Get rid of the stress in your life now, don’t wait. If there’s a negative situation that’s causing you copious amounts of stress, aim to resolve it. You may need to take drastic measures, but your health should take centre stage.
Some people don’t know how to switch off and rest properly, which can cause you to look and feel much older than you are. Sleep should be a top priority in your daily routine. When you’re younger, burning the candle at both ends seems easy because the negative effects won’t tend to take hold until later down the line. Research has shown links between insufficient sleep and health problems such as heart attacks and diabetes. Do something about it now and construct a routine around your sleep patterns and downtime.
The word ‘exercise’ can hold negative associations for some and is often viewed as an activity that is forced and it can be hard to get motivated. Exercise is vital for health and ageing. It doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym five days a week and get ripped. Make exercise a natural and necessary part of your everyday life. Walking is an excellent way of exercising and de-stressing at the same time. It’s free and is an easy starting point for people who usually live a sedentary lifestyle.
Without exercising, your body is wasting tissue and you’ll become weaker physically. It can also have damaging effects on your brain capacity. Muscle loss can cause frailty and disease in later life.
Live Your Own Life
Think about what truly makes you happy in life and go for it, whether it’s a simple step such as taking up a hobby or something more permanent like a career change. It can be easy to fall into a rut and start to live a life that isn’t your own. Take personal responsibility for all aspects of your life and realise that you have the power to make change.
Practice emotional awareness and recognise the signs of unhappiness, fear, resentment and sadness. Reflect on your feelings frequently- you could even write it down. Just be yourself and good health should follow.
Ageing is inevitable and there’s no quick fix to make it stop. Embrace the changes you see but help your body and mind be as powerful as possible along the way. You’re in control of your own health, for the most part, so do what you can and live a happy and healthy life.