How to Stay Youthful and Reduce the Effects of Aging



Everybody gets old at some point. The human body goes through natural changes as you get older, and with the passing years, you will find your body and mind start to feel the effects. Some people, such as Helen Mirren and David Attenborough, have gone gracefully into old age and are still at the height of their careers. Yet others start to experience cognitive decline and physical ailments as early as their forties. It can seem like an unfair lottery to decide who ages well and who suffers, but it is not entirely random. Genetics may play a part, but your lifestyle has the biggest impact on how your body and mind age.

By incorporating good habits into your lifestyle, you can ensure that your body will be healthy, your mind sharp, and you will look and feel your best even into your seventies and beyond.

Body

As you get older, your joints and muscles deteriorate, and you become more likely to experience heart issues. Keep your body and heart healthy by engaging in regular daily exercise. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day is enough to keep your blood flowing and your muscles working. Cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running, and swimming is excellent for a healthy heart, while resistance-based activities such as weight training, tennis, and interval workouts will keep your joints, muscles, and bones strong.

Accompanying your exercise regime with a balanced diet featuring plenty of fruits and vegetables will keep your body healthy by providing life-extending vitamins and minerals. A diet high in fatty, oily foods will increase your risk of heart problems later in life, so cut out the unhealthy takeaways now, and your body will thank you later.

Mind

With age comes cognitive decline. Your brain changes in structure and size, and this can lead to impaired memory and learning, and in some cases, disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. This can be prevented by keeping your brain active while you are still relatively youthful. Your mind is like a muscle that strengthens with training, so keep it sharp by constantly putting your cognitive skills to the test. Completing puzzles like Su Doku or playing mentally challenging games such as chess will stimulate your mental faculties.

Skin

One of the most visible effects of aging is wrinkled skin. By looking after your complexion now, you will lessen the impact in later life. Use a moisturizer daily, and wear sunscreen whenever you go out in warm weather. Drink plenty of water, and if you smoke, you should quit immediately.

Sight and hearing

Your eyes and ears are two of the first things to decline as you get older, and it’s not uncommon to see older adults with thick glasses and hearing aids. Look after your senses when you are young, and you will prevent them from getting much worse. Avoid eye strain by limiting time spent on screens and wear eye protection when out in the sun. Similarly, you can preserve your hearing by reducing exposure to loud noises and wearing earplugs if unavoidable. Get regular check-ups from an optician to test your vision or an audiologist to check your hearing in the form of an audiogram. This will allow you to identify and treat any sight or hearing problems before they become too severe.

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