A long and healthy life should be attainable for everyone, no matter where they live. It is natural to get old, but healthy aging is key for maximized comfort.
Health can be improved or harmed depending on our habitation’s surroundings. People’s behavior, health risks, access to health and social care, and chances of aging are all affected by their environment.
Be sure to also see How To Increase Insulin Sensitivity Naturally, How To Stop Sugar Cravings, and How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally!
When it comes to healthy aging, it’s all about giving individuals the freedom and resources to live the life they want. Anyone can age gracefully.
As many older persons have one or more health issues that, when well-managed, have little effect on their well-being, being free of disease or infirmity is not a prerequisite for healthy aging .
The physical, mental, social, emotional, and sexual aspects of growing older are only some of the changes with the advancing years.
You may find some of these changes to be positive while others to be unfavorable. Maintaining healthy aging and minimizing the unpleasant effects of aging are the main challenges of getting older .
What is aging?
Maintaining your health starts with understanding the natural mental and physical changes as you become older. In terms of physical changes, these are some of the most common:
Aging of bones
When bones lose mass or density, they become thinner and more fragile, leading to osteoporosis. Low bone mass increases the likelihood of fractures, notably in the vertebrae (bones of the spine), leading to a stooped posture and reduced height. Women are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis than males, but both genders are at risk . Preventing osteoporosis is a team effort, so make an appointment with your doctor. A shattered bone is often the first indication that you have it.
Aging of the heart
Arteriosclerosis, a disorder associated with aging that causes stiffening of the major arteries, contributes to increased blood pressure . Plaques, which are fatty deposits that grow up on the artery walls and restrict blood flow to the heart, also contribute to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
An atherosclerotic plaque buildup in the coronary artery system is known as coronary artery disease, a significant risk factor for heart attack . Physical activity and a healthy diet can nearly always help you maintain healthier arteries and a heart for longer, even if you can’t prevent all of the changes that occur as you age in your cardiovascular system.
Aging and the brain
Age-related memory loss is frequent, as is the decline in comprehending new information or multitasking. The occasional “senior moment” is perfectly natural, but you should see a doctor if your disorientation and memory problems go beyond that. Dementia may be developing in your brain , but it is also possible that you have a curable illness affecting your brain and healthy aging.
The aging digestive system
Older people have a slower digestive system, which can cause constipation, stomach pain, and sensations of nausea since it doesn’t contract as much as they used to .
A wide range of drugs can cause constipation. You have to take a high-fiber diet, plenty of fluids, regular physical activity, and stress management to help prevent these digestive issues.
Aging and the senses
A person’s five senses (hearing/vision/taste/odor/touch) become less keen as they get older . Your perception of balance and hearing may be affected by changes in the ear’s internal components.
Reading glasses may be necessary if your eyesight begins to deteriorate. As the number of taste buds in your mouth decreases, you may lose your ability to taste.
As a result, flavors may not be as distinct or vivid in your mind as they once were. Due to decreased mucus production and the loss of nerve endings in the nose, your sense of smell may deteriorate as you get older.
It is also possible that you are less sensitive to touch, discomfort, pressure, and vibration due to thinning skin, but this is not always the case.
Aging teeth and gums
Over time, the hard enamel that protects your teeth from decay begins to wear away, making you more vulnerable to cavities.
The nerves in your teeth can shrink with age, making you less sensitive to discomfort and possibly delaying a diagnosis of cavities or fissures on the tooth’s outer surface.
Approximately 400 regularly prescribed drugs can induce dry mouth, which increases the risk of oral diseases in the elderly population, claiming that over half of those over 65 have moderate or severe gum disease.
Skin loses its suppleness as you get older and may sag or wrinkle. However, the better your skin looks as you age, the more you protected it from the sun and smoking when you were younger .
The most crucial healthy aging products are sunscreen and moisturizer. It will also rescue your scalp and face skin if you wear a hat with a brim.
Prevent future harm to your skin and minimize your chance of skin cancer by starting to protect your skin today.
Aging and sexual function
As people age, their sexual function declines. Similarly, impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction) becomes more prevalent .
Women’s bodies undergo numerous changes during menopause with age, including decreasing vaginal lubricant .
As a result of these changes, the North American Menopause Society claims that your sex drive may also decrease.
According to the American Sexual Health Association, this is not a normal part of aging for men and maybe a sign of an underlying medical condition or a side effect.
Many of these physical challenges can easily be reduced by adopting a healthy lifestyle. To deal with these physical challenges, it is imperative to understand what causes unhealthy aging and what can be done to maintain healthy aging.
Factors affecting healthy aging:
There are many factors to consider that can affect the aging process. Some of them include:
Study after study found that impulsive, under-controlled personalities and big familial stressors were well-known markers of poor long-term health outcomes.
Childhood divorce, unstable marriage patterns in maturity, childhood personality disorders, adult maladjustment, and psycho-social factors emerged as significant risk factors for early mortality .
A senior citizen who does volunteer work for about one hour a week lives longer than one who does not. In one study, volunteers had a 67% lower risk of dying over the next 7 years (the study period). However, too much volunteer work can be stressful for seniors and should be avoided .
Major research examined the connection between silly risk-taking behavior and the strength of emotional reaction to music.
Risky behavior is more likely when a person’s emotional response to music is more acute, positive, or negative and is linked to a history of strong negative emotional responses to music .
If parents divorce when their children are still young, their life expectancy drops. This is especially true unless the youngster is extremely diligent about health rules, has a stable temperament and mood, and is determined to finish their job before playing (these all predicted increased length of life).
Many people benefit from folic acid, but those in their golden years, expecting, suffering from diabetes, or using the “pill” will see the greatest benefit.
Menopause syndrome, hypercholesterolemia, osteoporosis, and other aging-related diseases can be prevented by eating soy products.
Lipofuscin, a brownish pigment that develops in brain cells with aging, is reduced by acetyl-L-carnitine. You can reduce lipofuscin deposits by taking vitamin E alpha-tocopherol .
Citrus pectin slows down the aging process and may also help to lower blood pressure and the risk of developing diabetes in some people.
You may be able to prevent diabetes-related neurologic and ocular disorders by eating one citrus fruit a day. Diabetes patients with high sorbitol levels benefit from the active element in citrus because it decreases their blood sugar levels.
Blood chemistry factors
There is a link between higher non-fasting plasma homocysteine levels and a higher overall heart disease death rate in the elderly. Those with high iron levels are more likely to die from coronary heart disease and any cause .
The National Institutes of Health conducted a five-year study that revealed high iron intake is associated with an increased risk of death from coronary heart disease and overall death rates.
The study examined 4,000 men and women over the age of 71. The study showed that a high iron level is associated with an increased risk of total causes of death and coronary heart disease.
According to new studies, high iron levels have also increased the risk of heart attacks and cancer. According to the findings of these recent investigations, the picture isn’t as simple as previously thought .
A significant marker of aging is insulin resistance. To fully develop, the condition must be paired with an unhealthy lifestyle. It is essential to correct the lifestyle as soon as a diagnosis is made to slow down the aging process.
Growth hormone is essential for long and healthy life and promotes muscle growth and strength. In addition, mental acuity has been enhanced.
Naturally increasing growth hormone is possible. You’ll get twice as much growth hormone if you go to bed three hours before midnight, even if you only sleep three hours after midnight.
A pituitary gland produces twice as much growth hormone before midnight as it does after midnight, which is when it is naturally produced in adults. There are no side effects like you get from hormone supplements with this program, and it will cost you nothing.
As we become older, our growth hormone levels normally decline. According to London-based researchers, growth hormone production is slowed down by physical activity.
Growth hormone production is boosted by maintaining normal sleep patterns and having at least two and ideally three hours of sleep before midnight .
A decline in enzyme activity (glutamine synthetase) and an increase in oxidized protein accumulation in the frontal lobe are observed in Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by the buildup of an aberrant protein called amyloid.
Various excitotoxins from the environment in the central nervous system, such as chemicals placed on meals during transportation or production, can kill particular nerve cells.
Your lifestyle also affects the aging process . Falling and breaking a bone are usually the first steps in a downward spiral for the elderly.
Eating spinach 4-5 times per week has been shown to aid in maintaining balance and coordination in the brain.
Warning signs you shouldn’t ignore
Even while aging is typically blamed for poor moods and exhaustion, this is often not the case. At any age, exhaustion and depression are out of the question.
Check with your doctor if you’ve lost the desire or energy to participate in activities you formerly enjoyed. Consider seeing a doctor right away if you’re feeling down or having any other medical issues .
What additional warning indicators should you keep an eye out for? A medical practitioner should be seen if you have any of the following symptoms, which could signal a serious healthy aging issue:
- Dizziness or sudden weakness
- Anxiety about running out of breath
- You feel a tightness in your chest.
- On the one hand, you may feel some tingling or numbness.
- a state of disarray or disorientation
- Inability to speak or eat
- Sweating excessively
- A sudden or sudden loss of vision or vision that is hazy
- Swelling that persists despite the absence of a recent injury
- Rapid reduction in body weight
- Confusion for an extended period
- Wounds that don’t seem to heal.
Steps to healthy aging:
A healthy lifestyle should already be a part of your daily routine. However, it’s never too late to begin taking proactive measures to preserve and even improve your well-being, even if you haven’t. Adopting even a couple of these steps will get you on the right path to healthy aging:
Stay physically active
Many of the negative consequences of aging can be countered by regular exercise. Regular physical activity can enhance coordination, mobility, and mental well-being by lowering stress and depression.
Regular physical activity can also enhance memory and concentration . Some chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis, require it as a component of treatment.
Every little bit helps, and 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like swimming or a brisk walk) each week is a good starting point.
Stay socially active
It is important to spend time with family and friends for healthy aging. Positive emotions, fewer negative sentiments, and higher levels of physical activity were all associated with participants (all over 65) who claimed higher levels of social interaction, causing healthy aging .
Make an effort to see old friends or meet new ones if you don’t currently have a social calendar full of events.
If you are interested, join a community group, volunteer with a non-profit organization, join a gym, or join an alumni group.
Follow a healthy balanced diet
Whole foods high in fiber and low in saturated fat should be the cornerstone of your diet if you want to meet your body’s nutritional requirements while also reducing your chance of developing chronic illnesses like heart disease.
You can reach this goal by following a diet like the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are all part of the Mediterranean diet. You won’t find a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products in this diet.
You may live longer and prevent yourself from a wide range of diseases by following this diet. Several studies showed that a healthy diet promotes healthy aging .
According to their findings, it may function by altering your chromosomes in ways that contribute to age-related disorders.
Get quality sleep
Adults over 65 often require seven to eight hours of sleep per night to function well. Your sleep schedule may alter as you get older, making it easier to fall asleep earlier and more difficult to wake up earlier in the morning.
This is normal, and it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep each night . Consult your doctor to find out what’s keeping you awake and get advice on getting some sleep.
Deny bad habits
Smoking is deadly. It harms nearly all of your organs and healthy aging. There are numerous health issues associated with nicotine products such as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other smokable goods.
If you want to stop, it’s never too late to do so. Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your body begins to repair itself.
Immediately, your risk of a heart attack decreases. Your risk of heart disease decreases by half in a year. You’ll also have a longer lifespan as a result of this. To get support, contact your doctor.
One’s liver can become damaged and even cancerous if one drinks too much alcohol. Two drinks a day for men and one for women is the maximum amount that should be consumed each day. If you consume more, you should speak to your doctor.
Find new hobbies
Finding new and important interests can help you maintain purpose and interest throughout your life. Hobbies and social activities have improved happiness, reduced sadness, and even lengthened life expectancy in studies conducted by a reputable source.
What is healthy aging?
The process of healthy aging is a lifelong endeavor to maximize possibilities to maintain and enhance physical and mental health, independence, and quality of life.
What promotes healthy aging?
It is possible to improve your physical health by exercising, eating healthily, getting enough sleep, minimizing your alcohol consumption, and controlling your medical care.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle as we become older, even small adjustments in each area can make a big difference.
Does exercise prevent aging?
Cell senescence occurs when the cell’s length declines, resulting in the cell’s inability to divide. The threat of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease are correlated with shorter telomeres. Exercise lengthens telomeres, thus preventing aging.
What is primary aging?
Normal aging-related changes are brought on by intrinsic biology and hereditary causes. Gray hair is one example of a loss of melanin, while another is a loss of skin suppleness.
Conclusion on healthy aging:
Growing older is a natural process that cannot be stopped but can be transformed into healthy aging. It is more important to be healthy and happy as you age than prevent wrinkles.
Take care of your health, have a good sleep, exercise regularly, eat healthy food, surround yourself with people you love, and do what you love. Happy Healthy Aging!
Other related lifestyle articles:
- Healthiest Leafy Greens
- How To Increase Insulin Sensitivity Naturally
- How To Stop Sugar Cravings
- Smart Ways To Stop Eating Late At Night
- Ways To Improve Gut Health Naturally
- Ways To Improve Vision Health Naturally
If you enjoyed this post about Healthy Aging and would love to see more, join me on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter!
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.
- Peel, N. M., McClure, R. J., & Bartlett, H. P. (2005). Behavioral determinants of healthy aging. American journal of preventive medicine, 28(3), 298-304.
- Khaw, K. T. (1997). Healthy aging. Bmj, 315(7115), 1090-1096.
- Hemmatian, H., Bakker, A. D., Klein-Nulend, J., & van Lenthe, G. H. (2017). Aging, osteocytes, and mechanotransduction. Current osteoporosis reports, 15(5), 401-411.
- Maruyama, Y. (2012). Aging and arterial-cardiac interactions in the elderly. International journal of cardiology, 155(1), 14-19.
- McCully, K. S. (2015). Homocysteine metabolism, atherosclerosis, and diseases of aging. Compr Physiol, 6(1), 471-505.
- Troncoso, J. C., Zonderman, A. B., Resnick, S. M., Crain, B., Pletnikova, O., & O’Brien, R. J. (2008). Effect of infarcts on dementia in the Baltimore longitudinal study of aging. Annals of Neurology: Official Journal of the American Neurological Association and the Child Neurology Society, 64(2), 168-176.
- Woodmansey, E. J. (2007). Intestinal bacteria and ageing. Journal of applied microbiology, 102(5), 1178-1186.
- Kujawa, S. G., & Liberman, M. C. (2015). Synaptopathy in the noise-exposed and aging cochlea: Primary neural degeneration in acquired sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing research, 330, 191-199.
- Yin, L., Morita, A., & Tsuji, T. (2001). Skin aging induced by ultraviolet exposure and tobacco smoking: evidence from epidemiological and molecular studies. Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine, 17(4), 178-183.
- Rosen, R., Altwein, J., Boyle, P., Kirby, R. S., Lukacs, B., Meuleman, E., … & Giuliano, F. (2003). Lower urinary tract symptoms and male sexual dysfunction: the multinational survey of the aging male (MSAM-7). European urology, 44(6), 637-649.
- Levine, M. E., Lu, A. T., Chen, B. H., Hernandez, D. G., Singleton, A. B., Ferrucci, L., … & Horvath, S. (2016). Menopause accelerates biological aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(33), 9327-9332.
- Friedman, H. S., Tucker, J. S., Schwartz, J. E., Martin, L. R., Tomlinson-Keasey, C., Wingard, D. L., & Criqui, M. H. (1995). Childhood conscientiousness and longevity: health behaviors and cause of death. Journal of personality and social psychology, 68(4), 696.
- Journal of Gerontology: Psychological and Social Sciences. 54(3-S):173, 1999
- Roberts, K. R., et al. (1998). Adolescent emotional response to music and its relationship to risk-taking behaviors. Journal of adolescent health, 23(1), 49-54.
- Monji, A., et al. (1994). Effect of dietary vitamin E…the rat brain. Brain research, 634(1), 62-68.
- Archives of Internal Medicine 159:1077;1999
- Corti, M. C., et al. (1997). Serum iron level, coronary artery disease, and all-cause mortality in older men and women. The American journal of cardiology, 79(2), 120-127.
- Hurel, S. J., et al. (1999). Relationship of physical exercise and ageing to growth hormone production. Clinical Endocrinology, 51(6), 687-691.
- Strasser, B., et al. (2021). The effects of lifestyle and diet on…in our aging society. Nutrients, 13(6), 2045.
- Brescianini, S., et al. (2003). Low total cholesterol and increased risk of dying. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 51(7), 991-996.
- Thiamwong, L., McManus, M. S., & Suwanno, J. (2013). Development of the T hai healthy aging model: A grounded theory study. Nursing & health sciences, 15(2), 256-261.
- Hoglund, M. W., et al. (2009). Engagement in life activities promotes healthy aging in men. Journal of Men’s Health, 6(4), 354-365.
- Sanchez-Morate, E., et al. (2020). Relationship between diet, microbiota, and healthy aging. Biomedicines, 8(8), 287.
- Gkotzamanis, V., et al. (2022). Sleep Quality and Duration: The HELIAD Study. The Journal of Frailty & Aging, 1-8.
thank you for this post