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How To Grow Old Gracefully, Healthy & Happy

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Early in life, we believe that aging is bad. Under tens consider teens old, teenagers wish to be 20, and when 26 rolls around, 30 looks scary.

But when 50 finally arrives, it’s comfortable and alright. We don’t feel old at all. Funny how what we consider to be old changes with each passing birthday.

Aging is truly a privilege, we know that. But it doesn’t make it any easier to not worry about the future and what it looks like for ourselves and our loved ones. Aging happily and as healthy as possible is what we all strive for.

Unfortunately, we can’t change the past and all the bad things we have done to our bodies. Come on, admit it! Late nights partying, smoking, drinking, eating junk food till our heart’s content.

We are far more aware now that our bodies just don’t recover as quickly anymore. And we understand the correlation between how we treat ourselves and how that impacts our over-all health and happiness.

The goal is not just to live a long life but a healthy one that allows us to do all the things we dreamed of doing in our prime for years to come.

Growing old gracefully, on the other hand, means different things to different people. For some, it is looking glamorous and having a busy social life, and for others, it’s relaxing in the garden with a warm cup of tea. 

Both of which can fill you with contentment and joy!

But what can you do to help your body remain healthy?

1. Regular Doctor Visits

Many of us skip the doctor hoping that we will recover from our cold, the migraines will be less, or the pain in our knees will eventually get better. Sound familiar?

And while many times, that does happen, you never know if your body is trying to tell you something that you need to be aware of. That is why it is so important to, at the very least, to get regular physicals with your doctor.

Things like checking your blood sugar, your cholesterol levels and cancer screenings regularly will catch health issues before they escalate. While every illness is not curable, early detection gives you options and a better chance of resuming an active, healthy life.

2. Protect Your Finances

Medical insurance, life insurance, Freedomcare, pensions, and savings are all essential for a happy, long life without having to worry about your money.

It is never too late to start putting money aside and taking care of the insurances. 

Whatever comes your way with illness, accidents, or just simply aging, you need to be prepared for whatever may happen.

You can plan for your financial future, and secure your safety net right now. 

3. Take Care Of Your Teeth

While dental implants, bridges, and dentures should be normalized for all age groups, teeth and gum care will stave off you needing them.

Interdental cleaning will help to reduce food debris, and flossing regularly will ensure you keep all your teeth for as long as possible.

Plus, regular dental check-ups can catch gum disease early, which has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and even arthritis.

Take care of your teeth and you will have them a long, long time.

4. Keep Moving

Walking is one of the most important things we can do for mental clarity and our health too. Put your best foot forward and start walking as often as possible. 

Make sure that you have supportive footwear, and take care of your heels too. You don’t want an accident that will put you out of commission for weeks maybe months!

Stay as active as possible. Add some low intensity exercises, like yoga, or sports, like swimming, into your weekly routine too.

Aim for at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week to keep your joints supple and your heart strong. 

5. Get Some Hobbies

As you get a little older, you might just find you have a little too much extra time on your hands. And while walking is great for your physical health, adding some hobbies for your mental health will keep your mind sharp. Plus, hobbies can be lots of fun.

This is the time for all those things you wanted to do but never had time for, like crafts, reading, painting or puzzles.

You can do them alone, with friends or join a group in person or online. No matter what you choose to do, you will have no problem finding others with the same interests.

6. Get Enough Sleep

The trend is to talk about how hard you work, how long your hours are, and how exhausted you are. To increase your productivity, you are supposed to get up at 4 am, and then staying awake until midnight. Ya, I am long over that.

Lack of sleep makes us grumpy, eat poorly and have brain fog. Basically, you feel like crap.

Don’t do that to yourself.

Make sure you get the proper amount of sleep every single night because you can’t sleep your way out of a sleep deficit. Once you miss the hours, they’re gone. 

The amount of hours you need to sleep every night varies from person to person. Experiment to find out your optimal numbers of hours. You should wake feeling refreshed and ready to go for the day.

Trouble sleeping? Try warm milk, oats, chamomile tea, reading, not picking up your mobile phone – try the calm app or the headspace app to help you relax

7. Spend Time Socializing

As we age, our opportunities to socialize sometimes diminish. Especially if you have retired, been widowed or moved to another country. Making new friends get hard.

But socialization has many health benefits that can drastically improve the quality of our lives.

Make sure to spend plenty of time with friends and family. This will keep you up to date with those around you and in the loop too! 

The time you spend together doesn’t have to be jetting off on holidays or going out to an expensive restaurant. It can be just a cup of tea and biscuits at your kitchen table.

Spending time with the people you love can help you to feel fulfilled and happy—the perfect antidote to boredom or loneliness. 

8. Eat More Green

What you fuel your body with makes a big difference in your overall health and the energy you feel. Green vegetables and protein will go a long way in giving you the boost you need. Do your body good as they say.

The vitamin K contents of dark green leafy vegetables provide a number of health benefits including: protecting bones from osteoporosis and helping to prevent against inflammatory diseases.

USDA

Skip the extra slice of cake, but always have the extra helping of greens, and you will secure yourself a nice healthy balance. 

9. Reduce Stress Levels

Stress has an impact on your whole body. While it is almost impossible to keep your stress levels at zero, they can be managed. 

Most of the steps above can help you to keep your stress well managed, but you might need to employ a few more tricks. 

Meditation can be the perfect starting point for finding a little mental clarity and relaxation. If you aren’t sure how to get started with your meditation, then the applications mentioned above are the perfect starting point. You can also check YouTube for some great tutorials to get you started.

Keeping your stress levels reduced will keep you looking bright and feeling great. 

This is the best time of your life and you get to decide how to spend it and with whom. Make sure you make every year count by taking care of your physical and mental health.

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