The path to healthy and happy aging begins today, with a few simple steps. After all, lost time can never be retrieved, especially if you know you have already fallen into some bad habits that adversely affect your health.
Drinking, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy attachment to fast food may have already worked their way into your system. The thing is, if you really want to turn things around, now is the time.
Aas you explore the different things you can do today for happy aging in the future, do not hesitate to ask for support and help. This way, someone can help keep you on track and always motivated.
Always remember that reaching your goals will take time. You may also encounter some pitfalls and temptations along the way. Whenever you fall back into a not-so-good habit, do not beat yourself up; instead, stand up and start over.
Here are eight resolutions you can start today for healthy aging, and a happier life later on.
1. Make Walking Part of Your Daily Routine
One of the easiest and most effective forms of exercise is walking, regardless of your age and fitness level. A 30-minute walk per day is enough to reduce your risk of different illnesses and enjoy better health.
If you find walking a boring exercise, you can listen to an audiobook while strolling, ask a friend to join you, or take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. Indeed, there are several ways to include walking into your everyday routine.
Feel calmer by having a 10-minute meditation session every day. Many studies have shown that meditation offers various health benefits [https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858]. And don’t be intimidated by the idea of learning how to meditate. Though this can be part of your spiritual exercise, it does not always have to be.
Meditation offers you the opportunity to close your mind from the outside world, and become familiar with your own thinking. In a world full of blinking chat windows, buzzing phones, and negative news stories, nothing can be more relaxing than setting a time for meditation.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
You may already know what you should be eating and what should be avoided. The lack of information is not the problem, but the lack of discipline and control is. The trick to eating healthy is to control your environment.
For instance, avoid buying food you are not supposed to have. This way, you won’t be tempted to eat them at home. Also, look for healthy foods that you can prepare or cook. If you love sushi, for example, consider buying high-quality ingredients from the grocery store and make them yourself instead of buying sushi from a restaurant.
There are also vitamins and minerals you can take to help make your mind and body strong and healthy. Pure energy supplements, for instance, offer many health benefits to your heart health, cognitive functioning and athletic performance, thereby helping in the healthy aging process.
4. Volunteer for a Cause
Make a difference and stay happy by choosing a cause you are passionate about. Whether it is driving patients to their appointments, helping the homeless or organizing supplies in a community center, there are indeed a lot of volunteer opportunities you can engage in.
Check if your community has a volunteer center that matches with your interest and passion.
5. Take up Dancing
Age should not be a hindrance for you to take up dancing. This is a low-impact way to stay physically active, and get your circulation flowing and heart pumping. Remember that this is not a competition, so consider taking your dance lessons progressively and slowly.
6. Smile and Laugh More
Research has shown that smiling helps release feel-good chemicals that enhance mood and health [https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/isnt-what-i-expected/201208/try-some-smile-therapy]. So you must discover what makes you smile and take time each day to do these things.
For example, spend time in places that make you feel relaxed and happy. Talk to friends and family with whom you always enjoy your conversations with
Based on several studies, laughter also releases feel-good chemicals and relaxes your muscles [https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/art-20044456]. So apart from discovering the things that make you smile, you should also look for ways to integrate laughter into your everyday routine. For example, you can watch funny movies and TV shows, or meet with friends who always make you laugh.
7. Get Enough Sleep
As you age, you may find it difficult to get the prescribed seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If getting sleep is a challenge, you can try making changes to your habits at home.
These include creating a soothing environment in your bedroom, taking a shower or a hot bath, or turning off the TV and keeping electronic gadgets outside your bedroom one hour before bedtime.
8. Socialize with Positive People
According to studies, social interaction is crucial for older adults [http://www.boomerly.com/70-loneliness-studies-loneliness-kills]. Socializing with positive people will help you stay physically and emotionally healthy. So you need to make time for meeting new friends, find regular social activities to participate in and get rid of any toxic connections.
Joining organizations or clubs is the easiest way to meet new people with similar interests and mindsets. By focusing on sharing what you enjoy doing, you can develop meaningful, healthy friendships.
Getting older does not mean suffering from medical conditions, or having a poor quality of life. Besides, you are responsible for your own health and happiness. So make the choice to integrate the aforementioned resolutions into your life today!
Frank L. Jaksch Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of ChromaDex. He oversees research, strategy and operations for the Company with a focus on scientific and novel products for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets. Mr. Jaksch earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Valparaiso University.