Are You Aging Well?
“You aren’t getting older, you’re getting better.”
That’s the goal, right? To feel like you aren’t declining with the passing years, but maybe even improving?
With that being the case, aging well really boils down to a combination of two factors:
- Lifespan (or how long you’ll live)
- Healthspan (or your quality of life during that time)
And there many things you can do to maximize both.
Maintaining your physical health is crucial when it comes to aging well.
Some lifestyle goals that promote optimal physical health include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Keep in mind that what your scales says is not as important as your body composition. The objective is to keep your body fat percentage low, while simultaneously maintaining sufficient lean muscle mass.
- Exercising regularly
Workouts should include cardiovascular exercise 3-5 times per week, with interval training being particularly good for the cardiovascular system and metabolism. Also include resistance training at least 3 times per week and plenty of stretching.
- Eating a healthy diet
Focus on foods that are high in fiber and antioxidants (like leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruit, and berries), as well as protein and healthy fats. Avoid carbohydrates (especially simple carbs) and unhealthy fats.
- Getting regular check-ups
See your primary care provider at least once a year, and make sure you’re getting regular screenings for cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and the like.
- Having your hormones checked regularly
Many of the symptoms associated with aging are caused by imbalances in estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, and other hormones. Hormone replacement therapy can restore balance and help your body to function optimally.
Preserving cognition is often overlooked when it comes to healthy aging regimens. And yet, keeping your brain healthy is critical to aging well.
The following can help to keep your brain functioning at its best:
- Learn to cope with stress
Chronic stress isn’t good for the brain, particularly as people get older.
Regular stress-relief practices such as yoga and meditation can help to minimize the effects of stress on your mind.
- Keep your mind sharp
Your brain needs exercise just like any other part of your body. Good brain exercises include puzzles and games (whether they be board games, card games, or online games) that involve decision-making and/or using your memory.
- Keep Learning
Learning new things stimulates the parts of your brain that process new information, which helps to preserve cognitive function.
- Get your hormones checked
Women’s brains function best in an estrogen-rich environment. Likewise, men’s brains function best in a testosterone-rich environment. Meanwhile, production of both hormones declines with age. This decline in natural production can be counteracted with properly administered hormone replacement therapy.
Maintain Your Social Network
Humans are for the most part social animals. Most of us need the company of other people to feel whole. Family, friends, and even casual acquaintances form an important safety net against depression.
The possibilities for developing and maintaining a social network are practically endless:
- Meet a group of friends regularly for coffee, a meal, or a shared activity.
- Volunteer with charitable organizations.
- Join a group exercise class.
- Take a class in anything you find interesting (such as cooking or painting or learning another language).
- Start or join a club that centers on an activity you enjoy (such as reading or hiking or playing cards).
- If you have a career you enjoy, keep working.
- Connect regularly with family.
Strong social relationships give people a sense of connection and purpose.
Are You Aging Well?
The ideas listed above aren’t a checklist so much as basic guidelines. A little creativity goes a long way and helps to keep things interesting.
The key takeaways are that in the broadest of terms, aging well should include:
- Good physical health, so you can do the things you want
- Good brain health, so you can do the things you want
- Social connection, to ensure that your mental health supports everything else
At Renew Youth, our mission is to help people age well through bioidentical hormone therapy, dietary supplements, and healthy lifestyle choices. Ready to get started on the path to aging well? Call us at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to set up your free 30-minute consultation.