Seven Ways to Live Better and Longer
Americans are collectively getting older.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans aged sixty-five or older grew by 34.2% (that’s a total of 13,787,404 people) between 2010 and 2020.
It’s no big mystery as to why this is occurring. All those Baby Boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964 are now in their 50s, 60s, and 70s.
And this population of people has lots of time left. The Social Security Administration estimates that a man who is 60 years old today can expect to live to the age of eighty-one. The life expectancy for a woman who is 60 today is approaching 85.
The bottom line? You will still have a lot of life to live once you reach what we traditionally think of as retirement years. The bigger question is…what will the quality of your life be?
In other words, will your healthspan keep up with your lifespan?
Here are seven ways to ensure that it does:
- Regular Exercise
As people age, their bodies lose muscle mass. Among other things, this can slow your metabolism, making it easier to gain unwanted weight in the form of fat.
Regular exercise helps to maintain lean muscle mass, thereby minimizing weight stored as fat. Exercise also supports good cardiovascular health and boosts the immune system.
Having said that, it isn’t necessary to live at the gym. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise (like walking, running, swimming, or cycling) three to five times per week will keep your cardiovascular system running smoothly. Add some resistance training at least a few times per week to keep your muscles strong, as well as some stretching to promote flexibility, and you’ll be all set.
- Watch Your Diet
You are what you eat, as the saying goes.
But with age, your body’s nutritional needs change. So, your diet may need some adjustments:
- Because metabolism gets slower…you may not need as many calories, making portion control more important.
- Minimize carbohydrates, especially sugar. Focus your diet on lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.
Increasingly, research suggests that restricted-calorie diets can improve both lifespan and healthspan. Low-carb diets, Keto diets, and intermittent fasting may go a long way toward helping you to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy metabolism.
- Supplements for What’s Missing
Your body needs a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (such as amino acids) to be healthy.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to eat the right foods…or enough of them…to have all your needs met.
This is where supplements come in. Supplements can fill in the gaps if you aren’t getting adequate supplies of nutrients from food. Supplements that are commonly needed include:
- B vitamins (and there are several)
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
Of course…this list is by no means exhaustive. Talk to us if you need guidance.
- De-Stress Your Life
Your body releases the hormones epinephrin and cortisol when you feel threatened. This aspect of human biology worked great during prehistoric times when humans needed quick energy for fight or flight…usually because a large animal wanted to eat us. Under those circumstances, once the threat disappeared…these stress hormones would normalize.
Unfortunately, these mechanisms are less helpful when dealing with the pervasive stressors we experience in modern-day life. For better or worse, our bodies have the same response to an argument with a co-worker as they would if we were being to being chased by a large animal. The result for many people is a chronic overproduction of stress hormones, which can be harmful to your health long term.
Specifically, long term exposure to stress hormones can cause migraines, type 2 diabetes, imbalances in other hormones, insomnia, and accelerated aging, to name just a few.
While it may not be possible to completely avoid stress…there are things you can do to help your body manage it better. Exercise, getting enough sleep (more about this later), and de-stressors like meditation and yoga can mediate the health problems associated with long term stress.
- Hormone Balance
Hormones control every process in your body…which would be fine if your body could always produce the hormones you need in adequate supply for good health.
The problem is…hormone production declines with age. Women lose the ability to produce estrogen and progesterone leading up to and after menopause. Men’s testosterone production begins to decline in their thirties as they head into andropause.
But it doesn’t end there. People will also produce less of other important hormones like thyroid, DHEA, pregnenolone, melatonin, and growth hormone.
Maintaining healthy levels of these hormones through hormone replacement therapy can yield huge quality-of-life benefits including:
- Immune system health
- Reduced bone and muscle loss
- Improved sleep
- Better weight control
- Improved sex drive
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is important at any age. It allows your body repair and replace damaged cells, helps to restore your energy level, and gives your brain a chance to sort and store memories.
But with age your body produces less melatonin…the “sleep hormone” that gets your brain ready to shut down at the end of the day when it’s time to go to sleep.
This loss of melatonin can make it hard to fall asleep and may also keep you from getting the restorative sleep you need (in terms of quantity and quality).
To make sure you get the sleep your body needs, try these simple steps:
- Keep a regular bedtime.
- Dim the lights and avoid blue light screens (like TV, phone, and computer) at least half an hour before you go to bed.
- Try a melatonin supplement before bedtime to help your brain get into “sleep mode”.
- Love Longer to Live Better
Sex isn’t just fun. It also has a number of health benefits.
Research has shown that regular sex supports cardiovascular health and a strong immune system. It has also been shown to reduce prostate cancer risk in men.
Not to mention…it improves sleep quality and reduces stress.
Lifespan + Healthspan
There are many steps you can take to live longer…and better. But what specific steps do you need to take? At Renew Youth, our expertise in hormone therapy, nutrition, supplements, and healthy lifestyle choices can help.
To get started, call us at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.