Most people over 65 want to live in their own homes as they age. Taking steps to age well are vital to realizing this goal. Johns Hopkins Medicine offers five proven steps. Let’s get to know them, as the research shows the impact is huge—80% of the 6,000 people in the seven-year study, from ages 44 to 84, who adopted these strategies were healthier and saw their aging process slowed.
1. Stay active.
Walking 30 minutes a day can make a difference in your physical and mental health. Walking with a friend can make the experience more enjoyable—be sure to walk in a safe environment.
2. Eat the right foods.
Focus on eating the foods associated with a Mediterranean diet, including fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. Studies show the diet helps in many ways, including reducing heart disease and stroke, retaining cognitive ability, controlling weight gain, and managing diabetes. Bonus: it can even help fight depression.
3. Maintain a healthy sleep routine.
Getting enough quality sleep can become harder as you age and the pandemic has amplified this problem for many of us. However, sleep is an important ingredient for well–being, so set up a routine that includes relaxation and get help to address related medical problems.
4. Stop bad habits.
Stop habits like smoking and excessive drinking to reduce health related problems including heart attacks. Choosing an active life style can help you change habits. Regardless of how long you’ve smoked, the National Institute on Aging reports that stopping at any age likely extends your life by lowering the risk of lung, heart, and brain diseases, makes breathing easier, gives you more energy, and makes everything smell better (including how you smell to your grandchildren).
5. Keep your brain busy.
Keep learning and take on new challenges—it’s not only fun, but aging well in your home means you’ll always need to be learning new things, including the use of technology so you stay independent! The benefits are huge for better mental and physical health.