As we age, there’s usually only so much we can do to maintain our happiness. A big part of that is staying healthy as long as we can. Without health, it’s hard to enjoy the little things in life. The sunsets, moments with loved ones and even parties all become a poor copy of them selves when we are sick. This article will help you maintain your health so you can be happy.
Regardless of our age, everyone thinks about aging at some point. As a young child, it seems like a pretty arbitrary concept, which is probably best described as: boring.
Older people watch shows that are boring.
They eat foods that are boring.
And in general - they’re hard to relate to.
As we pass through our teens and into adulthood though, aging starts becoming a far more relatable concept. Baby smooth faces turn into 5 o clock shadow. 6 packs become beer kegs. Knees get stiff and unexplainable pains show up like clockwork.
Some people however, retain their youth as they get older. Stiff joints don’t seem to hold them back, and their skin is as bouncy and rosy as ever. How do they do it? How is it that some lucky few retain all the benefits of youth despite their age?
In this guide, we’ll teach you how you can age like Will and Jada, by adding a few easy things to your daily routine.
1. Treat Your Body Like a Temple - The Easy Way
This tip is old news by, now right? In almost every magazine or blog post in the world, someone is telling you that eating healthy and working out are critical to maintaining good health. Ever since “Super-size me” it’s been pretty much common sense; however, most people still fail to pull this off.
Typically, it gets even harder to make the switch to healthy eating as we age, since we’re more set in our ways and feel like we can’t find the energy to do all that cooking and weightlifting.
Luckily, we’ve figured out some ways to make the process easy:
- Make your switch gradually, start off by including just one different meal per day
- “Healthy” doesn’t mean gross- there are billions are delicious and nutritious recipes online, search sites like: eatwell101.com, for easy to make, healthy and delicious suggestions!
Here’s a list of 41 delicious and easy to prepare recipes from eatwell101.com.
- Start Small with your exercise, try out 10 minutes of walking a day if you’re 100% new to this
- Once you’ve gotten used to walking, start including one new exercise per week
- Add exercises like pushups, sit ups, squats and jumping jacks:
You can find guides on how to perform these here:
- If you’re already big on exercise, try shifting up your routine or getting more intense, you can start out by taking shorter breaks between sets, gradually increasing the weight you use (2.5 lbs. per week) or doing more reps in a set
Here’s a sample workout routine for older folks, recommended by Healthline.com.
NOTE: A good Rule of Thumb for healthy eating, without getting too much into detail, is to fill your plate with 60% green, 20% protein and 20% carbs.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Cut Loose
Once you’ve established a good meal plan and built up some good eating habits, you should feel free to shake things up every once in a while. Having health as a priority is a must, but that doesn’t mean you should never eat from your favorite pizza place again.
A good rule of thumb is to eat healthy 80% of the time and “splurge” 20% of the time.
It’s important however, to maintain an “active” decision making process with your splurging. Plan your cheat meals in advance, instead of simply eating on a whim. This way, you avoid breaking your good habit of eating healthy and you get to look forward to your cheat meals, making them an event, rather than a guilty pleasure.
Here’s how you can fit some pizza into your new lifestyle:
- Make a List of Your favorite “cheat” meals- Pizza, fried chicken, pasta alfredo etc.
- Choose 1 or 2 days a week, where you eat these meals
- Plan in advance when you wish to have your meals and switch things up, so they don’t get boring
- Invite your partner, spouse, friends or even your dog and have a good time with your meal!
- Make sure to keep track of how much you eat and try not to overdo it
3. Balance Your pH
There’s been a lot of talk about body pH lately, and it’s becoming more and more apparent that pH can have a significant impact on our health. Especially as we age.
In a nutshell, your pH tells you how acidic your blood is. Generally, we want a neutral or slightly alkaline pH for our cells to be as healthy as possible. Achieving a basic pH is a relatively simple process and you can do it by making a few changes in your diet, like: avoiding meat, eating less sugar or drinking more water.
An even simpler approach however, is to drink a “Green” smoothie on a daily basis, these smoothies are easy to prepare, cheap and do the job of balancing our pH without making a ton of changes to our diets. (Not that this means you can break the 80/20 rule stated above whenever you want.)
Here’s how to prepare a green smoothie in 3 easy steps as found on Life, Business and Dating Coach, Corey Wayne’s Youtube Channel:
- Gather these Ingredients:
- 1 Fuji Apple
- 1 Head of Broccoli
- 10 ounces of Spinach (2 five-ounce tubs)
- 2 Heaping Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract
- 2 Heaping Tablespoons of Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Green Pepper
- 1 Cucumber
- 5 Medjool dates (remove pits)
- 12 Ounces Alkaline Water
- 6 Stalks of Celery
- 6-10 Strawberries
- 12-15 Cherry tomatoes
4. Supplement with NAD+ and Bacopa
Supplements are nothing new to you, but unless you’ve been brushing up on your AP biology, you probably haven’t heard of NAD+, or Bacopa.
NAD+ is a coenzyme.
In our cells, enzymes function in breaking things down and building them up. Think of them as tiny factories that produce or breakdown chemicals that our bodies need to survive. NAD+ has a special role in a few important chemical reactions in our bodies.
Most notably, it helps in the production of ATP, which is the primary energy source of our bodies. NAD+ also helps protect our bodies against aging and stress, helps regulate our sleep and also regulates our appetites.
NAD+ has been shown to be crucial in the function of proteins called Sirtuins. These proteins are critical in the maintenance of health as we age, and help prevent age-related disease. Sirtuins also help in the maintenance of telomeres, which are stretches of DNA on our chromosomes that keep our cells multiplying properly. Telomeres are also critical pieces of genetic material that help prevent or delay the effects of aging.
- To make a long story short, our NAD+ levels drop as we age, so to keep reaping the benefits of this anti-aging coenzyme, here’s what you need to do:
- Exercise Regularly. Using the guidelines mentioned above is a fine standard
- Take Oxaloacetate- this helps to maintain high levels of NAD+ in our cells
- Practice Intermittent Fasting. Periods of fasting are proven to increase NAD + levels. Here’s a guide on how to get started with IF, found on the bulletproof blog:
- Supplement with NAD+. NAD+ supplements can be easily purchased on Amazon.com
- Simply open Amazon.com, in a separate tab and enter “NAD supplement” into the search bar
- Choose the product that suits your needs the most!
5. Try to Maintain a Sleep Schedule
It’s a common misconception that older folks tend to need less sleep. According to the national sleep foundation, as we age, our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep for long periods of time declines, but our needs to sleep stays the same.
Sleep is critical for maintaining health, at all points in our lives, but it becomes even more important as we age. During sleep our bodies have a chance to decompress stressed muscles, produce growth hormone that keeps our cells functioning well and our bodies healthy and our brains get to retain new information and recover from our day’s activities.
Our sleep pattern is regulated by a few hormones and different parts of our brain. The one that helps us fall asleep regularly is called melatonin, which is secreted by our pineal glands. Normally, our pineal glands secrete more melatonin as the sun begins to set. This believed to happen because of a decrease in the amount of “blue light” that enters our eyes.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the screens on our phones, computers and TVs all produce blue light, which hinders the natural production of melatonin. This in turn leads to difficulty falling asleep and a reduction in the amount of restorative, high quality sleep we get.
This is a big part of why so many people nowadays, get sleep, but still wake up feeling tired.
Below, I’ll provide you with a few steps you can take to: reduce blue light exposure after dark, make a habit of falling asleep regularly and stay asleep longer.
Needless to say - sleep is important, so here’s how to get more of it:
- Reduce blue light exposure after 7 pm
- If you have a windows pc, you can use the “Nightlight” option in system settings
- To find it, click on the windows icon at the bottom left of your screen
- Enter “Nightlight” into the search bar and doubleclick the search result
- Click the slider on the bar that appears to have a gradient of “sunset” colours and drag it to the left, just beyond the center of the bar
- Set a reminder to do this every night after 6pm or choose to schedule a night light, just below that
Fall Asleep Easier and stay asleep longer with a Bedtime Routine
Morning routines are all the craze in the world of entrepreneurship and productivity. However, bedtime routines are just as critical, despite the lack of similar popularity.
- Select a bedtime you can commit to every night
- Stop all work or strenuous activity at least 1 hour before bed time
- Have a warm, calming drink
- Enjoy a comedy, or listen to relaxing music
- Have a light stretch or yoga routine
- Have a warm shower
- Drop the temperature in your room (Colder body temperatures help us fall asleep faster)
- Ensure that as little light as possible enters your room, or wear comfortable blinders
- Lie down and deliberately relax your muscles
- If you can’t fall asleep within 10 minutes, have a slow stroll around the room, or try again in 30 minutes
A proper bedtime routine helps us develop “sleep hygiene”, which is a set of habits that tell our body when it’s time to go to sleep- and helps us do so faster.
6. Learn New Skills
So far, we’ve talked a lot about ways to keep our bodies healthy, but our minds also need active care as we get older. One of the best ways to ensure our brains continue in good health is to learn new skills or information. (Ideally, both.)
Contrary to popular belief, our brains are actually continually producing new cells- even after those “critical” periods in childhood and adolescence. The issue is, most of these cells will die off, if our brains have no real need for them.
Learning is one of three critical components to keeping as many of those new cells alive as possible. The other two are exercise and proper nutrition- which we’ve covered in previous sections of this article.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that you go about arbitrarily picking up new skills in order to stay sharp. You should pick things that are interesting, or practical for you to master.
Here’s how to get that done:
- Write a list of 20 or so current interests, or things you may become interested in
- Rearrange the list, placing those that are easiest + most interesting at the top
- Google Your top 5 list entries, specifically looking for: “How to” guides
- Scan the first 1-3 Google results, to figure out which skill would be the easiest or most interesting for you to pick up
- Set up a schedule for learning your new skills, an hour or so a day is more than enough
- When you’ve mastered one skill, move on to the next!
- Update your list on occasion, to ensure that you always have something new to learn
7. Meet New People
Meeting new people is a great way to engage both body and mind. You’ll inevitably find yourself visiting a new place or doing something you haven’t done before when you bring new people into your circle, or you join theirs.
Maintaining an active social circle has been shown to have several positive health benefits. So, if you’ve missed out on friendship due to work, or you’ve found yourself with a dwindling friend group, now could be your time to branch out!
NOTE*- If you’re not “big on people”, or prefer to spend time by yourself, feel free to skip onto the next tip. If you’re open to expanding that part of your life, then the tips below should be of use to you:
- Sign up on Meetup.com - Meetup.com is a site that helps people with similar interests arrange and attend events together, it’s a great tool for meeting people you can spend time with
- Search activities in your area on Google and attend the ones you’re most interested in- similar to the first step, you’re sure to meet people you can relate to
- Join a new Gym, it goes without saying that a gym is a great place to see new faces
- Join a Yoga Class
- Visit a New Super Market
- Join Facebook groups related to things you enjoy
- Take your dog to the park and introduce yourself to other dog owners or download the “Meet My Dog” App, available in the iTunes store and follow their instructions to find playmates for your dog!
- Visit your Local Happy Hour- with a few drinks down the hatch, most people are open to friendly conversations
8. Spend More Time on the Beach
The beach is one of the best investments you can make into your own health and happiness. Exposure to Sunlight naturally releases “Feel good” hormones in our body, which elevates our mood, relaxes our muscles and makes it easier for us to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
Sunlight is also known to have positive effects on our brains, studies have shown that office workers who had little access to natural light, often suffered poor sleep, memory loss and “foggy” thinking.
On top of the stellar health benefits, the beach is typically a happy place to be and a great spot for making new friends.
Here’s how you can get more beach in your system:
- Take up Surfing. It’s not an age-restricted sport by any means and has been shown to induce “flow” state, one of the healthiest and most productive states of mind you can enter.
- Take up Kayaking
- Take up Water boarding
- Walk your dog on the Beach
- Make it a part of your morning routine. (If you live near a beach, take advantage of it.)
- Make beach days with your kids, grandkids or spouse.
If you’re looking to take up a water hobby, be sure to google the options in your area. Try entering one of the options between steps 1-3 in this section into your Google search bar, followed by your area.
You can also search the name of your favorite local beach plus the word “activities” or “fun activities” to find out more. Your search bar should look something like this:
“ Your Local Beach Name Activities” or “Fun activities on My Local Beach”
9. Do More Meditation
Back in the 90’s, many people still looked at the practice of meditation with skepticism or trepidation. While the practice had been around for millennia, it was often associated with being “anti-Christian” or “Hippie”.
Since then however, the Western view of meditation has become more profound and accurate. Further, meditation itself has grown more distinct from it’s “spiritual” origins and has found its way into scientific studies, mainstream entrepreneurship and pretty much every self-help book in the Western Hemisphere.
For our purposes, meditation doesn’t need to be a great spiritual unveiling, or becoming “one with the cosmos”. Instead, consider the act of meditation, a form of “practiced piece of mind”. By incorporating a simple 10-20 minute meditation every day, without a doubt, you’ll experience less stress, better health, a sharper mind and more frequent and long-lasting piece of mind.
Here are the basics to meditating:
- Find a comfortable spot to sit or lie, ensure that the temperature isn’t too warm, or too cold
- Set a timer, or use an app such as Headspace to track your session for you
- Take the first minute of your session, to simply breathe deeply and deliberately relax your muscles
- Start by feeling the muscles in our head and jaw relax
- Then your neck and shoulders
- Then proceed down your back and all the way down your toes
NOTE- Don’t worry if it takes you a little longer than a minute to get relaxed, you’ll get better with practice and you still get the benefits of meditating
- Once you’re relaxed, you have a couple options:
You can simply “float” in this relaxed state, observing your thoughts and feelings without judgement- this is called Mindfulness Meditation
You can choose to visualize a positive outcome that you desire, or relax in your favorite scene
You can enjoy a guided meditation, from Youtube or another website
- Enjoy! Even though it may seem awkward at first, I’m willing to bet that it becomes a habit sooner than you think.
10. Coconut Oil
Consider Coconut oil to be your new Secret Weapon
Of all the advice I’ve given so far, Coconut Oil is the easiest to implement and gives an incredible number of health benefits, without being a financial burden, or a time consumer. You can find Coconut Oil anywhere from your local grocery store, to Whole foods, organic stores or even online!
You should make it a habit to consume at least one Tablespoon of Raw, Unrefined, 100% Extra virgin coconut oil per day. Making this a part of your morning routine will:
- Sharpen Your Memory and Thinking
- Keep Your Skin and Teeth Healthy
- Increase Your Metabolism - Helping you burn fat
- Decrease Your appetite - Helping you eat Less
- Raise Good Cholesterol and Lower Bad Cholesterol
- Reduce Pesky Abdominal Fat
NOTE- You can also consider cooking with coconut oil as a healthier alternative to soy, vegetable and artificial oils.
Sounds like a good deal right? Here’s how you can get your hands on some of your new Secret Weapon:
- Visit your local Organic Store or Whole Foods
- Ask staff Where to locate their selection of Coconut Oils
- Select one that is unprocessed, raw and 100% Extra virgin- they should be labelled appropriately
- Load Amazon.com in a New Window or Tab
- Enter “Coconut Oil” into the Search Bar
- Select a highly reviewed option (4 or 5 stars) for Raw, Unprocessed, 100% virgin Coconut Oil
NOTE- You’ll typically find a good choice within the first 5 options, Click on this link to see an exemple, but read a couple reviews on each option, just to be safe and get an idea of what to expect.
That’s It! By including all, or a few of these 10 tips into your lifestyle, you’ll be sure to Maintain Good health, Youth and Happiness as you enter your Golden Years.
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