After a certain point in your life, getting older is no longer a sign of maturity, instead, it is a signal of the steady physical decline we all experience. That's not to say you have to succumb to sitting in your recliner and yelling at kids to get off of your lawn. There are a few secrets to getting the most out of your years, and possibly keeping the angel of death off of your doorstep.
Stop Eating Garbage
Hold on, before you roll your eyes, you know you could do better at refining your nutritional habits. Unless you are committed to clean eating and never fall off of the no-sugar-no-flour-no-alcohol wagon, you likely have a little room for improvement. As if your waistline isn't enough reason to stop eating throw-away food, there are a few shocking statistics that might.
- A 2001 World Health Organization report linked dietary fat, the consumption of alcohol, and eating nitrate cured foods to a range of cancers.
- One study linked not only diminished levels of Vitamin D to osteoporosis, but also chronically poor nutrition.
- Body fat tends to double in mid-life.
But there is some good news. Consuming antioxidants can slow mental decline associated with aging, especially Folate, Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin B-12. Plus, eating foods rich in N-3 fatty acids provide an anti-inflammatory benefit for the whole body. So, put down the cheeseburger and pick up a fork cause the salmon with a leafy green salad is calling your name.
As fun as it is to watch other people work out, going outside can improve your mental health by more than 50 percent. One 2011 study even showed that people who spend time outside have less tension, anger, confusion, and depression. So, swap your indoor workout at the gym for a hiking excursion and reap the benefits of getting outside.
Preventative Care is Paramount
It is impossible to understate the importance of preventative health care as you age. However, taking care of your body goes beyond cancer screenings and regular blood work. Health care that complements these tests like chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and other therapies have been shown to reduce the incidence of debilitating falls, injuries to the back and extremities and chronic pain throughout the body. Chiropractic is especially important in preserving nerve function. With the neck, spine and joints properly aligned, the nerves that communicate between the brain and spinal cord and the muscles and organs throughout the body can work unimpeded. Pain, numbness and tingling become a thing of the past as the body relearns what it feels like to work the way it should.
As disappointing as it may be that Ponce de Leon didn't find the fountain of youth, these simple tips can keep you feeling your best well into middle age and beyond. Minding what you eat, getting outside and making preventative medicine a priority may not keep you young forever, but it will help you get the most out of your years.