There was once a time when someone who had reached 40 years of age was considered old and over the hill. Well, times have certainly changed. The lifespan of the average person has been steadily increasing over the last several centuries, and cutting-edge advances in medical science have been pushing the envelope even further.
As a result, more people are reaching the age of 70, 80, and even 90 with increasing frequency. Admittedly, a good number of these individuals are living with chronic health conditions, but this is far from the end of the story.
Surprisingly, an increasing number of mature individuals are living lives full of joy and activity. What are their secrets to success? This article will take a closer look at the subject, and further educate our readers about it along the way. It will also answer certain questions that are relevant to the subject.
These questions include: What is the nature of aging? And, what are some science-based tips that mature people can use to maximize the quality of life in their golden years? Let's answer these questions.
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF AGING?
Aging is a natural part of life, a rite of passage that everyone must go through at some point if they live long enough. But what causes aging? What are some of the processes that drive this transformation?
To understand this process, we first need to take a look at the body's smallest, most basic unit, the cell.
Every one of us is made up of trillions of individual cells, which are then organized into tissues, organs, and bodily systems. Some cells reproduce continuously. Others, including nerve cells, cardiac cells, and muscle cells, do not reproduce as readily.
With both kinds of cells, replace ability is a big deal. When we are young, we are easily able to copy and replace damaged or dead cells. As we age, the rate of cell replacement slows dramatically. As this happens, our bodies become much more susceptible to diseases and infections, as well as becoming less proficient at finding and getting rid of damaged cells that may someday become cancerous tumors.
In addition to this cellular aging, our DNA holds the key to how we age and what diseases we may be prone to as adults. Over time, our DNA can become damaged by things such as free radicals, which are ionized remnants of metabolic processes that over time inhibits the ability of cells to operate normally.
So between the environment, cell deterioration and genetic damage to our DNA, the aging process takes hold and accelerates.
What are some science-based tips that people can use to maximize the quality of life and slow the aging process?
Now that we've discussed some of the causes of aging let's consider some of the solutions to the problem. Let's start with some tips that anyone can use to slow the aging process and maximize their enjoyment of their golden years.
1. Stay active.
When it comes to maintaining health and wellness at any age, living an active lifestyle is near the top of the heap regarding effectiveness. Exercise helps to ensure that individuals can maintain sound cardiovascular and robust health.
Therefore, activities that promote cardiovascular health such as swimming, riding, jogging, or playing a sport should be enthusiastically pursued. But this is not all. Maintaining muscular strength is also important and to this end individuals looking to lengthen their life span would be wise to engage in regular resistance training exercises.
Not to say that everyone needs to be the next Tony Atlas, but one to two days strength training every week will do wonders regarding adding many extra years on to the lifespan of the average person.
2. Eat Well
The phrase 'you are what you eat' is not just a truism, it is true. As most athletes know, eating a balanced and healthy diet can be the difference between victory and defeat.
The same holds true for everyday life. Individuals who make a habit of eating foods high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals will be giving their bodies' what they need to keep everything ship shape and in good order. As we age, we need to be even more aware of what we put in our body.
If individuals can do this consistently and correctly, this alone will add many years of health and enjoyment to their life spans.
3. Maintain Your Brain Power
Life is great, but just to be alive is not enough. A healthy body without a healthy mind is mostly useless, so people who wish to maximize the enjoyment of their later years would do well to make doing this a priority.
Some good ways to do this include reading books, taking dance lessons, learning a new language, going back to college, and learning to play an instrument.
4. Maintain Relationships
Statistics tells us that close to 3o% of adults live alone, and this factor is a strong indicator of loneliness. But things do not have to be this way. Just by maintaining regular communication with family and friends, individuals in their golden years can stave off the effects of aging.
Therefore, individuals in this age group – and indeed all persons – should make cultivating their relationships one of the top priorities in life.
5. Practice Prevention
It may come as a surprise to learn this, but in actuality many illnesses and common geriatric healthcare problems are preventable. To keep simple health situations from becoming more serious, seniors should take simple precautions.
These include getting their yearly flu vaccinations, washing their hands on a regular basis, using assistive devices when necessary, using appropriate footwear, taking their vitamins, and making sure to get regular exercise.
These are by no means the only ways to stay young as we get old. But they are a great place to start, and those who apply these simple tips to mitigate aging will be putting themselves in an excellent position to not only age gracefully, but to enjoy the entire process.