Can you grow older and still learn how to feel better? The answer is yes, with these nine New Year’s resolution ideas! Keep reading to find out more.
How to Feel Better and Age Gracefully in 2020 with These Tips
1. Walk at Least an Hour Per Week to Improve Joint Pain
You can learn how to feel better while aging by walking. Older people are prone to different kinds of joint pain and conditions like osteoarthritis.
Although exercise preserves healthy joints and muscles, high-impact ones are difficult when you already experience pain. This is where walking becomes essential.
In a study by Northwestern University, it was found that brisk walking for an hour a week can already significantly reduce the risk of disability due to joint disorders.
Brisk walking also makes an excellent weight-loss New Year’s resolution. Taking long strides and accelerating your pace moderately can increase calories burned.
Losing some weight, meanwhile, can do wonders for your joints. It lessens the pressure and the weight that can aggravate the pain.
2. Eat a Plant-Based Diet to Reduce Negative Biomarkers
Getting older can increase the risk of obesity as metabolism slows down and your appetite changes. You have poorer taste, which may encourage you to eat more.
Obesity is a common risk factor for chronic disorders ranging from heart disease to certain types of cancer. You can avoid that by eating well, particularly following a plant-based diet.
A study in the BMJ Journal revealed that a plant-based meal plan such as vegetarianism or veganism can:
- Decrease total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (which others call the bad cholesterol)
- Improve HbA1c and fasting blood sugar, which are all markers for diabetes
- Reduce your weight
- Enhance your mood by lowering the feeling of depression
Following a plant-based diet doesn’t have to break the bank either. Eating well on a budget is possible by learning about the cheapest and healthiest foods available in farmers’ markets and local groceries.
Another cheap way to eat healthy is to grow a food garden. The following can grow fast:
- Beans and peas
3. Get More Social to Beat Depression
Next year, you can learn how to feel better by making it a goal to go out more often and even meet new friends.
Many seniors experience mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. According to the National Institute of Aging (NIA), it is not a normal part of the process.
The possible triggers can include:
- Death of loved ones or divorce
- Feelings of loneliness
- Isolation, perhaps due to location or disability
- Existing health condition and illnesses
- Poor finances
- Lack of transport
Meanwhile, the NIA shared a positive correlation between good health and social interactions. For example:
- These interactions can lower inflammatory markers, which may then reduce joint pain.
- They can also lead to better behaviors. Besides changed eating habits, grandparents interacting with their grandchildren tend to avoid smoking.
4. Lower Your Stress to Maintain Good Digestion
As you grow older, constipation can become the norm rather than the exception. Aging can cause many body parts to slow down, including your peristaltic muscles.
What are the peristaltic muscles? These are the muscles involved in wave-like contractions. They are necessary to move food from the esophagus to the stomach and waste in the colon.
You can worsen that decline when you’re under a lot of stress though. It can affect the way the muscles of your intestines work, so the movement of waste also slows to a crawl.
Older adults also face certain unique stress triggers that include:
- Illness and disability
- Caregiving for family members (e.g., looking after their grandchildren)
- Limited income
- Death of a spouse or other loved ones
- Memory loss
One of the ways on how to feel better and beat stress is to sleep well. It can decrease the body’s flight-or-fight response, especially heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels.
5. Take Care of Dental Health to Help Prevent Dementia
Many studies already show a strong connection between cognitive impairment and aging. The older you get, the higher are your chances of having Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
These diseases don’t have a cure yet, but some types of research point out possible steps to avoid them. One of these is improving your dental health.
One of the reasons to eat healthy or follow healthy nutrition tips is the outcome of a 2019 research by Norwegian scientists. In their study, they found a piece of evidence that the bacteria that can cause gingivitis or inflammation of the gums can also travel to the brain.
The bacteria can then begin to destroy the nerve cells of the brain. Eventually, this will result in memory loss and dementia.
To help take care of your teeth, here are some tips:
- Reduce your intake of sugar, which helps feed oral bacteria.
- Brush your teeth after every meal.
- See your dentist at least twice a year (more if you have persistent dental health issues).
- Avoid smoking.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Floss your teeth daily.
- Fight dry mouth, which helps breed bacteria, by hydrating.
6. Follow the Recommended Cancer Screenings
The National Cancer Care Institute revealed that age is the most important risk factor for many types of cancer. They tend to peak between the ages of 55 and 74.
Changes in the body including senescence can boost the odds, but cancer can occur for other reasons. What’s essential is you can prevent or treat it early by knowing the recommended cancer screening tests:
- Breast cancer screening may begin at 45 years old.
- Colorectal cancer screening may commence at 50 years old, after which you may repeat it every ten years.
- At 45 years old, men should already take a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to determine the risk of prostate cancer.
- Both men and women should visit a dermatologist at least yearly once they reach 35 years old. A visual examination may help detect skin cancer.
7. Stop Smoking to Enhance Breathing
You may also find breathing more tedious or taxing once you become an older adult. One of the most common reasons is a chronic respiratory condition.
A typical trigger for this is smoking. It can increase the likelihood of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), a progressive incurable disorder affecting the lungs.
The average age of COPD patients is from 35-40 years old. Smoking cessation is the most effective method to learn how to feel better, reducing your mortality rate from COPD by 50%, according to a 2015 research.
Avoiding smoking can also help prevent lung cancer, which is common cancer among people 65 years old and above. Lighting a stick is responsible for as many as 80% of lung cancer cases.
Some tips to start quitting smoking are:
- Get help from a therapist or a health expert if it’s already an addiction.
- Swap smoking with healthy activities such as walking, writing, or meditating.
- Avoid your triggers.
- Deal with the nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
8. Manage Your Hormones to Enjoy Your Sex Life
It’s not only stress that can ruin your date night in bed. So do your hormones.
Your hormones are responsible for various functions, including but not limited to:
- Libido or sex drive
- Energy and metabolism
- Reproduction or fertility
- Response to stressors
Hormone imbalance may be the cause or a result of various conditions such as thyroid disorders. These include hypothyroidism, which features a sluggish thyroid hormone production.
9. Monitor Your Nutritional Deficiencies to Know Which Supplements to Take
One more senior nutrition tips is to supplement your diet with the right vitamins and minerals. The question is, which ones should you take?
Nutritional deficiencies are a common health issue, particularly when you’re growing old. Your lifestyle, eating behaviors, and existing illnesses can affect your food intake and nutrient absorption.
Your doctor can recommend several tests to detect if you’re lacking or exceeding certain micronutrients. Some of the essential vitamins and minerals to check are:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Folic acid
- Vitamin K
From this, you will know the best supplements for your age. Teams like LIV Health can also help you develop a personalized health plan, which is adjustable as your health changes over the years.
The year 2020 may be the best year for you to start tweaking your lifestyle and learn how to feel better. Don’t worry if you can’t do all of these at once.
What’s more important is consistency. By doing that, you can eventually reach your goal: a body that ages gracefully.
How do you intend to make 2020 the healthiest year for you? Share your tips in the comments section below!
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