Aging is inevitable. We all get older but adding an extra candle to the cake doesn’t have to mean feeling older. Taking good care of your body and mind can help to slow the aging process and reduce the risk of ailments and illnesses that are more common in later life. Whether you’re in your 20s or 30s or you’re approaching your 50s or 60s, it’s important to be aware of the benefits of looking after yourself and prioritizing health and well-being. In this guide, we’ll share some top tips for healthy aging for men.
Embracing an active lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to nourish and protect mental and physical health. Regular exercise helps to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer and it’s also critical for healthy bones and joints. Being active also reduces the risk of depression and anxiety and it can enhance sleep quality and help you to maintain a healthy, stable body weight.
There are many ways to increase activity levels if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Using an activity tracker is a great way to monitor daily exercise and set targets. If you’re starting at 3,000 steps per day, try to increase the step count to 5,000 and then 10,000 or work towards more active minutes every day. Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Many of us automatically think about going to the gym when exercise crops up in conversation. If you don’t fancy joining a gym, there are myriad ways to get fit, including playing team sports, playing golf, tennis or squash, going swimming or cycling, enjoying outdoor pursuits or taking up exercise classes, such as spinning, HIIT, dancing, yoga or circuit training. It’s often more fun to vary activities and get friends, colleagues, partners or family members involved.
Good quality sleep
Studies show that around a third of US adults don’t get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can cause short and long-term effects, including compromised immunity, low energy levels, irritability and restlessness, changes in mood and behavior and a lack of focus. If you often feel tired during the day, or you only sleep for a few hours most nights, now is the time to be proactive in enhancing sleep quality. When you sleep, your body goes through vital restorative processes and repairs. If you get enough sleep every night, this will contribute to healthy aging.
There are several reasons why people struggle to sleep. In most cases, self-help techniques can be incredibly effective. One of the easiest ways to boost sleep quality is to establish a routine. If you stay up until the early hours one night and crash out on the sofa at 10 pm the next, your internal body clock will be out of kilter. Set yourself a bedtime and a morning alarm and stick to these times every day. This will enable your body clock to adjust. Adults need around 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Allow yourself time to get the rest you need and relax before you go to bed. Turn devices off, unwind and avoid caffeine and any activities that simulate or stress you out. Create a soothing, serene sleeping environment, which is quiet, dark and comfortable.
Regular exercise is hugely beneficial for sleep. It physically tires the body out and it can also help you to reduce stress and anxiety and manage emotions. It’s best to exercise in the morning or afternoons, as exercise is a stimulant. If you’re exercising in the evening, choose a relaxing activity, such as swimming or Pilates.
If you’re struggling to sleep and you’ve tried changing your routine, exercising, adjusting your sleeping environment and relaxing during the evenings, speak to your doctor.
Human beings are sociable creatures. Most of us thrive on building friendships and relationships and we suffer if we don’t have social contact or interaction with other people. We are more connected than ever thanks to technology, but studies show that we are also lonelier than ever. Socializing is crucial for good mental health at any age.
It can be difficult to find the time to hang out with friends or call relatives if you have a hectic schedule and you’re working full-time or trying to balance work with raising kids, running a home or caring for other people. It’s important to remember that no matter how busy you are, you will benefit from reaching out and checking in. Even if you only have time for a quick coffee or a 10-minute video call, you’ll reap the rewards.
There are ways to be proactive in fostering strong relationships at every stage of life. From making friends at work and staying in touch with school and college friends to making new friends via hobbies, community events and activities, make socializing a priority. Make time for face-to-face meetings, explore ways to make new friends and consider options like active aging communities as you approach your 50s, 60s or 70s. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can nourish your mental health, have fun and broaden your horizons by investing time in friendships and meeting new people. Being sociable reduces the risk of isolation and loneliness and it can put a spring in your step. Focus on spending time with people who make you feel great. Don’t waste time on relationships that make you anxious, uneasy or upset.
Good nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining health and well-being. It’s never too early to invest in your future by adopting a healthy, balanced diet. Try to focus on nutritional value rather than weight loss when changing your diet. Look for foods that contain nutrients, vitamins and minerals and include a wide range of ingredients in your diet. Add fruit and vegetables and plenty of whole grains, stay hydrated and moderate your intake of saturated fats and sugars. Don’t restrict yourself too much. It’s always good to enjoy the occasional treat.
Aging is inevitable, but biologically, we age at different speeds. Taking good care of your body and mind can help to roll back the years and increase the chances of reaching a ripe old age feeling fit, healthy and happy. Exercise regularly, make sure you get enough sleep, invest time in socializing and building relationships and prioritize nutrition.