Tips for Healthy Aging Month
As people are living longer, they should enjoy all the stages of life. Living a healthy lifestyle can add greatly to quality of life.
In honor of Healthy Aging Month, Fellowship Square offers tips for people of all ages who want to live their lives to the fullest at any age, but especially into their senior years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a few tips that can help seniors remain active and independent for as long as possible. Simply put they include:
• Eating and drinking healthfully
• Moving more and sitting less
• Refraining from tobacco use
• Getting regular checkups
• Understanding one’s family history
• Recognizing changes in brain health
The science of living longer is one that Dan Buettner has been studying for decades. The founder of the Blue Zones, he discovered specific regions all around the world in which people lived the longest — and were the happiest to boot. These “longevity hotspots” as he calls them include the Barbagia region of Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. They are similar in that they all have a large number of centenarians that remain active into their 80s and 90s. The kicker — they are not only living longer, but better — they do not suffer from the chronic diseases that are common in most parts of the industrialized world, according to Buettner. He took to studying these specific zones to figure out their commonalities in an effort to “reverse-engineer longevity.” He has dubbed the common denominators that he discovered the “Power 9” and they are as follows:
• Move naturally throughout the day• Have and cultivate a strong sense of purpose
• Downshift every day to relieve stress
• 80% Rule: stop eating when you are 80 percent full
• Plant Slant: Make beans, whole grains, veggies, and fruit the center of your diet
• Wine @ 5: Enjoy wine and alcohol moderately with friends and/or food
• Belong: Be part of a faith-based community or organization
• Loved Ones First: Have close friends and strong family connections
• Right Tribe: Cultivate close friends and strong social networks
Some of these tips overlap with the CDC’s recommendations and it’s interesting to note that a study out of Cambridge University found that lifestyle changes can increase life expectancy by up to 14 years. From the research, people that maintained four basic lifestyle behaviors including abstaining from smoking, avoiding heavy drinking, staying physically active, and eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables each day increased their life expectancy “considerably.”
Living well into their 80s, 90s and even 100s is increasingly possible for seniors. And enjoy a high quality of life during these Golden Years is crucial. With some of these tips, people of all ages can increase their chances of living a long, healthy and happy life!