We humans put our bodies through a lot while we’re in our youth. As soon as we learn how to crawl, it seems that we begin to test the limits of our bodies, and this trend continues long into our adult years.
But what we do with our bodies when we’re younger directly affects our quality of life once we reach our golden years.
In fact, in our youth, many of us rarely think about the long term consequences of our actions. And this is why it’s critical to establish good, healthy habits in our youth so that we can enjoy life once we reach our later years.
The last thing anyone wants is to end up in a nursing home in old age. And this is especially true due to the many cases of abuse in nursing homes today.
If you want to age gracefully and live to enjoy your golden years, the following practices can greatly assist you to reach this goal.
Let’s face it, many Americans are couch potatoes. And this might be culturally driven due to the overwhelming amount of media and entertainment that we’re exposed to on a daily basis.
However, despite our increasingly demanding reliance on media and the like, we all have the choice to stay active in our lives, or not.
Staying active allows us to keep in shape. And the benefits of regular movement and regular exercise work wonders for circulation and for the mind. In fact, several studies have shown a link between healthy living in old age and active lifestyles in younger years. Keeping this as a routine will only enhance your ability to enjoy your later years in good health.
You don’t have to run a marathon every week. But keeping a regular fitness routine, or frequently engaging in physical activities is known to make you feel better and to promote good health in old age, and you’ll avoid health issues later in life.
Today, studies have shown several links between cognitive health and active minds. Basically, those who engage in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, puzzle-solving, painting, drawing, or building tend to have much better cognitive health later in life.
The brain might be a vital organ, but it’s also a muscle just like a bicep. The more you stimulate and exercise it, the stronger and more flexible it becomes.
The great thing about increased mental activity is that it also promotes greater mental agility. And focusing your mind on a specific task allows for the building of greater concentration. Besides, activities that stimulate the mind also make you smarter.
Studies have also shown that the most successful people around the world are avid readers, or they perform mentally stimulating activities more often than others. So think about that next time you reach for the remote instead of a book.
You are what you eat. Well, not literally. But this old saying speaks volumes of truth when it comes to dietary health.
Here in the United States, our diets consist largely of junk and of foods with ingredients that are looked upon as subpar by many standards. In fact, the rate of childhood obesity and diabetes has increased exponentially over the past two decades alone, and this is thought to be largely due to the unhealthy food choices that most Americans have adopted.
Everything that you put into your body affects you in some way. And some of the things that you put in your body can cause major health problems later in life as well as excessive alcohol consumption, nicotine, and recreational drug use.
If you want to have a healthy life, you have to eat a healthy diet. And you have to avoid foods and substances that can harm you later in life as well.
As mentioned, keeping an active mind is essential to keeping cognitive health later in life. And meditation offers an added assurance that your mental health will be kept in check as you age.
Scientists have been studying the benefits of meditation ever since this eastern practice found its way to North America. And the results of many studies have proven time and time again that meditation enhances the structure and healthy tissue of the brain.
Those who meditate regularly and often have brains that age slower than others. One famous example is that of Steve Jobs. When he passed away at age 56, scientists found that he had the brain health of a 27-year-old.
Jobs was an active meditator, and his experiences with Zen Buddhism are largely thought to have been responsible for his many innovations and insights over the years.
Our health is extremely important to us while we’re young. And correspondingly, our health becomes even more critical once we reach our later years. Taking steps to enhance your health now can add tremendous benefits later in life. So now is a great time to start, no matter how old you are.
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