Healthy Aging & Healthy Habits
By Michelle Harris
Did you know that September is healthy aging month? No matter how old you are, it’s never too late or too soon to develop life-long healthy habits! Being healthy on the inside shows on the outside. This is why it’s so important to develop everyday healthy habits. It’s all about how we take care of ourselves at every age.
1. Keep it moving
Staying active, fit and healthy is one of the keys to feeling great! Regular physical activity reduces our risk of heart disease, diabetes, stoke and many cancers. Exercise is a natural anti-depressant and has been shown to work as well as prescription medications. A study in the “Journal of Anxiety and Depression” showed that exercise provided a significant reduction of depression symptoms. It has the added bonus of improving sleep when done at least one hour before you go to bed. Adults should try and get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week. This is as simple as taking a brisk walk or doing a class on an app from home! So get out there, have fun and feel forever young!
2. Fill your diet with fresh fruits and veggies
Part of healthy aging is a healthy diet. Adding fresh produce and more plant based meals to your diet can also help maintain a healthy weight. According to the CDC it can also reduce your risk of cancer and chronic diseases. Fiber rich whole foods like fruits and vegetables help you to feel full without going hungry. Following a plant-based diet has even more benefits. The “Journal of the American Heart Association” showed that following a plant-based diet reduced all causes of mortality by 25 percent! Imagine that!
3. Immune support
Immune support is important at every age, but even more so as we get older. Optimal immune function helps us to keep feeling our best. That is why Sambucol Black Elderberry products are a great addition to a healthy diet. The Haschberg Black Elderberries used in Sambucol are packed with antioxidants that help support a healthy immune system. Including immune enhancing foods such as kale, green tea, and garlic to your diet provides even more immune supporting benefits!
4. Fight stress
Stress affects us all and can take it’s toll on our health. In order to promote lifelong healthy aging, we must reduce stress! No worries! There is a tension buster for every lifestyle. From meditation apps, relaxing music, yoga and aromatherapy to tai chi, biofeedback and calming teas, there is always a way to go from stressed to your best. The key is to find what works for you. Your results will be optimal when you include a friend. Just by telling someone your intention, it will motivate you to begin your journey. Leave yourself a note so you don’t forget or keep a journal. The first step is the hardest, but once you get on the road, your mind and body will thank you!
5. Happy = Healthy
If you speak to people who are over 100, you will find that many of them consider positivity a part of how they got there. It will also contribute to your mental health for your entire life. The ability to be happy is in all of us. There are numerous scientific studies that show that creating enjoyable experiences and giving back to others provides much greater happiness then focusing on material possessions. Even the memory of these experiences will promote overall well-being.
There is a practice called WOOP, which is a great way to work on your life goals. It stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan and it was created by Gabriele Oettingen. It’s a way to make positive thinking work for us. It’s pretty simple, you state your intention, visualize the outcome you would like, see the obstacles you face and create a plan to reach your intended goal. From starting an exercise program to changing careers, this formula can help you make a plan to live a happier and healthier life!
Healthy aging means not only living longer, but living better throughout our lives! Applying these tips can help you get the most out of life!
Michelle Harris is the host of Alive & Well with Michelle Harris, a national TV series promoting the wellness lifestyle. Michelle is one of the media’s leading lifestyle experts and is a frequent guest on TV shows, radio shows, magazine interviews, red carpets and live events. Michelle is also the co-founder of Animal Angels, a non-profit advocacy group where celebrities promote pet health and adoptions.
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