Guest Post by Donna Erickson
Thanks to modern medicine, people are living longer than they used to. But that doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want and expect to feel great throughout the entire span of your life. It’s never been more critical to maintain daily habits that have been proven to benefit one’s health and well-being. After all, why not make the most of your time on earth?
If you’re a Baby Boomer tired of feeling older than your age, you can do something about it. Forget about fad diets and other trendy wellness practices that may or may not work and consider these simple tips for feeling younger.
Remove the clutter
Your home should be a peaceful retreat that you can rely on day after day. But when it’s really messy and/or dirty, it can cause more stress than peace. One simple way to turn your living environment into a relaxing, vibrant space is to spend time decluttering and cleaning. Not only will you be more at peace, but you’ll probably notice less arguing, complaining, and criticism among members of your household.
Adjust your attitude and stress
If you constantly tell yourself that you’re past your prime or too old to do certain activities, chances are you won’t try anything new. Not only that, but you’ll be less likely to maintain basic healthy habits like exercise. Remember that your expectations have a lot to do with your reality. So try to stay positive about expanding your horizons and staying young at heart.
While you’re at it, try your best to keep yourself from being too stressed out, regardless of the source. For example, many people who work in managerial positions are often under a serious amount of stress, which is why it’s so important to practice some self-care to keep those levels to a bare minimum. The less stressed you are, the better you’ll feel.
Practice good dental hygiene
Poor oral health can have long-term ramifications including arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory infections. Not only should you brush and floss daily, but you should also schedule cleanings twice a year. And if you’re experiencing any pain, you’ll want to visit your dentist as soon as possible before these issues worsen.
If you have crooked teeth, you may have difficulty flossing and brushing which could lead to gum disease and some of the health issues discussed above. Fortunately, an aligner can help correct this problem. While in-office treatments like braces and Invisalign have typically been used to treat this problem, there are now more affordable options.
Challenge your brain
Once middle age hits, your brain begins to produce fewer and fewer neurons. This makes your brain work less efficiently — meaning, simple tasks gradually require your brain to work harder and harder. This is also why many older people either struggle with or fear the loss of their memory and attention capabilities.
Get ahead of the game by engaging in activities that challenge your mind. Simply put: try new things. Any new hobby or activity that requires you to learn can benefit your cognitive health. Some games and puzzles not only will challenge your brain, but they will also give you an opportunity to unplug from electronics, which comes with its own slew of benefits.
Stay physically active
Along with staying mentally active, it’s important to foster your physical health through exercise. Tons of mental health benefits like better mood and boosted self-esteem come with regular physical activity. But it’s also critical for strengthening your muscle and bones, improving your immune system, and helping you stave off disease. Find a physical activity (e.g., walking, swimming, cycling, etc.) that works for you, and do it at least three days a week.
It probably comes as no surprise that a nutritious diet is one of the most essential elements of a healthy life. Consult your doctor about any nutritional changes your body has gone through and how to address them through diet, vitamins, and/or supplements. When in doubt, avoid fad diets. Instead, opt for whole foods like lean meats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The Bottom Line for Baby Boomers
If you’re ready to feel younger than your age suggests (or at least your age!), start adopting healthy, proven habits. Hire a coach to walk with you through everyday decisions, and take the time to clean your home. Embrace a change of attitude, and keep your mind and body engaged on a regular basis. Finally, maintain a nutritious diet. Incorporating these simple principles in your life will do wonders for helping you feel and live better.