20 Steps To Reduce The Impact of Aging

Growing old can be a wonderful experience or it can seem like a curse if you don’t continue to exercise your body and mind and practice healthy behaviors.

Here’s a list of 20 actionable steps that will help you maintain your independence, health, and mind all the way through retirement. The sooner you start these steps, the more they’ll become a part of your daily routine.

𝟭. 𝗠𝗼𝘃𝗲. That’s it. Stay mobile. Don’t fear steps, hills or obstacles. By all means, use good judgement but keep moving. This is in addition to exercise. Stand at least 2 hours during your work day.

𝟮. 𝗞𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗼𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿. That means lipid levels and inflammatory levels. Significant to point out that adult onset diabetes can be managed largely with diet. While all of us are dying, diabetics are dying faster. I understand the philosophy of not fearing, ‘meeting your maker’, but losing limbs or your sight is no picnic.

𝟯. 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘆 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗻. It doesn’t matter if your doctor says your tests came back, “OK”. Your feet, hips, knees, back, and skin will all age more quickly if your carry a lot of extra weight.

𝟰. 𝗣𝘂𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗶𝘁𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗿𝘂𝗴𝘀. Supplements and prescription drugs should be used as a compliment to a healthy lifestyle, not used as a magic cure.

𝟱. 𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗻𝗲𝗴𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗼𝘃𝗮𝘀𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿 𝗲𝘅𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗲. There are a bunch of cardio exercise options these days. Don’t think because your heart rate went up on the curl machine at Planet Fitness that you were getting aerobic stimulus. You weren’t.

𝟲. 𝗥𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀. You are probably eating too much. SERIOUSLY! Obesity is an American epidemic. Fast and processed convenience foods are full of calories, carbs, sugar, sodium, and trans-fats. Cut back on quantity and increase food quality.

𝟳. 𝗔𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗱 𝘀𝘂𝗻𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘀. Although vitamin D is deficient in most Americans, talk to your doctor about use dietary supplements to boost vitamin D levels. Don’t turn your skin into a cancerous alligator crust.

𝟴. 𝗨𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘀. That means if an exercise is causing you pain, find something else to do. Adequate rest is every bit as important as exercise.

𝟵. 𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝘀𝗺𝗼𝗸𝗲. Don’t brag about grandma living to 80 and smoking her entire adult life. Had she not smoked, she probably would have lived to 90 or 100!

𝟭𝟬. 𝗦𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗢 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁. Sleep restores and protects the brain. It allows your body to rebuild. Protect your sleep more than you protect your 401K.

𝟭𝟭. 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗴𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴. Being vital and strong prevents frailty. Maintaining muscle mass and coordination will prevent falls and allow you to survive a fall with less injury.

𝟭𝟮. 𝗔𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝗷𝘂𝗿𝘆. Moving more will help you get good at moving. You will have a better sense of balance and stability. Also, practice restraint and good sense— floss your teeth, use seatbelts, don’t tailgate, don’t speed, use turn signals, don’t text & drive. Wear protection that is specific to your activity, such as bicycle helmets when biking.

𝟭𝟯. 𝗟𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗹. In fact, limit all high calorie beverages as well. Alcohol and sugary drinks negatively impact many aspects of your health.

𝟭𝟰. 𝗩𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘁. Try to mix in seasonal fruits and vegetables to keep your diet interesting and provide a wide range of nutrients.

𝟭𝟱. 𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗶𝗻. As we age, we lose our taste for protein. Protein is necessary for maintaining lean body mass as well as other functions.

𝟭𝟲. 𝗘𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘃𝗲𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀. You need at least 3 servings per day of vegetables. Don’t fight it, just do it! If you don’t currently love vegetables, force yourself to eat them anyway. You’ll grow to enjoy them.

𝟭𝟳. 𝗘𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆. When you have strong family and friendship bonds, you live longer and are happier. It’s a fact that married couples live longer. Recent studies indicate keeping socially active slows the onset of dementia.

𝟭𝟴. 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀. Learning a new language, learning to play an instrument, learning new physical skills such as dancing, biking, or hiking will help keep you young.

𝟭𝟵. 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗴. Balance is lost with age and you can reverse this. Try standing on one leg when you brush your teeth or periodically while watching TV.

𝟮𝟬. 𝗠𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀. Engage in meditation or other stress management tools. Try the CALM app for guidance on relaxation techniques.

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