January can be a challenging month, both physically and mentally. However, it is also a time to start a fresh and begin making those changes you’ve been promising yourself. By adding simple adjustments to your current lifestyle, you could drastically improve your standard of well-being with a healthy mind and body.
Instead of worrying about the aging process, it’s time to approach it in a new light. You are only as old as you feel but if growing older is something you are concerned about, there are a few steps you can take to control its effects.
One approach is mindfulness. This theory has become a soaring trend over the past few years and the idea is that we become more aware of our body and thoughts and apply it to every aspect of our life – it’s a lot easier than you may think.
Mindful eating evolves around the idea of controlling what you put into your body. Your body is your sanctuary and viewing food as a source of fuel is an outlook we should all adopt.
Instead of watching your calories, work on increasing your awareness of the nutrients you are putting into your body by listening to what it wants and needs. Don’t become over obsessed with label reading, just remain aware of what you are buying and eating to help develop understanding of what goodness you are putting in. After all, giving your body the energy it requires is essential in maintaining your well-being. Chances are you will also discover a new appreciation for food!
Pull your weight
All forms of exercise are beneficial to your overall well-being. However, many people focus on the results of cardiovascular exercise without acknowledging the benefits of strength and resistance training. A study by the US National Library of Medicine revealed that strength training can even reverse aging in your muscle cells. Now that must be enough to encourage you to invest in some dumbbells.
Keep your mind healthy and alert
Exercising your brain is equally as important as your body. Think of it as a muscle that needs working out. As we go through life, we gradually stop learning new skills as most of our active learning takes place in childhood and early adulthood.
So how do we exercise our brain when we get to a certain age?
- Take the time to learn new skills
- Read challenging material and get a firm understanding of the topic
- Play challenging, strategic games
- Stay socially active and strive to meet new people.
Targeting the brain in these ways will actually create new pathways and prevent it weakening as you grow old. Keeping the brain active is often underestimated but, as research shows, it can go a long way in helping us stay alert, happy and healthy for longer.
Think positively about aging
Thinking positively about the process of life has proven scientific benefits. There’s a big difference between getting older and feeling, or looking, older.
The Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging And Retirement discovered those who were ‘pro-ageing’ – continuing to feel valued and happy – lived seven and a half years longer than their less upbeat friends. Looking forward to later life essentially means you will enjoy it more!
Don’t fear the doctor
Visiting your GP may awaken the fear of the unknown or it simply can be viewed as a chore. However, regular check-ups and peace of mind when you have a health concern is vital in maintaining good physical and mental health.
Doctors are easily able to recognise the quality of your health and provide effective advice on how to make simple improvements and prevent complications down the line. For example, it may be recommended that you take more calcium and vitamin D if you are at risk of Osteoporosis, a condition that weakens your bones.