It’s never too late to take steps to improve your health. Research shows that many of the same strategies to improve physical health can also improve mental health and sharpness as we age. Since September is National Healthy Aging month, we’ve provided four ways you can ensure your mind and body age healthy.
1. Get up and move daily
Exercise has powerful impacts on the body. Exercising regularly lowers your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and even cancer. Exercise is also one of the best ways to help prevent dementia. How much exercise should you be getting? Experts say 30 minutes of exercise every day is good for your body. This might sound like a lot of time, but there are ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Try taking the stairs, walking to work, or playing with your kids outside after school.
2. Cherish your relationships
A Harvard longitudinal study that began almost 80 years ago revealed that the key to happiness in life is having meaningful relationships with other people, family and friends. The study found that close relationships was more important to the quality of life than money or fame. In fact, “several studies found that people’s level of satisfaction with their relationships at age 50 was a better predictor of physical health than their cholesterol levels.” This study proves the importance of staying connected to the ones we love.
3. Keep learning something new
Puzzles, reading, games and learning new skills can all help keep the brain sharp as you age. Try to make it a goal to keep learning as you age. Learning new skills, like a language or an instrument, can help challenge your brain and improve functioning.
4. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
The goal of eating healthy doesn’t always have to be related to weight loss. Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oils, and fish can help your body and mind work better. Those who follow the Mediterranean-style diet often lose weight and live longer. It should go without saying, but if you want to live longer and age better, give up smoking and limit your alcohol intake as well.
Curious how health coverage can help you and your family as you age? Visit our gohealth.com or call 877-871-9850 to speak to a licensed agent.