Healthy aging happens only through a healthy lifestyle. Many people are on a quest through life trying to discover the latest lotions, supplement pills, and other methods to thwart off life’s aging process. Make no mistake, we all are going to age, there is no fighting it; however, there is a way to ensure you age well and stay relatively healthy. It’s somewhat simple; you just need to take good care of yourself.
Health Canada defines healthy aging as “a lifelong process of optimizing opportunities for improving and preserving health and physical, social and mental wellness, independence, quality of life and enhancing successful life-course transitions” (Health Canada, 2002). This definition, although lengthy, is vague; however this is something that cannot be adequately defined in one or two sentences.
The importance of a proactive and preventative approach to our health in unequivocal. Being proactive can begin at pretty much any age but the earlier in life you take care of your body, mind and soul, the easier healthy aging will be. Far too many young adults feel they are invincible (and let’s face it even us more mature individuals still feel that way at times). Our food choices, how we choose to dress outdoors, our career choices, and our lifestyle choices all add up in a way that can add or take away years from us.
PREVENTION BY BUILDING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Preventing illness, disease and injury tops the list when we think about how to age healthy. There is continuous debate on vaccinations and yet nowhere in this debate is the immune system mentioned. It is mission critical to do everything in our power to build and maintain a great immune system. Avoiding sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and other additives that have detrimental effects on us is really important. Sugar can suppress the immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease. It can also upset how minerals are absorbed into our system causing deficiencies; and sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium. Sugar can cause tooth decay, periodontal disease and premature aging.
If you think switching to aspartame or any other synthetically-produced sweetener is better, please do your research on these. Many studies show these can be equally as bad or worse for our health.
Avoiding (or limiting) lifestyle choices that can have detrimental effects on your body is essential. These include smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, illegal drug use and abusing pharmaceutical drugs. Abusing pharmaceutical drugs has become a huge problem in society, one that some studies seem to indicate is worse than illegal drugs and alcohol combined.
A great immune system includes lots of vegetables (especially cruciferous choices), drinking lots of water daily, drinking healthy tea choices, limiting coffee, fresh air, maintaining a healthy pH balanced body, and making sure your body gets all the vitamins, minerals, fats, protein, and other nutrients it needs.
Your immune system also benefits when you get adequate sleep. Too many of us are running on empty because we’re not getting proper sleep and there is not a doubt that healthy aging includes sleeping at regular times.
The Internet has some amazing resources out there on how to boost your immune system but it also can be quite overwhelming. Getting help from a professional may be your best choice.
Yes, we have heard this one at least a thousand times; exercising is mission critical to maintaining good health. There is an old saying, “use it or lose it” and this is applicable to our body. If you do not exercise on a regular basis then over time your muscles will become weak and flabby; your heart and lungs will develop some struggles to the point walking up a flight of stairs becomes a challenge; and your joints will become stiff and more susceptible to injury.
Exercising helps us to age healthy. Our bodies are meant to move, and sadly far too many of us are not nearly as active as we should be. Getting regular exercise helps reduce the risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. With increased blood flow comes better looking skin and it slows the aging process.
OPTIMIZING MENTAL HEALTH
Sadly, there are so many individuals who have suffered a horrific event in their life that has caused them severe emotional harm. Keeping your mind healthy is just as important as keeping your body healthy. Our minds are very powerful and they make or break how we handle various situations throughout the day. Anyone who has unresolved issues will struggle in interactions with others and it will interfere with healthy aging. It is really important to resolve pain and move forward. Letting go of the small stuff is just as important too.
Keeping your brain healthy by doing ‘exercises’ is really important to healthy aging. There is not a doubt that reading, doing crossword puzzles, learning something new on a regular basis all helps to maintain memory ability and happiness. Oh sure you can drink all the rosemary or gingko biloba teas you want to help improve memory but, like our muscles and joints, you need to use the brain or you may lose it.
Negativity brings us down; always try to find the positive even in a bad situation. This is not easy but we really need to fill each day with positivity and love. Any negative emotions will drain us and age us. Have healthy relationships with others and get involved in activities that give meaning and excitement to your life. Visit friends, volunteer and surround yourself with people who make you feel happy and you’ll notice a difference in how you look and feel.
Laugh – lots! Laughing releases all those feel good endorphins and makes you look and feel fabulous.
Re-prioritize things in your life so that you can go to sleep at night feeling at peace with yourself. This is easier said than done, but the more at peace with life you are, the healthier you’ll age.
REGULAR CHECK UPS
Eating a very healthy diet is critical to not just your overall health but to the health of your teeth as well. We are very complex and having healthy teeth and eyesight is also critical in order to age healthy. Having regular eye and dental check ups are just as important as a seeing your doctor for a regular examination.
Last but not least by any means, having regular check ups with your chiropractor is something to seriously consider in your plan for healthy aging. Many people never think of a chiropractor until a problem arises yet there are many things that a chiropractor can do to help you prevent unhealthy aging.
To find out how a chiropractic check up can help you on your journey to healthy aging give Chiro-Med Rehab Centre a call.
Established in 2007 by Dr. Behfar Sanjari, Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has been committed to providing quality health care services to the Greater Toronto Area for over half a decade. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has qualified professionals who can help you come up with a personalized plan to ensure the stretches and exercises will benefit the health of your spine. We have clinics located in Richmond Hill and Newmarket, visit Chiro-Med online or call 905-918-0419 or 905-235-2620 for more information.