What do you think of when you hear the word “ageing”? For most people, it would be the physical signs of aging such as wrinkles and the greying of hair.
More than our outward appearance, ageing can also mean being more susceptible to illnesses and diseases. How do you prevent that? Leading a healthy lifestyle is a major factor to ageing gracefully. It has been shown that people who lead a healthy lifestyle can prevent heart disease, vascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol.
A combination of healthy eating and exercising can especially help to prevent the above lifestyle diseases. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables ensures you receive enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Dietary fibre, which can be found in fruits and vegetables, can also help with weight management. Maintaining a healthy body weight is very important as obesity is a major factor of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol.
Physical activity can prevent heart disease and is better for overall heart health. It is recommended that you exercise 3-5 times/week for 30minutes each. If you are new to exercising, you could decrease the intensity of the workout, making it easier for yourself. One example is instead of jogging, you could brisk walk/walk for 30 minutes. Another way is to decrease the time. If you think that jogging for 30 minutes is too strenuous on your body, you can always jog for 10 minutes instead. However, always be sure to ask for your doctor’s advice before beginning anything. Some benefits of exercise include: weight maintenance/loss, optimising your heart and lungs, maintaining your bone and muscle health, reducing the risk of falls, and even improving your mood.
Besides consuming a healthy diet and doing regular physical activity, other lifestyle modifications to take note includes:
- Alcohol intake — limit yourself to 1 glass of red wine per day.
- Smoking — if you smoke, aim to smoke lesser or stop completely.
- Use sunscreen! — sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UVA & UVB). If you often head out without using sunscreen, it can cause premature aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, and even age spots. UVA rays can also pass through glass, hence even if you are indoors, it doesn’t guarantee you safe from the UV rays. Whether it is hot and sunny, or cloudy, the UV rays are still present.
- Dental hygiene — brushing and flossing regularly is a must, and should be done at least twice a day. You should also visit your dentist once a year for a yearly checkup.
- Medical check-ups — it is important for you to go for your medical check-ups to know more about the condition of your health and how you can better improve it.
- Engaging in social activities — aging is more than your outward appearance. Aging also concerns your mental and emotional well-being. Going out with your friends, or even doing your morning exercise with a group of people is necessary.