While we can’t stop the hands of time, we can slow its progression, and maintain good health as we age. The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has compiled six tips that can increase longevity and improve overall health along the way.
According to Eat This, Not That!, by following this advice, you can become the best possible version of yourself so you enjoy your senior years.
- Eat your broccoli. Pat Riley, the founder and director of Medical Doctors’ Research (MDR), has devoted her career to demystifying the aging process after graduating with honors from the University of Florida with a degree in nutrition and food science. “We all know that a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet are important, but just not easy to do,” she tells Newsmax. “With the stress, pollution, processed foods, and non-stop hectic lifestyles we lead, we can’t always do what we should to stay healthy and fit.” Riley, whose clients include the legendary singer Pat Boone, who is still playing tennis and working well into his 80’s, recommends loading up on fruits and vegetables to boost your body’s immunity, reduce inflammation, and ward off free radical damage that accelerates the aging process. Broccoli is an exceptionally beneficial vegetable, she says, that helps prevent certain cancers. Include fatty fish in your diet at least once a week to ensure you are getting important omega-3 fatty acids to protect the cardiovascular system.
- Keep moving. “Move more, sit less throughout the day,” says the CDC. “Being active can help you prevent, delay, and manage chronic diseases. It can also improve balance and stamina, reduce your risk of falls, and improve brain health.” The agency suggests brisk walking for 30 minutes daily at least twice weekly, according to Eat This, Not That! Dr. Gary Small, a leading psychiatrist and co-author of The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program, says that walking with a friend is a great prescription to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, which is associated with aging. “The aerobic exercise of walking will pump nutrients that feed your brain, the conversation will strengthen your neural circuits and talking about your worries will reduce stress to further boost brain health.”
- Stop smoking. Avoid all tobacco products, says the CDC, if you want to age with grace and good health. If you use tobacco, take the first step toward quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help.
- Get regular checkups. Many Americans skipped their annual screenings, checkups, and exams during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to AARP. Screening for colon, breast and cervical cancers plummeted a whopping 94% last March. Doctors are concerned that putting off screenings could result in patients being diagnosed with hard-to-treat illnesses down the road. An important part of slowing the aging process is to stay on top of medical issues before they spiral downward.
- Alert your doctor to any changes in your cognitive function. The CDC urges everyone to investigate any changes in brain and memory function. “Everyone’s brain changes as they age, but dementia is not a normal part of aging,” says the agency. “See your doctor if you have any questions about memory or brain health.”
- Take your vitamins. TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz says that a good anti-aging regimen includes vitamin D (1,000 units a day), calcium (600 mg twice a day, taken along with 200 mg of magnesium), an omega-3 supplement that contains 600 mg of DHA, and a good multivitamin (take half in the morning and half in the evening).
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