Lifestyle Habits Key to Healthy Aging

By Tricia Borchers, PA

Cucamonga Valley Medical Group


Choose Wisely In These Four Areas

September is Healthy Aging Month, and as we ponder our remaining healthy as we age, we often wonder: “Is it all really our genetics? Is what I am doing helping me? What is the magic Elixir?”

Well, there truly isn’t one magic remedy. Though our genetic make up does play a role, we know that lifestyle habits have the most important effect on our health.
There are four basic ideas when discussing lifestyle habits. These are: Exercise, Diet, Sleep and Stress.

Exercise and diet are the ones we most often hear about.


Consistency, Balance At Meal Time

Most of the research notes that the best diet is the one that you can do forever. Fad and yo-yo diets do not keep us healthy.

A daily balanced diet that is low fat, low carbohydrates and high in lean proteins is the best.

Avoidance of sweetened drinks and basically a rainbow of color on your plate is necessary. Regular eating intervals with three small meals and two to three snacks a day also are beneficial.


Keep Moving Toward Cardio Health

Exercise should consist of getting at least 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise during five or six days a week.

Walking, swimming, jogging and biking are examples of such activities.

This is in addition to what you might do at your work place.

Some strength and resistance training three days a week may help the cause.


Make Sure To Catch Some Z’s

Sleep is very important to give our body a chance to recharge. It is recommended to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a day.

Making sure we slow down and give ourselves a place free of distractions to rest and fall asleep without the TV or our phones is key to developing the proper sleep routine.

This enables us to prepare for bed and fall asleep easier and sleep better.


Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Stress reduction might not be the lifestyle habit mentioned most often, but it is no less important. Unmanaged stress leads to anxiety, depression, lack of proper eating, a decrease in immune system and illness that might cause cellular changes and affect the ability to age healthy.

There are many stress-management options out there. Meditation, prayer, guided imagery and mindful thinking are only a few.

While utilizing these techniques, you might teach yourself. You also might consult with a licensed psychologist to help you master the technique.

Practice these stress-reducing exercises 10 to 15 minutes a day to prevent unnecessary physical reactions our body must contend with when we endure daily stress.


You’re In Control

The positive news is you have control in knowing that lifestyle habits are the most important factors in determining good health.

So, make a plan. Use an App. Write it on a calendar. Get your family involved.

Whatever works for you. Start today and age healthy.