With all due respect to “age is just a number”, life proves that aging is inevitable and by the way, it’s not terrible at all. After all, the numbers that rise from year to year only add to our intelligence, maturity and life rates and if only we could tell ourselves at age 20: Do not enter this flea apartment, it will only make you itch and heartbreak – a situation we would be in today in a completely different place.
Now that that has been said, an opportunity nonetheless to understand how one can enjoy the wisdom of life alongside better adolescence. That is: one that prolongs our lives in healthy years, and not just over time. The scientific term for this is healthspan – That is, the period of life in which we live without serious illnesses, says Stephen Anton, PhD from the University of Florida. “It’s actually a combination of health, happiness and a good quality of life. While there is of course a genetic component to aging, our way of life is also important. Here are some daily habits that make us grow old and better to nurture them.
You sit most of the day
Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for a variety of diseases. It has been said in the past that if you exercise during the day, you have saved yourself from problems, but this is not the case, according to Dr. Anton. “Even if you exercise on a weekly basis, what you do in the remaining 16 hours while awake affects your health.
What to do? Get up once an hour for a few minutes, do a round, stretch and if necessary – set an alarm clock that will remind you to do so. Also, if you do not exercise at all – start doing it. Find what makes you feel good, though even a walking routine is all you need. Walking helps maintain flexibility and is a very important factor for good aging.
You eat too much
According to data from the CDC – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans feed on too much sodium (3,400 mg per day on average, with a recommended limit of 2,300 mg), and about a quarter of it comes from fast food and restaurants. We Israelis also have a tendency to consume a great deal of sodium in our food. Reducing the sodium content of meals is the key to good health, and this is especially true when it comes to preventing chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.
What to do: Prepare food at home and pay attention to what is in it and how much. Also, avoid the obscene habit of adding salt even before you have tasted it.
You do not eat enough vegetables
It is true that often the carbohydrate on the plate flirts with you much more than the dwarf carrot, but avoiding vegetables is a big mistake for your health. “The basis for health is the food we eat,” says Kimberly Gomer, director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity + Spa Center in Miami. She says that as soon as people who come to it add vegetables to the menu, “the first thing that happens is that they look like they were swimming in the fountain of youth.”
What to do: Enrich your menu with vegetables that provide an abundance of dietary fiber that provides a healthy diet for the heart, regulating insulin, vitamins and more. Also, vegetables are satisfying, which leaves you less room for processed foods high in sugar, salt and fat. The so-called Win Win.
You go to bed late and eat late
“Sleep restores the mind and body by allowing cells to repair and regenerate,” says Dr. Anton. “Therefore, proper sleep and eating are very essential for health.”
What to do: The rule of thumb is to get quality sleep of 6-7 hours a night, with the emphasis of course being on quality sleep. However, not everyone has the luxury of choosing the hours they work, but it is important that you control your schedule – make sure you sleep when it is dark and wake up in daylight – this is an important pattern that promotes health, says Dr. Anton. Also, avoid high-calorie foods. High in fat and sugar, or drinking too much alcohol too close to bed. “These behaviors disrupt sleep and impair the body’s ability to go through important processes such as removing waste and toxins from the body for cell regeneration for healthier functioning.”
You drink too much alcohol
You can blame the corona and we are totally with you, but dosages is the whole story. “Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption has significant effects on our aging. Also, excessive consumption can cause inflammation in the liver and damage internal organs and the immune system.
What to do: It is difficult to say unequivocally how much alcohol is allowed to be drunk since every week a new study is published on the subject, although it is clear to all of us when we step over. A glass of wine at an event and on holidays is welcome, but know how to quantify the quantities.