Many things can influence healthy aging. While some factors can’t be controlled, like genetics, there are plenty of ways people can direct their lives for the better. A study by Osaka University found that adjusting lifestyle habits, like cutting back on alcohol and improving sleep, can significantly increase longevity. In healthy 40-year-olds, having better habits can improve longevity by six years, with benefits also positively impacting people up to their 80s. Even with this knowledge in mind, it can be difficult to overcome bad habits as they have been built up over time. Fortunately, it’s still possible to make changes for the better with small, actionable steps. One of the best times to change your health habits is when you’re an older adult, as you are more aware of the importance of health while still physically independent.
To help you break away from bad practices, here are some must-quit habits for healthy aging and tips to beat them:
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable disease, mainly due to the numerous toxic chemicals it releases. By quitting smoking, you can eliminate this harmful exposure and significantly extend your life. To avoid the dreaded withdrawal that comes with quitting, smokers can rely on smoking cessation tools like nicotine pouches and nicotine lozenges to slowly taper themselves off. Nicotine pouches are tucked under the gum, similar to Snus, and the nicotine is slowly released, making them a discreet smoking cessation tool. They are also much more affordable than cigarettes. The On! nicotine pouches listed on Prilla are priced at $3.49 per can for 20 pouches. The median price of a cigarette pack in the US is $7.93. Furthermore, these come in different nicotine levels, 2mg to 8mg, that can match a previous smoker’s nicotine intake and allow them to easily decrease their strength as needed. Another smokeless alternative those looking to quit can use are the nicotine lozenges produced by CVS Health, which can be popped into your mouth every 2-4 hours. Through these smoking cessation tools, smokers can set themselves up for quitting success and a healthier life.
Overeating is a common problem among aging adults. This problem can stem from multiple causes, including emotional stress, boredom, and eating disorders. Without changes to their diet, it can lead to many serious health issues such as poor digestion, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. To improve your eating habits, it’s best to address hunger. Cravings often cause you to overeat, so it’s more sustainable to start replacing unhealthy meals and snacks with healthier options than eliminating food altogether. I recommend trying my KETO Berry Smoothie recipe as a healthy, cool drink option that can replace sugar-laden milkshakes or sodas. You can also prevent overeating through
portion control, like eating meals on smaller plates. Through these practices, you can improve your diet and lead yourself to healthy aging.
Poor stress management
Most older adults hold plenty of responsibilities. While experiencing stress is normal, chronic stress spells a recipe for disaster— increasing your odds of a heart attack or stroke, as well as negatively impacting mental health. Stress can also lead to bad habits, like smoking and eating mentioned above, as they become coping mechanisms for pessimistic attitudes. Rather than let yourself be affected by stressful situations, it’s essential to look for healthier stress management strategies. To reduce stress and anxiety, try practicing mindfulness in your daily life. Meditation is a great way to clear a busy mind, allowing you to rewire your thoughts to better solve problems. You can meditate
for two to three minutes daily before gradually increasing it to 15 to 20 minutes to enable yourself to refocus, manage stress, and age better.
As you grow older and live alone, it may become more difficult to reach out to family members and friends. Unfortunately, many underestimate the impact of this isolation. Two studies reported on ScienceDaily found that without social interactions, older adults have a 27% higher risk for dementia than those who are not socially isolated. To improve cognitive health, older adults can harness communications technology such as their phones or email to reach out to others. Not only can you contact people from far away, but you can also find local groups to gather with in person. Through these simple interventions, you can enjoy meaningful connections while minimizing the negative impacts on your health. Bad habits can exacerbate health problems that come with age. But by recognizing and quitting these harmful ways, you can improve your life for healthy aging.
Thanks for stopping in, I would love to hear what changes you made for yourself to help promote a healthier lifestyle!
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Very good post for me. I don’t do any of these things.. except.. I do have poor stress management. Very. Working on it. I feel good about the other things. And we all know it’s hard to be isolated when you have four kids! Miss your writing! Hi!