7 Science-Backed Ways to Stay Healthy As You Age

These simple habits can have a major payoff.

Once upon a time, staying healthy meant eating some veggies and, well, pretty much nothing else. But with each passing decade, the risk for injuries and chronic illnesses increase, and wellness starts to take a little more work.

The good news? There are plenty of things you can do to keep feeling like your best and doing the things you enjoy. Here, seven that are worth integrating into your regular routine.

Fit older woman

1 Keep moving

Being active doesn’t just help prevent chronic diseases. As we age, it can also lower the chance for serious injury.

“Strength, balance, and flexibility exercises are key to preventing falls, which are one of the greatest threats to our healthy longevity,” says Scott Kaiser, MD, a family physician and geriatrician at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

Regular exercise could also boost your brainpower. When sedentary adults performed three 45-minute exercise sessions per week for six months, they had improved executive function (the ability to focus and make plans) equal to someone nine years younger, found one Neurology study. So go ahead and lace up those sneaks.

2 Prioritize protein

Grocery bags starting to feel a little heavier than they used to? Muscle loss is a normal part of aging, but research shows that eating enough protein can help you preserve what you’ve got—and even support your efforts to build more.

How much should you get in a day? Recent findings suggest that adults over 65 need 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of weight to support muscle health. (That’s at least 68 grams of protein per day for a 150-pound person.)

Make sure to add a lean protein source to each meal, like fish, poultry, or beans. And choose wholesome high-protein snacks too. Think: Greek yogurt with fruit, hummus with veggies, or a protein-packed nutritional drink like BOOST. (We’re fans of the strawberry and chocolate flavors. Yum!)

3 Get regular checkups

Don’t just go to the doctor when you’re sick. Regular well visits are a chance to screen for (and catch!) health issues that become more common with age, like high blood pressure and diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Those checkups are a prime opportunity to check that you’re up to date on all of your vaccines—especially ones that offer extra protection for older adults, like the flu shot or shingles vaccine.

4 Reach out

Meet a friend for coffee, check out that photography class, or FaceTime with your grandkids. “Investing in meaningful relationships is one of the most important things we can do to increase our health, quality of life, and wellbeing,” Dr. Kaiser says.

One big reason why? Social wellbeing is tied to lower levels of interleukin-6, an inflammatory factor involved in chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and some cancers.

5 Get enough sleep

If you’re finding it harder with each passing year to snooze soundly, you’re far from alone. Nearly half of older adults say they regularly have trouble falling asleep.

The problem? Sleep-deprived folks are more likely to feel depressed, have trouble remembering information and focusing, feel sleepy during the day, and fall more during the night.

You need the same amount of sleep today as you did when you were younger—between 7 and 8 hours per night, the NIH says. If you’re having trouble hitting that mark, talk with your doctor. She’ll help you figure out whether an underlying sleep problem is behind the tossing and turning and what you can do to get the rest you need.

6 Make time to de-stress

Unchecked tension doesn’t just put you in a lousy mood. It also boosts inflammation in the body, which can speed aging and make you more likely to get sick.

In fact, findings suggest that the majority of diseases are related to chronic stress. Stress hormones like cortisol are also thought to negatively impact memory and contribute to brain shrinkage starting as early as our late 40s, according to a Neurology study.

Finding ways to unwind can make a difference—even if it’s only for a minute or two. “Even if you’re pressed for time, take a moment and take one restorative breath,” Dr. Kaiser says.

7 Lean into today

There are countless reasons why getting older is great. (Senior discounts! Way more wisdom!) So instead of succumbing to tired stereotypes, think about what you love about your current age.

Yale University research shows that older adults who see aging as a good thing live almost eight years longer and have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who view aging negatively. “Having a positive view of aging is associated with both living longer and living better,” Dr. Kaiser says.

It turns out, the fountain of youth was inside your head all along.

By Marygrace Taylor in Prevention Magazine

https://www.prevention.com/health/g26115957/healthy-aging/

The #1 Drink the World’s Oldest Woman Has Every Day

Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to your favorite things.

The Guinness World Record is being held by a 118-year-old French nun named Sister André.

So of course, it’s only natural to want to know all about André’s life in case it holds any shocking secrets to longevity, especially because Andre even survived getting COVID-19 in 2021!

Getty Images

However, it seems as though her secrets to a long life lie in the simple things: helping others and enjoying her favorite foods and drinks every day.

Sister André was born as Lucile Randon in 1904, and grew up in the southern region of France. Most of Randon’s life has been dedicated to helping others, especially through her service as a Catholic nun. But according to CNN, before Randon became a nun, she had spent almost 30 years working in a hospital helping orphans and the elderly, which is something that she started during World War II.

And this desire to help others, which became Sister André’s mission in life, has given her a lasting purpose throughout her entire life. She gave a recent interview to reporters from her hospice home in Toulan, where she told them that working hard to help others is one of her secrets to longevity.

“People say that work kills, for me work kept me alive, I kept working until I was 108,” said Sister André. “People should help each other and love each other instead of hating. If we shared all that, things would be a lot better.”

This comes as no surprise if you know anything about the world’s Blue Zones, which are the five regions of the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians. Among the shared list of habits that many people in these regions practice, having a life’s purpose and dedicating yourself to your community ranks high in importance for them.

While serving others is important to Sister André, she also knows a thing or two about indulgence. In fact, one nursing home resident told CNN that André loves eating chocolate and drinking wine and that she treats herself to one glass of wine every single day!

We can definitely learn a lot from Sister André, especially when it comes to a healthy balance. Life doesn’t have to be all about serving or all about indulgence; we can have both. And it seems like this may be a secret to living a longer, more fulfilling life.

By Samantha Boesch for eat this, not that©

Source: The #1 Drink the World’s Oldest Woman Has Every Day — Eat This Not That

Natural Remedies for Spring Headaches That Relieve Throbbing and Pain

An uptick in temperature and a calendar packed with exciting activities can only mean one thing — spring is here! Unfortunately, so many of us worry that sudden head pain might ruin our spring fun. The good news: A few simple tricks tamp down a burgeoning headache ’round the clock. These natural remedies for headaches may help relieve throbbing and aches in no time.

Freepik

First-Thing Pain? Nosh on melon.

Even tiny jumps in temperature trigger perspiration as we sleep, which puts many of us at risk of waking up with headaches caused by low-grade dehydration. The fix: Enjoy cantaloupe, watermelon, or honeydew with your breakfast.

In many cases, rehydration is more effective than drugs at sending discomfort from a mild headache packing. But why melons?

Their “gel water” is up to twice as hydrating as regular H2O, according to Dana Cohen, MD. Best of all, rehydration begins working in as little as five minutes, compared to 30 minutes for NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen).

Midday pain? Ask three questions.

If your head is throbbing during a stressful day, try this natural remedy for headaches. Close your eyes and ask yourself three questions: Where is my headache? What color is it? What shape is it?

In under two minutes, the pain should disappear. Researchers explain that the simple act of asking these questions triggers a mind-body connection that alerts your brain to involuntary tensions in your body (a similar method to pricey, in-office biofeedback). This helps you unconsciously relax muscles in your head and neck responsible for pain.

Nighttime pain? Rub a basil leaf.

When throbbing threatens to make sleep impossible, rub your fingers over a basil leaf and sniff for three minutes. Research in Complementary Medicine Research suggests that the aroma eases head pain just as acetaminophen would. To get even more relief, try sniffing basil essential oil (Buy from iHerb, $8.10) or add a few drops to your oil diffuser.

By K.E. Kluznik for woman’s world©

Source: Natural Remedies for Spring Headaches That Relieve Throbbing and Pain, Research Shows (msn.com)

New Study Reveals Exactly How Much Sleep Those Middle Aged and Up Should Be Getting

New research claims to have found the ideal amount of sleep for middle-aged adults and senior citizens.

© Weiquan Lin – Getty Images

We’ve been told time and time again that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but new research points to the exact amount of quality Z’s that may support our cognitive abilities, ward off early signs of dementia, and even protect our mental health.

The new study published in the journal Nature Aging found that around seven hours of sleep is ideal for middle and older-aged adults.

The research found anything more or less than seven hours was associated with a reduced ability to remember, learn new things, focus, solve problems, and make decisions. Additionally, more or less sleep was linked to experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression and worse overall well-being.

Article by Arielle Weg for prevention©

Source: New Study Reveals Exactly How Much Sleep Those Middle Aged and Up Should Be Getting (msn.com)

Ways to Reduce Blood Sugar “Almost Instantly”

High blood sugar—also known as hyperglycemia—is linked to diabetes and prediabetes, and can lead to serious issues if left untreated. “The way I explain prediabetes to my patients is that your body is struggling to keep your blood glucose levels in a healthy range,” says nutritionist Lauren Antonucci, RD. “You shouldn’t panic, but you should start making real changes in your diet and lifestyle to prevent your blood sugar from rising and turning into type 2.” Here are five ways to lower your blood sugar, fast.

©© Provided by Eat This, Not That!

1. Curb the Carbs

Being mindful of carbs can lower your blood sugar, doctors say. “Generally, carbohydrates should make up about 50% of the daily calories (with the accepted range 40% to 60%). In general, lower carbohydrate intake is associated with lower sugar levels in the blood,” says James Norman, MD, FACS, FACE. “However, the benefits of this can be canceled out by the problems associated with a higher fat diet taken in to compensate for the lower amount of carbohydrates. This problem can be improved by substituting monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats. It is quite important for diabetics to understand the principles of carbohydrate counting and how to help control blood sugar levels through proper diet.”

2. Work Up a Sweat

Want to lower your blood sugar? Get moving, and make it part of your lifestyle. “If you stay fit and active throughout your life, you’ll be able to better control your diabetes and keep your blood glucose level in the correct range,” says Lisa M. Leontis RN, ANP-C. “Controlling your blood glucose level is essential to preventing long-term complications, such as nerve pain and kidney disease. When most people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they are overweight, so the idea of exercising is particularly daunting. For your health, you have to get started on a good, reasonable exercise plan, but first… You should talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess your heart health, which is particularly important if you already have blocked arteries or high blood pressure.”

3. Go To Sleep!

Want to keep blood sugar down? Go to bed on time, experts say. “We have substantial evidence now to tell us that sleep deprivation has harmful effects on metabolism, particularly the glucose metabolism,” says Esra Tasali, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. 

4. Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is key to lowering blood sugar. “When your blood sugar levels are running high, your body will try to flush excess sugar out of your blood through the urine,” advises Diabetes UK. “As a result, your body will need more fluids to rehydrate itself. Drinking water can help the body with flushing out some of the glucose in the blood. Just a word of caution to be sensible with drinking water; water intoxication (which can result in death) is possible if a number of liters of water are drunk in a short space of time. This is rare and quite difficult to manage but it pays to be aware of this.”

5. Lose Weight—Especially Around the Belly

Losing weight is one of the most effective ways of bringing blood sugar under control. “Since nearly 9 in 10 people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity, it is likely that your doctor will discuss the benefits—and they are significant—to achieving weight loss,” says Leontis. “There is some urgency to this recommendation since added adipose tissue increases your insulin resistance (which occurs when your body can’t properly use the hormone insulin to metabolize sugar), and leads to further weight gain. It’s more important that you focus on reducing the weight around your middle (waist circumference) since the evidence points to central adiposity as the greatest risk for heart disease and other adverse side effects of diabetes.”

Article by Ferozan Mast for ETNT Health©

Source: Ways to Reduce Blood Sugar “Almost Instantly” (msn.com)

22 Ways To Clean Indoor Air Naturally

According to the The American Lung Association the indoor air quality of one’s home could be 2-­5 times worse than the air outdoors, thanks to a study done by the EPA!  That is pretty scary considering some reports say we spend 90% of our time indoors. So, there are a few strategies that the EPA recommends for reducing indoor air pollution, controlling sources of pollution, ventilating adequately and cleaning indoor air.

By Khrystyana Kirton

  • Proper Filters:   Did you know that the air filter in your heating and cooling system can help create healthier indoor air by capturing airborne allergens such as pollen, mold spores, dust mite debris, smoke, pet dander, and smog from the air passing through the filter?  Sort of like vacuuming your air!  (and you don’t have to put much effort into the work it is doing!  Bonus!)
  • New filters: Change out your air filters regularly, the filter mentioned above lasts up to 3 months, but if you are a big remodeler like me consider changing it out a little more often during times of construction!
  • Other filters: Don’t forget your other filters!   There are filters and screens around your home, for example: air purifiers, dryer lint screens, vacuum cleaners, range hood screens, and bathroom exhaust fan grilles, for starters.  Be sure to keep them clean or replace them as needed.
  • Please Remove Your Shoes.  Believe it or not your shoes are covered with a fine layer of chemicals, dirt, bacteria, and mold.  These contaminates will settle onto your flooring, carpeting, and rugs.   Then as you walk around you can stir up these particles, causing you and your family to breathe them in.
  • Fresh air.  Opening a window isn’t always the best choice.  Be sure to check the air quality and pollen levels outside before opening the windows.
  • Cooking:  When you are using your stove top, be sure to turn on your outdoor venting fan to help moist, smoky, or chemical laden air to leave the house.
  • Dry Cleaning:  Try to get your dry cleaning done with a few days to spare for them to air out at the dry cleaners!  That way you can pick them up after they have dried completely and have let off most chemicals.  There are also less toxic dry cleaning options, so be sure to do your research.
  • Attached Garage:  Be sure to open the garage door fully before starting a car.  When pulling back into the garage be sure to leave the door open for a few minutes after turning the car off to allow fumes to escape. Otherwise, over time the carbon monoxide can enter the home.
  • Fireplaces: Be sure the fireplace flue is inspected by a pro to be sure that it is working properly and keep those particles out of indoor air.
  • Bathroom Fans: When showering or using hot water in a bathroom, be sure to use bathroom fans to vent out all the steam and extra moisture in the bathroom air that can cause mold and mildew growth.
  • No Air Fresheners!  Homeowners often turn to products to help mask odors in the home but often times do not realize that they may also contribute to poor indoor air quality.  According to the EPA air fresheners actually release VOC’s into the air. Scented candles and incense may contain particulates, soot and chemicals. For a safer air freshener, dip cotton balls in a sweet smelling extract or essential oil and stash them around the house.
  • Vacuum Often.  Ideally, we should be vacuuming twice a week.  It’s a great way to get rid of excess dust, dust mites, lead, mold, and pet dander.  Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA type filter, so while cleaning it’s not spitting the dust back into the air.  Consider changing bags and or cleaning filters outside.
  • Beware of Cleaners.  Household cleaners, even “green” cleaners often contain cancer-causing chemicals.  The best bet is to use truly non-toxic cleaners like baking soda, salt, lemon juice, essential oils, and vinegar.
  • Say NO to Dusting!  Dry dusting, that is.  Don’t just dust or mop with dry cloths, instead use a damp cloth.  This avoids spreading and lifting dust into the air.
  • Launder! Don’t forget to launder window coverings regularly.  When it comes to draperies, dust can settle often.  Either launder them according to the manufacturer directions, or vacuum them with the proper attachment.
  • Clean Sheets! Wash bedding bi-monthly, if not weekly. (130 degrees F to kill dust mites)
  • Mattresses: Vacuum mattresses, couches, and chairs quarterly.
  • VOC Free Paints- More and more paint lines have options for VOC low or free paints. (volatile organic compounds = bad) Wherever possible opt for these types of paint, the fewer fumy chemicals in the home, the better. Especially as off-gassing can continue for a long time.
  • Control Dust Mites:  Whenever possible, opt for hard surface flooring.  Be sure to vacuum and or launder throw rugs often!
  • Pet Dander: This is a tough one, but try to prevent animal dander from accumulating. Most doctors suggest that people allergic to animal dander not keep household pets with feathers or fur. Ban them from any bedrooms and be sure to keep the doors closed.
  • Lethal Fumes: Beware of lethal fumes and be sure to have adequate alarms for these types of gases: carbon monoxide, radon, and second-hand smoke.  Make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector and have a radon test performed in the home, and please do not smoke indoors nor allow friends to.
  • Plants: There are several great plants that can help your air to be cleaned of toxins.  One caveat to adding plants is that you have to be sure to control the water and not create a mold or mildew problem!  Also if you have children or pets, be sure to know what plants are poisonous before bringing them into your home.   Great air filtering plants include:
  • Orchids: may seem like a hard to plant to care for, but they actually thrive on neglect.  Don’t kill them with kindness (too much water and sunlight).  They filter: xylene , a pollutant found in many glues and paints.  Orchids respire and give off oxygen at night – so they’re great for the bedroom!  And they just look so good in decor which is win/win!
  • Palms:  hardy, exotic-looking, and easy to grow, palms filter formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide
  • Philodendrons need very little attention. They filter xylene, a toxin found in glues and leathers.
  • Aloe Vera – Aloe is mostly know for medical uses like relieving burns, but it’s also easy to keep alive, and sculptural-looking. Also, aloe filters formaldehyde!

Source: 22 Ways To Clean Indoor Air Naturally – PositiveMed

Surprising Effects of Taking Fish Oil Supplements Every Day

Note: This article is all about various supplements and the side effects no one tells you about. I bring this to your attention because I take a large amount of fish oil for my high triglyceride level. Here is what I just learned about it.

©© Provided by Eat This, Not That!

 Fish Oil

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids—as in fish oil supplements—may increase the potential risk for atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder) in people with high blood lipids and is linked to a five times greater likelihood of having a stroke. “Our study suggests that fish oil supplements are associated with a significantly greater risk of atrial fibrillation in patients at elevated cardiovascular risk,” says Dr. Salvatore Carbone of Virginia Commonwealth University, US. “Although one clinical trial indicated beneficial cardiovascular effects of supplementation, the risk for atrial fibrillation should be considered when such agents are prescribed or purchased over the counter, especially in individuals susceptible to developing the heart rhythm disorder.”

Last year, I was diagnosed with a heart murmur. I don’t have a history of any heart problems! I think I need to speak to my doctor, ASAP!

Source: Eat This, Not That©

Source: Surprising Effects of Taking Supplements Every Day, Says Physician (msn.com)

5 Drinking Habits for Visceral Fat That Really Work

Visceral fat can be sneaky—it’s the belly fat that wraps around your abdomen in the spaces between your organs. Due to its location, you can’t always feel it or see it. Too much of this fat can lead to serious health problems such as an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea.

This type of fat accumulates when you consume too many calories and have too little physical activity, resulting from a poor diet and minimal exercise. It can also form due to genetics, which is why it’s important to maintain healthy eating habits and follow a workout routine. Healthy drinking habits also play an essential role in losing visceral fat.

Don’t know where to start? Dietitians on our medical expert board have provided advice on drinking habits to help shed visceral fat that are guaranteed to work. 

1. Sip on watermelon juice.

If you’re looking for a naturally sweet drink that is loaded with nutrients, watermelon juice hits the spot.

“Sipping on the juice of the watermelon can be a nice addition to a visceral fat loss diet, especially if a bit of flavor is desired,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT, author of The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility. “Watermelon is over 90% water, making it a hydrating and low-calorie choice that can help support weight loss, and ultimately, visceral fat loss.”

Manaker also states that watermelon is a source of l-citrulline, an amino acid that offers many health benefits. She also references another animal study that links the intake of this amino acid and reduced body fat accumulation.

2. Drink more water.

Your body needs to drink a certain amount of water per day, typically around nine cups of water per day for women and about 12.5 cups for men. Water is not only an essential for your vital organs, it also plays a role in how much you eat during the day.

“It’s important to drink water to stay hydrated,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim . “Many people think they are hungry when they really are thirsty.”

3. Limit sugary beverages.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are any beverages with added sugar or other sweeteners. This includes high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fruit juice concentrates, and more. Examples of sugary drinks are soda, tonic, fruit punch, lemonade, sweetened powdered drinks, and sports and energy drinks.

“Sugary drinks like soda and sweetened iced teas cause blood sugar fluctuations, which are associated with inflammation and have been associated with weight gain, diabetes, and an increase in visceral fat,” says Young.

4. Drink green tea instead of energy drinks for a mid-day boost.

Green tea comes with a hefty amount of benefits such as lowering bad cholesterol levels, helping brain function, and potentially preventing cancer, and giving you a longer life. It’s also a great aid for weight loss due to its nutrients and antioxidants.

“Green tea naturally contains caffeine, which is a known ingredient that supports weight loss,” says Manaker.

According to Young, caffeine can also help keep the metabolism revved up. She also suggests an added bonus is that there has been shown to be a connection between drinking green tea and reduced inflammation levels as well as a decrease in cardiovascular issues.

5. Skip the booze.

According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming excess alcohol of any kind can increase belly fat due to its large amount of calories.

“Alcohol can contribute to consuming empty calories, which can contribute to visceral fat gain,” says Manaker. “Limiting or avoiding alcohol may be one step that can really help you combat your visceral fat.”

By Kayla Garritano for Eat This, Not That©

Source: 5 Drinking Habits for Visceral Fat That Really Work (msn.com)

Most Common Ailments in America

There were about 860.4 million doctor’s office visits in 2018, or about 2.67 visits per person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 83.4% of adults and 94% of children had a visit with a doctor or health care professional in 2020. Many of these visits were likely prompted by the most common ailments in America.

The list includes a host of chronic diseases, mental health problems, various hereditary conditions, infectious diseases, and more. According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease, and 4 in 10 have two or more chronic diseases. 

Source: sturti / E+ via Getty Images

6. Acute bronchitis and URI

Source: kudryavtsev / iStock via Getty Images

5. Skin disorders

4. Trauma-related disorders

3. Heart conditions

2. Mental disorders

According to a report from the Mental Health Million Project by the nonprofit Sapien Labs, 45% of people in the United States who have a clinical-level mental health problem don’t seek professional help. These findings hint that mental health problems may be more widespread than is widely acknowledged.

Source: Egor Kulinich / Getty Images

1. COPD, asthma

Asthma, the No. 1 ailment in the U.S., is not preventable – although a major contributing factor in the development of the condition is air pollution, which is structurally preventable. People who live in urban areas, where the air quality is likely worse, are more likely to have asthma.

In addition to regularly visiting a doctor and adhering to recommended screenings and tests, a healthy diet and lifestyle – including being physically active, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake – can help lower the risk of a wide range of diseases. But many of the most common ailments, including trauma-related ailments (like broken bones), allergic reactions, glaucoma, and auto-immune diseases may not be preventable. 

By Josie Green for 24/7 Tempo©

Source: Most Common Ailments in America | 24/7 Tempo (247tempo.com)

7 Science-Backed Ways to Stay Healthy As You Age

These simple habits can have a major payoff.

Once upon a time, staying healthy meant eating some veggies and, well, pretty much nothing else. But with each passing decade, the risk for injuries and chronic illnesses increase, and wellness starts to take a little more work.

The good news? There are plenty of things you can do to keep feeling like your best and doing the things you enjoy. Here, seven that are worth integrating into your regular routine.

Fit older woman

1 Keep moving

Being active doesn’t just help prevent chronic diseases. As we age, it can also lower the chance for serious injury.

“Strength, balance, and flexibility exercises are key to preventing falls, which are one of the greatest threats to our healthy longevity,” says Scott Kaiser, MD, a family physician and geriatrician at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

Regular exercise could also boost your brainpower. When sedentary adults performed three 45-minute exercise sessions per week for six months, they had improved executive function (the ability to focus and make plans) equal to someone nine years younger, found one Neurology study. So go ahead and lace up those sneaks.

2 Prioritize protein

Grocery bags starting to feel a little heavier than they used to? Muscle loss is a normal part of aging, but research shows that eating enough protein can help you preserve what you’ve got—and even support your efforts to build more.

How much should you get in a day? Recent findings suggest that adults over 65 need 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of weight to support muscle health. (That’s at least 68 grams of protein per day for a 150-pound person.)

Make sure to add a lean protein source to each meal, like fish, poultry, or beans. And choose wholesome high-protein snacks too. Think: Greek yogurt with fruit, hummus with veggies, or a protein-packed nutritional drink like BOOST. (We’re fans of the strawberry and chocolate flavors. Yum!)

3 Get regular checkups

Don’t just go to the doctor when you’re sick. Regular well visits are a chance to screen for (and catch!) health issues that become more common with age, like high blood pressure and diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Those checkups are a prime opportunity to check that you’re up to date on all of your vaccines—especially ones that offer extra protection for older adults, like the flu shot or shingles vaccine.

4 Reach out

Meet a friend for coffee, check out that photography class, or FaceTime with your grandkids. “Investing in meaningful relationships is one of the most important things we can do to increase our health, quality of life, and wellbeing,” Dr. Kaiser says.

One big reason why? Social wellbeing is tied to lower levels of interleukin-6, an inflammatory factor involved in chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and some cancers.

5 Get enough sleep

If you’re finding it harder with each passing year to snooze soundly, you’re far from alone. Nearly half of older adults say they regularly have trouble falling asleep.

The problem? Sleep-deprived folks are more likely to feel depressed, have trouble remembering information and focusing, feel sleepy during the day, and fall more during the night.

You need the same amount of sleep today as you did when you were younger—between 7 and 8 hours per night, the NIH says. If you’re having trouble hitting that mark, talk with your doctor. She’ll help you figure out whether an underlying sleep problem is behind the tossing and turning and what you can do to get the rest you need.

6 Make time to de-stress

Unchecked tension doesn’t just put you in a lousy mood. It also boosts inflammation in the body, which can speed aging and make you more likely to get sick.

In fact, findings suggest that the majority of diseases are related to chronic stress. Stress hormones like cortisol are also thought to negatively impact memory and contribute to brain shrinkage starting as early as our late 40s, according to a Neurology study.

Finding ways to unwind can make a difference—even if it’s only for a minute or two. “Even if you’re pressed for time, take a moment and take one restorative breath,” Dr. Kaiser says.

7 Lean into today

There are countless reasons why getting older is great. (Senior discounts! Way more wisdom!) So instead of succumbing to tired stereotypes, think about what you love about your current age.

Yale University research shows that older adults who see aging as a good thing live almost eight years longer and have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who view aging negatively. “Having a positive view of aging is associated with both living longer and living better,” Dr. Kaiser says.

It turns out, the fountain of youth was inside your head all along.

By Marygrace Taylor in Prevention Magazine

https://www.prevention.com/health/g26115957/healthy-aging/