Aging gracefully and healthily is becoming a primary concern for many individuals. While the physical effects of aging are inevitable, adopting a holistic approach that combines exercise, diet, and positive mental health practices can prolong one’s “healthspan,” the period one remains active and healthy. Physiotherapist Bhanu Ramaswamy emphasizes the significance of regular exercise, the importance of a balanced diet, and the need for a positive outlook on aging.
- Exercise Importance: Maintaining physical activity helps combat deconditioning, which can lead to various metabolic conditions. Incorporating exercises to test and improve leg strength, flexibility, and balance is essential.
- Dietary Considerations: Valter Longo, a professor of gerontology, underscores that diet plays a pivotal role in healthy aging. Consuming legumes, whole grains, nuts, and reducing red meat intake can increase life expectancy by up to 13 years if started early in life. Time-restricted eating and a focus on consistent healthy habits are also vital.
- Mental Health: It’s crucial to focus on the positives of aging rather than dwelling on the losses. Embracing moments of joy, connecting with larger communities, and finding positive aging role models can counteract societal ageist beliefs and promote a healthier perspective on growing older.