As 2021 draws to a close, many of us are reflecting on the various ways our minds and bodies have changed over the course of the past year. No matter your phase of life, aging is something we all experience daily.However, that doesn’t mean we’re powerless in the process.
If you want to start 2022 with your best foot forward, Forbes’ recent entitled “10 Pieces of Expert Advice on Aging Well In 2022” provides us with 10 points of expert advice on aging well:
- Start Some Brain-Healthy Habits. Try to eat colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and fewer processed foods. In addition, get a good night’s sleep, and schedule at least 15 minutes a day for exercise and another 15 for meditation or mindfulness exercises. It is also good to challenge your brain by learning something new, like a language or a new hobby.
- Take Care of Your Hearing Health. Your sense of hearing plays a crucial part in your cognitive and overall health. Research has linked hearing loss to dementia, anxiety, poor balance, increased social isolation and low self-esteem. It’s also crucial to maintaining an active, social and financially productive lifestyle.
- Trade Limits for Rewards. Start to think less about limits and more about what activities are good for your eyes, body and mental health. Get outside and be active—those are things that serve your entire wellness and also help reduce daily eye issues, like dryness and eye fatigue. Rather than emphasizing a negative association like setting limits, reward yourself with an outdoor walk or exercise break where you have no screen in sight every single day.
- Get a New Take on Fitness. Remember that your health and fitness levels are not static. In fact, they’re moving targets that need constant reassessment to match you and bring you to the next level.
- Embrace Telehealth. Digital health technologies can enhance some of the biggest predictors of longevity: a sense of purpose, maintaining social connections and engaging in physical activity. Tools like virtual video visits, remote monitoring to gather health data and e-consults with specialists are helping connect patients with their providers effectively and keep people healthy at home.
- Maintain Mental Stimulation. Strive to keep up the same activities, interests and relationships you enjoyed as a younger person. Keep your sense of humor and stay cognitively stimulated. A variety of learning, processing and problem-solving will keep your brain healthy and working better across all domains. Mental stimulation of all kinds preserves brain cells and can even generate new cells and connections—so keep your brain active every day!
- Don’t Fear Assistive Technologies. Hearing health matters and can keep you involved in conversations with loved ones. Have your hearing checked and, if you need it, seek the care of a hearing health provider for assistive technologies.
- Exercise Your Brain. Hearing loss over time can affect cognition in terms of decreased alertness, slower recall and thought processing speed. It can also modify your behavior, which can mean social withdrawal, isolation and depression. Ears are tools collecting sounds to feed your brain for more activity. Wear your hearing aids as much as possible and listen to the TV, radio, audiobooks, or music. All auditory input is great for improving and maintaining cognition and comprehension.
- Take a Balanced Approach to Health. In addition to avoiding excessive negative behavior, there are positive ways to mitigate the aging process and manage your immune system. These include getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy biome, exercise and sustaining sexual health.
- Invest in Your Body. Your ability to age comfortably depends on how you invest in your body. Staying physically active, eating a well-balanced diet and being mentally alert will help with a comfortable healthy aging experience.
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Reference: Forbes (Dec. 28, 2021) “10 Pieces of Expert Advice on Aging Well In 2022”