There is no denying that aging is a difficult and sometimes painful process. However, aging can be much more difficult and painful for those who haven’t acquired the habits that help the body (and the mind) stay healthy enough to face it properly. With that in mind, this guide will provide you with suggestions for eight daily rituals that will help you understand how to stay healthy in old age.
- Anchor Books
- Andrew Weil M.D.
- Publisher: Anchor
- Edition no. 0 (01/02/2007)
- Paperback: 368 pages
Daily Ritual 1: Meditate
Often, people who want to know how to stay healthy in old age are pointed towards meditation. However, on this side of the world, many people are under the belief that meditation is a complex religious endeavor that requires years of study and discipline.
The truth of the matter is that meditation is a simple practice you can do at any time. By simply sitting down, clearing your head and focusing on your breath, you can obtain the many benefits of meditation. This includes reducing stress, improving concentration, an increased feeling of well-being and even a slowing-down of the aging process.
Daily Ritual 2: Do Breathing Exercises
There are various different methods to exercise your breathing. Try things like breathing inside a box, two-timed breathing, and alternate nostril breathing. However, the majority of breathing exercises share a common goal: to bring your body into a beneficial state of rest that helps its recovery and slows down aging. Additionally, this kind of exercise may improve and stabilize your digestion.
Daily Ritual 3: Move Around
- John Whyte
- Publisher: Rodale Books
- Hardcover: 272 pages
After reaching a certain age, many people can no longer engage in intense exercising. However, there are always ways to keep your body active. Whether it’s doing basic mobility exercises, going to a gym or simply running errands, moving around has been proven to be incredibly beneficial for gaining and maintaining health. Apart from keeping your body in good shape, movement and exercise can positively impact your state of mind; it can reduce stress and increasing happiness.
Daily Ritual 4: Eat Healthy
Without a doubt, one of the most important pieces of advice that can be given to people who want to know how to stay healthy in old age is eating healthy. Unlike popular belief, eating healthy is not only about looking fitter.
In fact, eating healthy has a positive impact in basically all areas of your life. To accomplish this, it’s a good idea to start the day with a smoothie made of greens or fruits. Eating food that is high in protein but low in carbohydrates and saturated grease is also particularly important.
Daily Ritual 5: Read and Write
Often, people that want to know how to stay healthy in old age focus too much on the body and not enough on the brain. Reading and writing have been proven to be good ways to keep your brain in good health. By keeping your brain active, these activities ensure there will not be any significant neuronal decay. This will keep your wits sharp and clear until the day you die. As if this wasn’t enough, it has been scientifically demonstrated that people who read and write regularly are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who do not.
Daily Ritual 6: Be Social
There is no denying that, in essence, humans are social animals. In fact, there are many areas of the human brain that are specifically dedicated to social interaction. Apart from keeping the mental juices flowing, social interaction has been shown to positively affect things like hormonal balance and general wellbeing. For those reasons, it’s important to exercise these areas of the brain by maintaining an active social lifestyle in old age.
- Steven P., MD Simmons, William E. Mansbach, Jodi L. Lyons
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
- Hardcover: 200 pages
Luckily, these days, people of advanced age have various options for socializing. This includes social clubs for the elderly and communal centers. However, if those options aren’t available to you, there is always the possibility of making friends online.
Daily Ritual 7: Spend Time in Nature
Spending time outdoors is one thing that is often overlooked. Apart from breathing fresh air and taking in inspiring views, going outside can be a great source of relaxation.
Being relaxed, in turn, helps lower stress levels, which has an undeniably positive effect on your general health. As if that was not enough, being outside also helps your body absorb the much-needed vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for bone health. It’s been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, diabetes and other conditions that often appear in old age.
- Publisher: Mayo Clinic
- Edition no. 1 (06/15/2001)
- Paperback: 244 pages
Daily Ritual 8: Get Quality Sleep
There is absolutely no doubt that getting quality sleep is important for maintaining your health. However, this is especially true as you approach old age. In order to achieve quality sleep, it’s a good idea to maintain a consistent sleeping schedule. It has also been proven that going to sleep early yields the best results when it comes to getting the rest you need in order to maintain your health.
The amount of sleep time that is needed in order to be healthy varies from person to person. However, most people over the age of 50 benefit the most from getting between eight and ten hours of sleep every day.
Drawing to a Close
As it can be clearly surmised from reading this guide, staying healthy in old age is a matter of knowledge, consistency and self-love. By engaging in these eight rituals on a daily basis, you will be preparing your body and mind to successfully face the challenges that, inevitably, come with the process of aging. At the same time, you may discover new activities that will help fill your time with joy and purposefulness.
- Edward H. Thompson Jr., Lenard W. Kaye
- Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
- Edition no. 1 (11/25/2013)
- Paperback: 584 pages
What do you think about these rituals? If you have anything to add, please leave us a comment!