Guest Post by: Arum Mag
Not medically reviewed by Erin Stair, MD, MPH
The fact that people become senior citizens is something to be emulated by today’s young people. In the world of technology where everything is literally on people’s fingertips, it is difficult to make an effort to go outdoors for a run or a walk or a swim. On the other hand, youngsters don’t mind being enticed by advertisements to sign up for a gym membership and spend their time exercising indoors.
Health is influenced by where people live, learn work and play according to this report from Country Health Rankings and Roadmaps. Perhaps healthy seniors are influenced by something more than what this report reveals, which could be their habits. Studying the habits of healthy seniors could lead to an understanding of their psyche and secrets of their longevity and healthy lifestyle. Here are 7 of such habits which young people should consider seriously.
- Healthy eating habits
One of the most important habits is the one of eating healthy. Eating healthy involves three aspects – a balanced diet, quantum of food intake and timely consumption of food. All three aspects must be addressed simultaneously. Long-living seniors eat predominantly plant-based leguminous diet and natural wholesome foods offering better nutrition and lower calories. They consume about 80% of their capacity to eat ensuring they leave some capacity unused. They also eat at regular intervals.
- Liquid consumption
Liquids are vital for healthy living. Drinking enough water to be sufficiently hydrated is an excellent habit that aids maintenance of the balance of body fluids. These fluids in turn maintain body temperature, transport nutrients, create saliva, help circulation, help absorption and aid digestion. While consuming water is good, the same is not true with alcoholic liquids. Healthy people consume alcoholic drinks in moderation. Thus, consuming appropriate liquids in appropriate quantities is a healthy habit.
Having vices such as smoking, consuming drugs, consuming alcohol and consuming tobacco are very bad habits. While these vices may give instant gratification, they are hugely detrimental when people reach old age. They lead to many diseases and common health issues such as shortness of breath, obesity and asthma severely undermining life expectancy. Thus, avoiding vices is a good habit.
- Physical activity
Physical activity is another great habit that healthy seniors have imbibed into their system. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, moderate physical activity such as brisk walking (about 150 minutes per week) offers immediate and long term benefits. Immediate benefits include reduction in anxiety, depression, sharpening skills of thinking, learning and judgment, and sleeping better. Long-term benefits include weight reduction, reduction of risk of cardio vascular disease, diabetes and some cancers, according to Jonathan Rosenfeld. Other benefits of regular moderate physical activity include strengthening bones and muscles and increasing chances of living longer.
According to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, uninterrupted sleep for 7-8 hours a day is another good habit. Uninterrupted sleep helps people protect their mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. While sleeping, bodies support healthy brain function and maintain physical health. Getting good sleep for 7-8 hours every day is a habit that enhances longevity of life.
- Mental activity
Just as physical activity, mental activity is another excellent habit. Exercising the brain regularly with creative tasks such as playing board games, doing crosswords, solving puzzles, learning new skills and finding solutions for real life problems ensures cognitive health. Keeping the brain active always is an excellent habit that is handy during old age.
Establishing social connections is a worthwhile habit to follow. People with excellent social connections with family members, colleagues, friends and acquaintances tend to live longer and lead a healthier life. They can depend on their social connections as they age gracefully. Building and maintaining relationships is a great habit that can help people live longer and stay healthy.
As can be seen from the foregoing, the 7 habits described above can help people live healthy and stay alive longer. By following the habits they can hope to live a long and healthy life.