Tips for how to keep your body fit and your mind sharp into your golden years


Healthy aging is something that should be on everyone's mind. Just because a person is getting older, doesn't mean they should stop engaging in healthy activities. On the contrary, individuals should spend more time caring for themselves as they get older. Recently, Health Day published some tips from the Cleveland Clinic on how to stay fit in the years leading up to old age, and well beyond.

Stay active, and eliminate bad habits

First, the Clinic recommended that people who want to age well should not smoke, or quit if they already do. Smoking can increase the risk of a number of diseases and conditions, and may also make a person appear older.

For a separate article, Mayo Clinic reporters spoke to Lowell Dale, M.D., who said that cigarette smoke can speed up the aging process of the skin, potentially causing wrinkles. Furthermore, the doctor added that it's not just the skin of the face that can be damaged by smoking, but that of the rest of the body as well, especially the inner arms. The bottom line is that cigarettes do nothing to help a person age gracefully.

The Cleveland Clinic also suggested that individuals reduce their alcohol consumption as they get older, and limit themselves to one drink a day.

Additionally, it's important that older adults stay active. There are many low-impact exercises that are beneficial for healthy aging, such as walking and swimming. Exercise helps keep the body fit and supports cardiovascular health.

Keep the mind sharp

Healthy aging is about more than just the body – it's affects the mind as well. The Healthy Brain Initiative sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aims to increase awareness of the importance of preventing cognitive decline.

The Cleveland Clinic stated that people can help maintain neural health by joining clubs and continuing their education. Many local community centers offer classes in a variety of subjects, which can give seniors the chance to not only learn something new, but also to meet new people. A study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, found that loneliness can be damaging to an elderly individual's mental and physical health, which is why older people should seek out activities that help them meet new friends and acquaintances.

These simple tips may help people stay fit in both mind and body as they age.