When you’re in your 20s or 30s, it’s easy to think that the aches and pains plaguing older people are inevitable. In some ways that’s true — the body does slow down and change as we age. But there are many things you can do to help prevent or delay some of those troublesome issues, and set yourself up for a longer, healthier and more fulfilling life.
Since September is Healthy Aging Month, now is an ideal time to focus on taking good care of yourself — body and mind.
One of the most important ways you can achieve a healthy, clean body is by paying close attention to what you put into it.
- Eat whole foods.
- Limit sugar and saturated fats.
- Limit sodium intake.
- Make sure at least half of each plate you eat is filled with fruits and vegetables.1
- Learn to cook so you can control what goes into the meals you’re eating — and save some money by not relying on take-out and processed foods while you’re at it!
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.2
- Quit smoking.
- Stay properly hydrated.
Protect your body and listen to what it’s telling you.
- Get a good night’s sleep (adults need 7 – 9 hours each night).
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week, and complete strength exercises on two or more days per week.3
- Always practice safe sex.
- Wear a seatbelt in the car, and a helmet when cycling.
- Wear sunscreen.
Talk to your doctor honestly about your physical and mental health, and be proactive about your medical care.
- Make sure to have an annual physical exam.
- Ask about screenings that are appropriate for your age, medical history and family background.
- Stay up-to-date with your vaccines.
- Ask about vitamins, minerals and other supplements that may be appropriate for you.
- Get your annual flu shot.
- See your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years.
Make your mental health a priority.
- Talk to your doctor if you find yourself struggling with your worries and anxieties, or if you’re relying on alcohol and drugs to cope.
- Determine if you may be affected by depression and anxiety using this simple checklist.
- Symptoms can vary depending upon the condition, but learn what the common signs of mental illness are so you know when to seek help.
- Consider therapy.
You have one body and one mind for the rest of your life. Giving them the best start possible while you’re young will help carry you through your days with strength and joy.
For more advice on how to future-proof your body, visit The Telegraph.
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