The Art of Staying Young and Active
How can you take years off your physical and mental age? What choices could make you feel and look better? A few good habits might make a difference.
Eat healthy. Aerobic exercise helps the heart, but it doesn’t necessarily trim the stomach. Eating less
processed food—and less carbohydrates—can promote weight loss, especially as our metabolism slows.
Sodas and beer equal liquid carbs and worthless calories; in contrast, whole grains are the carbs that can
give us nutritious, steady energy. Fruits and green, leafy vegetables that grow above ground are great for
our minds and bodies.
Exercise. Talk to your doctor about what you can do safely. In addition to light or moderate aerobic
exercise such as biking, walking or yoga, weight-bearing exercise may be recommended as well to keep
your upper body strong and coordinated. Interval training two or three times a week can give you a way to
gently shock your muscles in short workouts.
Have fun and keep your stress level down. In 2016, an American Psychological Association study found
that 24% of Americans were contending with “extreme stress” caused by external pressures. 1 Saying no
instead of yes—and saying yes to fun more often—can provide a safety valve. Diversions aside, meditation
and relaxation techniques can help, such as progressive muscle relaxation (where you focus on making one
muscle group after another less tense) and autogenic relaxation (relaxing by envisioning calming images,
complemented by verbal cues).
Looking and feeling better may mean changing a few behaviors. The changes need not be radical,
but they could certainly be beneficial. Who knows, they may help you add years to your life.