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Embracing aging means acknowledging and embracing the changes of our bodies and perspectives on life. Aging can be a positive process, especially if you are armed with knowledge of what supports good health, and are open to discover new approaches and maybe even a few new habits. Here are four allies that can support you in your journey of healthy, positive aging:

Physical activity

The impact of moderate physical activity of at least 30 minutes per day is invaluable to health and wellbeing at any age - contributing to lowered risk of illness, improved mood, greater independence and more social interaction compared to inactive people.

Older adults who do regular physical activity are more likely to rate their health as ‘excellent,’ further promoting positive mental wellbeing8.

Exercise does not need to be strenuous, just regular. Engage your family and friends. Enjoy regular physical activities such as swimming or gardening. Find additional motivation by checking with your local community or fitness center for specific programs for older adults. In particular look for activities that focus on:

  • Aerobic exercise such as walking briskly, jogging or biking increases your heart rate – good for your heart, as well as blood pressure8
  • Strength training – In addition to ensuring you get enough protein in your diet, weight training significantly supports healthy muscle mass and bone density which ultimately helps guards against frailty, falls, lack of mobility and lack of independence.
Flexibility and balance exercises (as found in yoga) – can help guard against stiff muscles, injuries and falls. Even simple acts such as standing on one foot while brushing your teeth or washing dishes can contribute to improved balance.

Weight management

Weight management is key for good health at any age. Of course weight issues can be influenced by many factors - from genes and stress to lifestyle choices, including diet and physical activity levels. To age well, seek to manage the factors within your control such as eating a balanced diet focused on moderate portions, and enjoying at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Excess weight can get in the way of good mobility and a positive attitude.

Positive Attitude & Social Connection

Looking after mental health is important for everyone especially for those interested in healthy aging. Here are some tips that can help to boost wellbeing:

  • Share time with loved ones even if it’s simple things like everyday meals
  • Stay connected with family, friends and community whether it’s in-person, by phone, email or social media
  • Keep moving - Physical activity promotes mental, physical and social wellbeing
  • Get a good night’s sleep – it can help with recovery, lower stress and support greater energy and optimism.

To learn more, read Maintaining Mobility and the Importance of Protein for healthy aging.