When you were in middle school, you were told to start preparing for high school. And then in high school the big push was to get ready for college. And once in college? Prepare for the “real world,” young’un. And when you’re smack dab in that real world, the wise-minded try to drive home the notion that you really, really, should start preparing for retirement. Even though it can get tiresome always trying to work ahead and be prepared for the future, these pieces of advice do contain sage wisdom.
They may seem eons away, but there are some very impactful things you can do NOW that can help determine just how healthy and active you’ll be once you reach those golden years (because, let’s face it: you’re pretty cool now, and you want to be a SUPER awesome senior citizen, right?). And because last Monday was National Senior Citizens Day, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to let you know how you can be your best self at every age, even down the road when your hair is gray and you’re moving a little slower.
- Keep your weight in check. You knew this was going to make the list, right? Keeping your body at a healthy weight reduces the amount of stress and strain on your knees, ankles, and hips, reducing the risk of joint-related problems later. Also, obesity increases the risk of insulin resistance which, if left unchecked and paired with other symptoms, can lead to a diabetes diagnosis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and more.
- Keep on movin’. There are so many reasons why exercise is important, and here are a few more. Prevention Magazine reports that exercise actually slows down the effects of aging on our cells. Exercise also promotes growth in certain parts of our brain, and can help with focus, memory, and overall cognition.
And, even more impressive: according to a Finnish study, exercise can even help promote a greater level of success financially. Researchers followed 5000 male twins for nearly 30 years, and found that the men who exercised regularly enjoyed a 14-17% higher long-term income level. The researchers believe that the dedication and persistence needed for regular exercise is similar to that needed for professional success. As if you needed yet another reason to come do your HIIT!
- Check your attitude. Get this – the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging found that study participants who had a positive view on aging at age 40 enjoyed a significantly lower rate of cardiovascular disease later in life. It has also been found that a positive outlook on life can also lead to the following when you’re a senior citizen: less frailty, a greater walking speed, and overall less stress and anxiety.
So it turns out that the whole “be prepared” business has significance outside of just the Boy Scout realm. Making the effort now to be as healthy as you can in mind and body can pay off in impressive dividends in decades to come.