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March 8, 2013

Healthy Aging Tips For A Longer Life

healthy aging tipsHealthy Aging Tips

When it comes to suggesting healthy aging tips it is difficult to beat time-honored recommendations put forth by Dr. Lester Breslow. He called them the “Seven Healthy Habits”. But, I will offer a few more healthy aging tips to add to Dr.Breslow’s. Dr. Breslow’s seven habits were not based on belief or intuition, but rather by following and studying the behavior of 7,000 people from Alameda County, California for 35 years.

People who did not follow these seven habits had a 50% greater mortality rate over the 35 years compared to those who followed the habits.

By the way, Dr. Breslow lived to be 97.

The Seven Healthy Habits

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Drink moderately or not at all.
  • Get a good night’s sleep of seven or eight hours.
  • Exercise 30 minutes at a time, several times a week.
  • Eat moderately to maintain weight relative to height.
  • Eat regular meals.
  • Eat breakfast.

None of these seven healthy aging tips or habits are earth shattering. Your grandmother probably told you much the same. But, that’s just it. The formula for healthy living is rather simple and easy. But, things that are easy to do are also easy not to do. Below are additional healthy aging tips that I think are important.

Extra Healthy Aging Tips

  • Avoid sugar.
  • Keep hormones optimal.
  • Become a lifelong learner.
  • Develop a passion for something.
  • Do resistance training.

Diet wise avoiding sugar is the single best step you can take. Eliminating sugar is not easy as it’s hidden in nearly any packaged foods plus sugar goes by many different names. Sugar causes inflammation, damages proteins that we use for many purposes, makes us fat, and more. It accelerates the aging process.

By keeping hormones optimal you will avoid many symptoms associated with aging and will remain more functional longer. Findings of observational studies also suggest that you may reduce risk of many chronic diseases, too.

We once thought that the brain was static – you have what you have. But, we now that the brain is plastic. It can repair itself to some degree and we can make new connections even as we age. Perhaps best way to make new connections is to keep learning new things. This forces us to use parts of our brains that may not get a lot of action, and is more effective than simply doing crossword puzzles and playing board games that simply reinforce parts of the brain we probably already use. Plus, learning makes life more interesting. Life becomes a chore and less rewarding once we stop learning.

Having a passion for something gives us a reason to get up every morning and helps energize us.  It can be anything, it just has to be something that is important to you. It’s been my observation that having a strong purpose or passion in life seems to overcome some poor health habits.

In addition to aerobic exercise take time to perform resistance exercises. Aerobic exercise does not translate well to our activities of daily living which are primarily anaerobic activities – getting out of chair, climbing a flight of stairs, opening a heavy door, etc. These are short bursts of activities. Therefore, you need to exercise in short bursts as well. Resistance training is one way to accomplish that.

Follow these 12 healthy aging tips for a longer life.

See related articles.

Enjoy The Aging Process

It’s Still Sugar: Don’t Be Fooled By The Many Names Of Sugar

Memory Loss And Strength Training









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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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