4 Ways to Increase Your Health and Longevity as You Age

Life doesn’t have to slow down after age 65, and the best way to make sure you get the most out of your retirement years is to adopt the right habits and routines that will maximize your health and longevity as you age.

Luckily, this doesn’t require overhauling your diet to get rid of all those slightly sinful foods that we enjoy or starting a starts-at-5 am daily gym routine. In fact, science tells us there are some straightforward and accessible ways to increase our physical and mental health as we age.

Here are some ways to increase your health and longevity and enjoy yourself while doing so.

Eat more foods that are high in healthy nutrients

As we age our bodies need fewer calories, but we still require the same amount of nutrients. Modifying your diet to make sure you get the right amount and variety of nutrients isn’t as hard as you may think, and definitely doesn’t mean sacrificing taste.

According to the National Institute of Health, add more of these nutrient-rich foods:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Beans, nuts and seeds

  • Seafood, lean meats, eggs and poultry

  • Oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, brown rice

And less sugary desserts, drinks and snacks; white bread and rice; and foods containing butter or shortening.

Maintain social connections

A seminal 80-year longitudinal study done by Harvard University found that those of us who have strong relationships with our friends, family and community live happier and, importantly, physically healthier lives than those that do not. “The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80,” the study’s director says.

Maintaining our social connections as we enter our retirement years may appear more challenging, but there are several ways to make new friends and acquaintances in our later years, especially if you live in a retirement community with active group activities like Sundial Lakeview Retirement Residence. Forging these bonds and keeping them active will translate into increased levels of happiness and overall health.

Make time to read regularly

While maintaining religious practices or practising calming routines such as meditation are known to make us live longer, recent science shows that even the simple act of reading can extend our lives.

The Yale University study of 3,600 people found that those who regularly read books lived 20% longer in the years after the study concluded than those who did not. The benefits of reading, then, extend well beyond knowledge.

Try new physical activity that matches your speed and enthusiasm

Adding aerobic activity like biking, brisk walking and even yard work such as pushing a lawn mower will yield real health benefits as you age. The Canadian government recommends 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity every week, with muscle- and bone-strengthening exercises also advised to maintain a healthy body.

These types of moderate, easily accessible exercise can help prevent heart disease, diabetes and other serious illnesses, and reduce your risk of falls and injuries.

And remember, these tips aren’t just good for those over the age of 60 -- they apply to every age and stage in life.

At Sundial Lakeview Retirement Residence, we have designed our Orillia retirement home experience around healthy activities -- from our fully equipped exercise room, to our programmed group outings and activities in our recreational spaces and meal menus designed for healthy nutrition, we do everything with your health and wellness in mind.

We are proud to help our residents live life to the fullest in the Orillia-Barrie area. If you would like to find out more, whether for yourself or a loved one, please contact us today to book a complimentary tour of our facilities.