4 Consistent Habits to Follow for Healthy Aging

Are you interested in learning how to make the most of your golden years as an older adult?

Learning to age well is an art – and one that must be actively cultivated for the best results. Implementing strategies like maintaining a healthy diet, and also, partaking in regular exercise – both for your brain and your body – as well as cultivating a positive, stress-free mindset, can all help keep us feel younger for longer.

Here’s how.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

If we want to feel our best – and age gracefully – we need to be sure to eat healthily. The benefits of a balanced diet are abundant, and focusing on what we eat is just as important as we get older. Certain diets – such as the MIND diet – have even been associated with the preservation of cognitive function as we age, and assisting with staving off symptoms of dementia and Alzheimers. But how? 

An acronym for the ‘Mediterranean Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay’, the MIND diet encourages the consumption of foods that promote optimal brain health for aging adults. This includes maintaining a diet composed of balanced nutrition sources like leafy green vegetables, wholegrain carbohydrates, and lean protein – such as beans, nuts, fish, and poultry – which all contain the ‘good’ fats and essential nutrients our brains need to function well.

On the flip side, the MIND diet also recommends avoiding excess consumption of fatty foods including fried and sugary snacks, cakes and pastries, and – a little surprisingly – red meat. This is because each of these food types contains high levels of saturated fats – which have been found to be detrimental to brain health in older adults. 

Exercise Regularly

Want to age well? Although our energy levels can reduce as we get older, it’s still important to keep moving. Be realistic about your physical abilities, though. You may find that lower-impact exercises like walking, yoga classes, or even tai chi, may be more suitable as you age.

Whenever I’ve made the trek to my local Pilates class, I’ve always admired the super-fit, ultra-slim, almost sinewy older woman perched on the reformer bed at the very front of the room – putting even the youngest attendees to shame with her sprightly, energetic movements. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be that fit to get the most out of your golden years. But keeping up a good level of fitness can help maximize your energy levels, put a pep in your step, and even slow down the aging process – by up to 10 years, no less.

Before you start a new exercise program, though, be sure to consult your doctor or a family nurse practitioner who has completed the requisite industry qualifications – such as AGPCNP online programs.

Keep Your Mind Active

Keeping our minds active is another essential part of aging well. Just like our bodies, our brains are muscles we need to exercise regularly to ensure optimal functioning.

To exercise your brain muscle, you need to challenge yourself cognitively. Our tip? Try picking up a new skill, like learning a new language. Or perhaps you prefer the challenge of a crossword or sudoku puzzle. Listening to music can also help keep the brain young, as can taking an active interest in what’s trending in the world of younger generations.

Regulate Stress, Cultivate Positivity

It simply cannot be denied that stress is bad for the body. Studies have shown that chronic stress can even accelerate aging. By impairing our cognitive function and accelerating our memory loss, premature aging of the brain is a common side effect of stress. The stress hormone – cortisol – has even been said to shrink parts of the brain – especially those associated with memory function. 

So what measures can we take to reduce stress, and lessen the effect of the cortisol hormone on the aging process? Some stress-busting strategies for older adults can include:

  • Expressing gratitude for our blessings.

  • Fostering positive relationships with our loved ones.

  • Learning relaxation techniques like meditation and slow breathing.

  • Journaling our thoughts to regulate our emotions.

  • Seeking professional support from a licensed therapist.

By taking these actions to regulate our stress, we can live out our golden years with an abundance mindset, and use positivity to enhance our lives as we age.

Reviewed by

Sourabh Singh

Public Health Writer



Oct 2021

574 posts

Sourabh Singh is a medical writing expert With over 11 years of experience writing and editing articles, blogs, product reviews, e-books, news, press releases, and more for various healthcare brands.

He carefully proofreads every article to ensure that the medical facts are accurate and free from errors.View Profile

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