If your chronological age just doesn’t match how you feel inside, congratulations — you’ve been doing everything right. You’re exercising regularly. You’re eating the rainbow. And you’re a social butterfly, staying connected to family and friends.
Want to continue to rewind the clock? Self-care and healthy, consistent practices play a strong role in slowing down the aging process. Take a look at the following seven habits. Which ones are you doing already? And which ones do you need to add to your daily routine? These tips offer additional age-proofing support, as well as overall health benefits (and one of them includes wine!).
Go Green in the Morning
For better health and longevity, go green (tea). Have you heard the health buzz about this brew? A combination of studies suggest that green tea may play a role in:
- Reducing atherosclerosis and the risk of heart disease
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing cholesterol levels
- Reducing inflammation related to arthritis
- Improving bone density
- Improving memory
- Reducing the risk of cancer and preventing recurrence
Preliminary research indicates that green tea may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. In laboratory studies , both black and green teas prevented the breakdown of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter strongly connected with memory. The teas also inhibited enzymes — BuChE and beta-secretase — that are located in protein deposits found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.
For the ultimate health benefits, start every morning with this healthy brew and sip up to three cups daily.
Stop Stress in Its Tracks
According to WebMD.com, 75 percent to 90 percent of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related conditions and complaints. Stress causes the release of hormones adrenaline 4and cortisol, triggering physical changes in the body that can speed up aging and take a toll on our physical and emotional health. For example, stress can play a role in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin issues, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
The most effective way to stop stress in its tracks is to meditate for as little as 10 minutes a day. Here’s how easy it is to get started:
- Find a relaxing place in your home or outside.
- Select a positive, uplifting mantra to repeat to yourself (example: I am powerful and have everything I need to get through this day ).
- For 10 minutes, close your eyes. Relax your muscles. Roll your head, neck, and shoulders slowly, and breathe deeply.
- On each exhale, repeat your mantra.
Can’t sit still? Active and repetitive motion, such as walking, slow flow yoga, and cycling, can also get your head into a calmer space.
Train Your Brain
Great news: You can preserve brain function and avoid many of the brain-draining symptoms that were once attributed to aging. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that brain exercises can prevent cognitive decline. To stay fit and youthful, your brain needs regular exercise, just like your body. Engage in activities that will sharpen, strengthen, and rewire your brain, like learning to play a new instrument, learning a new language, or doing crossword puzzles.
Win at Love
The measure of our lives isn’t how well we have lived, but how well we have loved. Love is an intoxicating drug, a positive motivator, and one unexpected way to slow the aging process. The ability to give and receive love fills us with feel-good hormones including oxytocin, which reduces stress and anxiety and helps us feel more energized and unstoppable.
To keep the flames alive, maintain a regularly scheduled date night with your sweetheart or take up a new activity together. Think of all the fun things you could do, like taking a cooking class or fostering a pet, and pick one that will reinforce the love you have for each other.
Drink Red Wine
Red wine is teeming with antioxidants, including flavonoids like quercetin and resveratrol, that may support many of the body’s critical functions. These antioxidants are particularly celebrated for an ability to support heart health. Research shows that the antioxidants in red wine can slow down the development of atherosclerosis, a type of arteriosclerosis that occurs when there’s a buildup of fats, cholesterol, and plaque in the artery walls. One study revealed that moderate alcohol intake, especially red wine, decreased the risk of cardiac death due to atherosclerosis, but people who didn’t drink any red wine and people who drank too much red wine were at a higher risk of cardiac death. According to another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, wine consumption was associated with a notable increase in HDL cholesterol, with participants seeing their levels improve by 11 percent to 16 percent.
Sip responsibly. Enjoy red wine in moderation by following the latest alcohol guidelines from the American Medical Association. Drink no more than one glass (4 ounces) a day for your health.
Yoga for Mind-Body Benefits
You may have heard about the benefits of yoga: increased energy, improved posture, greater flexibility, better mood, and less stress are just some of the rewards of this low-impact workout. Through mindful breathing and movements, your mind and body become one. Yogic breathing infuses the cells with oxygen, helping to rejuvenate the whole body and give your skin a refreshing glow. For beginners: look for a gentle or therapeutic yoga class to join, and practice at least twice a week.
Keep a Positive Attitude (People in Their Seventies Are Generally Happier!)
Last but not least, people in their 70s are simply happier. An AARP survey revealed that of all the decades surveyed, the 70s tend to be some of the happiest years of your life. As you get older, you have the experience and wisdom to know that nothing lasts forever. You understand that bad times don’t last, but you also know that life is precious. The time to live it up is right now. The most overlooked anti-aging strategy is to relish the present, but also believe that the best is yet to come!