Brain scientists are encouraging people to exercise both body and brain to stay healthier longer. Doctors are no longer focusing on longevity, rather how upbeat one stays later in life. We all know that we should be monitoring our health and fitness from a young age, but it could have even more of an impact than you think. Further, staying active well into your later years will make a difference in both mental and physical health.
Scientists have switched their focus from studying life span to ‘healthspan.’ This is defined as the years that a person can expect to live in good health. Scientists are studying every day to learn new ways to improve chances of a better ‘healthspan.’ A recent study has scientists and medical professionals worried for the future of the U.S. According to this study, U.S. life expectancy “has not kept pace with that of other wealthy countries and is now decreasing.” This is due in part to the current opioid crisis we face, but it also stems from lacking healthy habits. Along with making wiser decisions, be mindful of staying active and exercising your brain later in life. Although longevity is great, we’re still living with chronic illnesses in the long run, taking so much away from daily life. This is one reason ‘healthspan’ is so important.
Staying Healthier Longer
Midlife is sometimes defined as ages 40 to 60. Typically this is the time that will have the greatest impact on our older years. During this time you should focus on brain health and improving cognitive performance. There are games and puzzles specifically for “exercising the brain” as well as specific brain-training exercises. Picking up an interactive hobby, such as cross-stitching or even volunteering in your community, increase brain activity. Although you should begin to practice proper exercise and diet habits from an early age, it is never too late to start healthy habits. If you are a smoker, the sooner you quit the better your body will handle aging. Taking up biking, swimming, or lightweight training classes can be beneficial to people of any age, but especially after age 60. Bike riding is becoming a major trend among seniors. Experts recommend a recumbent bike as a low-impact option that can be easier on the back and knees. Tying all of this together is another healthy activity: socialization. One expert suggests engaging with other people is beneficial in your later years. Regardless if it’s memory games or exercise, good conversation and laughter go a long way.
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Listen to your body! Drink plenty of water, include all necessary nutrients in your regular diet, and keep your body moving. Part of maintaining your health is visiting your doctor for regular check-ups. If you need a good insurance plan for medical, life, or anything unexpected, GIVE US A CALL!
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