American Spine Center

American Spine Center

Healthy Aging

Age like a fine wine

As some people believe in the saying, age is like fine wine, it also relates to our health in general. Aging like fine wine means you’re aging well, especially in your adult years. It shows that you’ve just gotten better as you age, like how wine tastes better the more you have it over the years and it gets a better reputation.

As we age, health becomes more important.  Thanks to improvements in medicine and health, we live longer lives now.  As such, it’s even more important than ever before to develop healthy habits as we get older. September is Healthy Aging Month, which was designated in order to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older.

Healthy Aging Month encourages you to act how you feel — instead of acting your age!  This month also encourages our seniors to take charge of their well-being, by aging with a healthy body (physical health) and the healthiest mind (mental health).

There are many ways to use Healthy Aging Month as inspiration to be celebrating life, and the month is dedicated to helping individuals gain a more positive outlook about growing older.  And while genetics play a role when it comes to aging, seniors still can take steps to encourage better health.

What does it mean to age gracefully?

You can’t stand in a checkout line without seeing at least a few magazine headlines about how to look younger. While dreading some wrinkles and sagging isn’t uncommon, there’s so much more to aging well.

Aging gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something — it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care.

Tips to make the most of “Healthy Aging Month”

  • Be kind to your skin

Your skin is your body’s largest organ. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide sensation.

  1. To keep it looking and functioning at its best:
  2. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside.
  3. Get yearly skin cancer screenings.
  4. Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skincare routine.
  5. Stay hydrated.
  • Exercise

Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your mobility longer. Exercise also lowers stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and mood.

It is recommended that adults do:

  1. 5 to 5 hours per week of moderate-intensity exercise, 1.25 to 2.5 hours per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, or a combination of the two
  2. Muscle-strengthening activities of moderate-intensity or greater, that involve all major muscle groups, two or more days per week

Some examples of aerobic exercise include:

  1. walking
  2. swimming
  3. dancing
  4. cycling

Muscle – and bone-strengthening exercises can be performed using weights or resistance bands.

Older adults should also focus on activities that include balance training in addition to aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises.

  • Mind your diet

Healthy foods are the way to go when it comes to aging gracefully. It is recommended that you eat:

  1. fruits and vegetables, either fresh, frozen, or canned
  2. lean protein, such as fish and beans
  3. at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, bread, rice, or pasta every day
  4. three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy, such as milk, yogurt, or cheese that are fortified with vitamin D
  5. healthy fats

Avoid using solid fats for cooking and use oils instead. Stay away from processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. You should also keep your salt intake to a minimum to keep your blood pressure down.

  • Mental health matters

Being happy and keeping your stress down goes a long way in helping you live and age well.

To keep your mood elevated:

  1. Spend time with friends and loved ones. Meaningful relationships and a strong social network improve mental and physical well-being and longevity. Don’t forget your furry loved ones as having a pet has been linked to lower stress and blood pressure, reduced loneliness, and better moods.
  2. Accept your age. There is evidence that people who maintain a positive attitude about aging live longer and may recover better from a disability. Aging is inevitable and learning to embrace it can make all the difference.
  3. Do things you enjoy. Taking the time to engage in activities you enjoy will only fuel your happiness. Spend time in nature, pursue a new hobby, volunteer — whatever brings you joy.
  • Stay physically active

Numerous studies have linked a sedentary life to an increased risk of chronic illness and early death. Some options to stay active are going on walks and hikes, taking vacations, and participating in group exercise classes.

  • Lower your stress

The effects of stress on your body are vast, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to a higher risk of heart disease.

There are a number of proven ways to relieve stress, including:

  1. using relaxation techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga
  2. exercising
  3. getting adequate sleep
  4. talking to a friend
  • Quit smoking and decrease alcohol consumption

Smoking and alcohol have both been shown to cause premature aging and increase the risk of disease. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but there are resources available to help you quit. Speak to a doctor about how to quit.

As for alcohol, limit your intake to the recommended amount to avoid health risks. That’s one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

  • Get enough sleep

Good sleep is important for your physical and mental health. It also plays a role in your skin’s health.

How much sleep you need depends on your age. Adults over 18 should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep has been proven to:

  1. lower the risk of heart disease and stroke
  2. reduce stress and depression
  3. lower the risk of obesity
  4. reduce inflammation
  5. improve focus and concentration
  • Drink plenty of water

 Drinking enough water helps keep you regular and improves your energy levels and brain function. Coincidentally, it’s also been proven to help keep skin healthier and reduce signs of aging. How much water you should drink depends on:

  1. your thirst
  2. your activity level
  3. how often you urinate and move your bowels
  4. how much you sweat
  5. your gender

Speak to a doctor if you have questions or concerns about your water intake.

  • See a doctor regularly

Seeing a doctor regularly can help the doctor find problems early or even before they start. How often you see a doctor depends on your age, lifestyle, family history, and existing conditions.

Ask your doctor how often you should go in for checkups and screening tests as you age. Also, see a doctor anytime you experience concerning symptoms.

Timing: 9am until 9pm, Saturday to Thursday.
Contact us: 800-100-999
Location: Al Razi Building 64, Block F, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, UAE.