According to legend, those who drink from the fountain of youth stay young forever, and many true believers such as Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon lost their lives in search of it. Guess what? It’s been found — sort of. In reality, the fountain of youth is a lifestyle recipe made up of healthy practices that will put some spring back in your step while encouraging your mind to grow and your spirit to soar. Here are the ingredients.
A Healthy Diet
That requires a meal plan along with a grocery list that includes all the nutrient-rich ingredients your body needs. According to Aging.com, first and foremost come carbs such as sweet potatoes and brown rice along with protein-rich salmon and beans as well as fruits and vegetables. You’ll get all that and more from grocery or meal delivery services like Hello Fresh or Meals on Wheels, which come in particularly handy if you have mobility issues.
Your exercise regimen should include around 150 minutes of endurance training per week through activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming, one writer states in a medically reviewed article in Healthline. Strength, balance and flexibility exercises should also be worked into the mix, which is easy to do if you keep a schedule handy.
You need roughly the same amount of sleep as a young adult, which is between seven to nine hours per night. If you’re having trouble getting that amount, or you wake up frequently during the night, those improvements to your diet and exercise regimen may fix the problem. If not, Live Science has some other tips that may help you get the rest you need.
Believe it or not, your brain needs to be exercised every bit as much as your body if you want to retain a sharp memory. Word puzzles are a popular way to keep your brain in tip-top shape, as is reading, which also boosts your vocabulary, gives you something to talk about with friends, and helps you get to sleep at night.
According to US News, one doctor even conducts meditation exercises during check-ups with older patients when they show signs of being overwhelmed or distressed. That should come as no surprise, as the ancient practice calms both the mind and body and is used in the treatment of mood disorders as well as chronic conditions.
If you’ve got time to fill, learning a new hobby is one of the best ways to stay healthy, as it keeps your mind and body active. You can even transform those hours into something useful through arts and crafts such as knitting, quilting, pottery, or woodworking. In addition, working with your hands puts you into the calming and restorative state of flow.
The list of positives to spending time outdoors is long — very long. Greater happiness, less anxiety, more energy, better eyesight, lower blood pressure, relief from pain — and on it goes. The best thing is that you don’t have to travel far from home to enjoy all of these improvements in your health, as a walk in the park or along the beach would do the trick.
Chatting with Friends
It’s just plain old fun for one thing, but there are ways in which your social life aids your mental and physical health in ways you may not have noticed. You get a sense of belonging and purpose as well as a boost in your self-esteem, all accompanied by some helpful encouragement to kick bad habits and stick with the good ones.
There they are: The ingredients for a long and pleasant retirement. If you haven’t made these changes to your lifestyle already, start now with a healthy snack or a walk around the neighborhood. Chances are, you’ll feel better off the bat.