Senior Health

9/23/2014 | By Terri L. Jones

You don’t need to endure needles or knives; you don’t even have to buy a bunch of bottles or jars. There are plenty of natural and inexpensive ways to stay youthful and healthy longer. Here are a handful of the most important ones:

1) Relax

Stress—and the resulting surge of adrenaline and cortisol—causes blood pressure to rise and your heart to beat faster, which can accelerate aging. To minimize stress in your life, find an activity that relaxes you like meditation, listening to classical music, even knitting scarves and do it regularly. It’ll give you years back!

2) Eat more fat

You read it right. Healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in salmon, walnuts and seeds, not only help even out your moods and keep your bones strong, but they also help prevent the visible signs of aging by reducing inflammation in your body. Another benefit as you age: These fats help your body pull fat out of storage to use it as energy.

3) Exercise

OK, this one you already knew about, but what you probably haven’t heard is that in addition to helping you lose weight and tone muscles, exercise can also help you strengthen your brain. “Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent,” says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging and coauthor of The Healthy Brain Kit.

4) Drink red wine

You already know that red wine makes you feel good, but there’s plenty of evidence that it can offset a host of health problems, too. A Johns Hopkins University study suggested that red wine can diminish brain damage caused by stroke by as much as 40 percent. Grape-seed procyanidins, found in red wine, can also help reduce arterial clogging, resulting in lower blood-cholesterol levels and fewer deaths from heart disease.

5) Practice yoga

Different from traditional exercise, yoga works both the inside of the body and the outside and helps to rejuvenate the digestive, reproductive systems and immune systems. “Yoga is like wringing your body out like a washcloth,” says Cyndi Lee, founder of New York’s Om Yoga. “It’s one of the best ways to keep things moving.” Plus, yogic breathing oxygenates cells and eliminates toxins to help prevent illness and make your skin glow again.

How do you stay young and healthy?  Tell us in the comments!

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over ten years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide.

Terri Jones