A health practice known as active aging may benefit the lifestyle of older individuals. It may help to extend your lifespan and improve your quality of life.
Active Aging Defined
Health officials define active aging as the attempted goal of good health through adopting a positive outlook on growing older while practicing important health maintenance activities. Additionally, the process does not involve only the individual practitioner in question. The aged person’s family and community are also considered vital components in an active-aging endeavor.
The Purpose of the Active-Aging Philosophy
The purpose of this endeavor is to extend the lifespans of its adherents. However, living longer is not the only tenet of the philosophy. Another aim is to significantly improve an aging individual’s quality of life by offering the person the maximum health-boosting opportunities.
Methods of Participation
There are numerous ways in which prospective adherents can partake in the active-aging process. Founders of the philosophy opine that there are seven dimensions of wellness that include the spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, physical, vocational and environmental aspect. Active participants engage in programs and activities that attempt to maximize these tenets of intended wellness.
This goal might be attained through the following:
Consuming a Proper Diet
While eating a balanced diet is often a significant aspect of good health, merely eating the right foods is not enough, according to the active-aging philosophy. Founders believe that how much and when you eat plays a critical role as well.
In particular, the theory applies to the consumption of vital nutrients, carbohydrates and proteins. The metabolism of aging persons is known to gradually decrease. This is why adherents often follow the chronodiet, which is designed to be in-tune with the circadian rhythm, or the functioning cycle the body follows.
Chronodiet proponents opine that carbohydrates should be consumed in the morning and proteins during the evening. Complex carbohydrates provide the body with a great deal of energy but are digested at a slower rate than most other foods. Therefore, consuming products containing these substances early in the day may reduce hunger throughout the day, lead to people’s consuming less, losing fat and maintaining a healthy weight. When eaten at night, proteins restore depleted energy levels and help the body remain strong during the fasting period that occurs during sleep.
The chronodiet is said to provide several potential life-extending benefits aside from healthy weight maintenance. Proponents suggest the practice leads to more efficient blood flow, improved digestion and better nutrition.
Engaging in Physical Activity
Physical exertion is also vital to the active-aging process. Proponents suggest engaging in activities like weight training, which ultimately contributes to the development of strength and muscle mass. Some individuals might not enjoy working with weights. For such people, doing simple exercises like push-ups or pull-ups will suffice. Any action will do, provided the exercise somehow stretches and strengthens muscles.
Remaining Socially Active
Physical health is important. However, remaining socially active with friends and family is also critical to aging actively. Human contact helps people stay engaged and can expand their network.
Partaking in Enjoyable Activities
Active agers typically have many hobbies. Philosophy proponents suggest engaging in activities that are not only fun but that stimulate the mind. Hobbies that require serious focus and concentration can help improve or maintain vital cognitive functions.
Obtaining Adequate Rest
While older people might require less sleep than younger people, receiving adequate rest is important to maintaining sufficient energy levels, as well as keeping the immune system operating at an optimal level.