Blogging with Pat Molter- Pat's 5 Tips to Living a Healthy and Happy Lifestyle
Pat 5 Tips to Living a Healthy and Happy Lifestyle
Did you know there’s not that much difference between an 18-year-old brain and a 100-year-old brain, says Argye Hillis, M.D., director of the cerebrovascular division at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Take that as inspiration that you’re never too old to adopt new healthful habits. The rewards: In the Johns Hopkins-led Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, which tracked more than 6,000 people ages 44 to 84 for over seven years, those who made good-for-you changes like quitting smoking, eating healthy, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight decreased their risk of death in the time period by 80 percent.
Exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers, and that powerful effect leads to something experts call “compression of morbidity.” It essentially means you stay healthy longer in your late years, as compared with someone who spends the final five or 10 years of life battling chronic illness.
“Exercise is also one of the best things you can do to help prevent dementia and other cognitive changes,” says Hillis. Once you’re cleared by your doctor, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
Improve your diet.
There are all sorts of plans out there to help you lose weight, but it’s not only about dropping pounds. Hillis recommends a Mediterranean-style diet for anyone hoping to avoid dementia as well as minimize other health risks. It’s high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish, and low in meat, sugar and processed foods—all to help your cells function better.
Get quality sleep.
Lack of sleep impacts your memory, emotions, weight and even your appearance. The older you get, the harder it can be to fall and stay asleep, but you still need the same amount of hours.
Start and end the day by practicing gratitude.
In spite of all the things we can find fault with we can find even more to be grateful for- waking up, watching the sun set or rise, finding that perfect pebble on the beach, seeing the butterflies on the asters in the garden, a rainbow, etc.
Cultivate those relationships – with family and friends.
Be intentional about spending quality time with those around you.