Whether you’re an older adult now, or a younger adult with your eye on the future, there’s no shortage of medical studies out there to help give you some ideas on ways to live longer and maintain a healthy lifestyle into older adulthood. More and more Americans are living into their 70s, 80s and 90s, and that life expectancy will only increase as technology and medicine continue to develop. One in three babies today will live to be 100. It’s never too early or too late to educate yourself and your family on ways to live a long, healthy and happy life.
If you’re wondering how to stay young or, more accurately, how to stay healthy as you get older and how to prevent the negative effects of aging, we have some healthy aging tips just for you. Maintain muscle strength and flexibility, decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease and improve your cognitive health with one of these ways to promote healthy aging and extend your happy, healthy years.
If you’re looking to slow down or even reverse some of the effects of aging and stress, consider getting into yoga! A 2017 study in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity concluded that as little as a few months of yoga slowed markers of aging at the cellular level and suggests that regular yoga can also reverse effects of depression. Learn from expert yoga instructors with Road Scholar in New Hampshire or North Carolina.
When King’s College London and the University of Birmingham studied cyclists over the age of 55, they discovered that these cyclists had the physiological functions of a much younger population. Their study showed that those who cycled regularly showed less muscle loss, more strength, lower cholesterol levels, higher testosterone levels, a stronger immune system and the thymus of a much younger person. Extend your lifespan when you train for and experience a Road Scholar cycling trip anywhere from the Katy Trail to the Danube.
Not only is physical activity like hiking proven to decrease the risk of myriad health conditions, such as coronary heart disease, but one 2013 study by researchers at The University of Alberta also shows that hiking in groups can improve the aging body, make the body less reliant on medications, help maintain a healthy weight, and “challenge perceptions of the aging body and strengthen bonds between members through the adventures they shared.” Enroll in a hiking trip with Road Scholar to walk with a group of likeminded folks and learn about destinations from Colorado to the Cotswolds with our expert naturalists!
Physical health isn’t the only thing that contributes to healthy aging. Your brain’s efficiency, capacity and flexibility is important, too. One 2017 study published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement suggests that meditating often can improve brain function. And a 2015 study from UCLA found that meditating regularly minimizes brain age! There's substantial evidence that Road Scholar’s meditation retreats can help keep you young, including our wellness program in the Ozarks.
A glass of red wine a day keeps the undertaker away … according to Harvard Medical School Biologist David Sinclair. Sinclair published a study in March 2013 that concluded that resveratrol, an ingredient found in red wine, can activate an enzyme that repairs DNA, inflammation, circadian clocks, and the creation of mitochondria in animals, which can extend their lifespan. The study hasn’t been tested on humans, but you can launch a study of your own on a food and wine trip with Road Scholar.
A study by researchers at Northwestern University shows that swimming can add 10 years to your life! Swimming helps prevent heart disease, and experts say that once a day is a great cadence, not more. Swimming is gentler on your joints than some high-impact exercises and can build stamina, strengthen muscles and reduce stress, among other benefits. Take your swimming game to new depths with a snorkeling trip with Road Scholar.
We’ve always been told that laughter is the best medicine, but now there are studies to prove it. Not only does laughter decrease stress and trigger endorphins to make you feel better, a Norwegian study showed that humor can also help you live a longer, healthier life – as much as 20% longer! Learn how to look on the bright side with Road Scholar in the Ozarks.
A nine-year study by The British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that playing racket sports regularly decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease by 56%! Experts recommend racket sports like pickleball or tennis to older adults because they can be played at any age, offer a great cardiovascular workout and increase both lower- and upper-body strength. It also provides opportunities for lateral movement, which helps adults maintain good balance, and it exercises your mind by working your quick-thinking skills. And to top it all off, pickleball is the fastest-growing sport for older adults. Learn pickleball with expert coaches at Hilton Head, or try a tennis trip in South Carolina or England.
Whether you’re a painter or potter, or if you’re interested in quilting or woodworking — long-term artistic practice can keep your mind young! A Mayo Clinic study from 2015 investigated the use of technology, the practice of making art and social interactions in older adults and found that making art had the greatest impact on preventing cognitive impairment. Participants who practiced art regularly reported 32.5 percent fewer incidents of mild cognitive impairment compared to non-artists. Sing, weave baskets, practice photography or watercolor and more on one of Road Scholar’s many music and art retreats for adults.
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