10 Steps to Healthy, Happy Aging


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Ideally, you’e been practicing healthy habits throughout your life. But even if you haven’t, it’s never too late to start taking proactive steps to maintain and even improve your health.

Small lifestyle changes can have a big impact. They can help you prevent or better manage chronic disease and keep your body fit and your brain sharp. Adopting even a few of the habits listed here will start you on the right track for healthy aging.

1. Stay Physically Active for a Healthy Body and Mind

Exercise can help offset many of the effects of aging. According to Medline Plus, exercising regularly can improve your balance, help keep you mobile, improve your mood by reducing feelings of anxiety and depression, and contribute to better cognitive functioning. It’s also an important part of managing and potentially reducing your risk of some diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis.

Any exercise at all is better than none for healthy aging, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like swimming or taking a brisk walk) each week; you can further break this down into 30 active minutes a day for five days a week. It also recommends twice-weekly muscle-strengthening activities. You can find a list of recommended physical activities here, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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