You might be picturing your older years as a time to travel, enjoy the company of great friends, and live the life you have always wanted. But, to do everything you want as you age, biggest roadblock could be poor health. So, if you want to stay healthy throughout life and take that 55 and older European cruise you have always dreamed of, here are some of my top healthy aging tips for women.

Stay active.

If you don’t use it, you lose it. Staying physically active is the key to staying youthful throughout life. When you don’t move your muscles, they lose strength and flexibility. Bones weaken, leading to fractures. Physical activity also helps heart health, blood sugar, and stress levels.

Find an activity you enjoy that you can do regularly. Walking, swimming, or playing a group sport like tennis is a great place to start. Aim for at least 30-60 minutes every day to keep those muscles moving.

Focus on brain health.

Just like your body needs movement, your brain needs to be worked out as well. Regular mental stimulation can help lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Become a life-long learner. Enroll in a class that interests you or attend local lectures on fascinating topics. Do word puzzles regularly. Read daily. Anything you can do to keep your brain engaged will also keep it healthy. Brain-boosting supplements with anti-inflammatory ingredients like curcumin can help as well.

Eat a balanced diet.

We are what we eat. Diet has a major impact on long-term health. The most important thing you can do for our diet is to bump up your intake of fruits and vegetables. Plants are the key to health throughout life and longevity.

But, balance matters when it comes to your diet. A healthy diet should include lean protein, plenty of plants, healthy fats, and whole grains. Be sure to get at least 2-3 servings of foods high in calcium daily.

Focus on your skin.

The appearance of your skin is a reflection of your internal health. There is a lot you can do to keep your skin healthy throughout life. First, always protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen daily.

Second, consider adding a few skin-specific supplements to help keep skin youthful. Collagen loss is the main cause of wrinkling and dryness as we age. Taking a collagen supplement can help encourage the body to make new collagen, keeping skin smooth and wrinkle-free. Anti-inflammatory nutrients, like omega-3s and curcumin, can help keep skin young-looking as well.

Manage your stress.

Uncontrolled stress can speed up the aging process. In order to age gracefully, you must also find a way to gracefully handle stress. This means making self-care a priority. Consider adding yoga, meditation, massage, or regular time in nature to your regular routine. Spending time with positive friends and loved ones helps with stress management as well. The important thing is to not let stress take over.

With these few simple changes you can age gracefully, so you can enjoy your later years, the way you always imagined you would.

Yours in health-

Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
IVL’s Community Registered Dietitian