For most of us aging well means aging in the most healthy and happy way possible. While good health may be partially determined by genetics many environmental factors do play a huge role in how well you age. Regular exercise, social activities, and eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you enjoy retirement in the best possible health.

If you read a dozen stories about health and wellness they will all agree on two important factors: regular exercise and eating a balanced diet consistent with good proteins (meats, nuts), carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables) and healthy fats (from fish, avocados) will help you live longer and age well.

Social activities are also important for mental health, and choosing to live in a community with others where you can make new friends and enjoy new activities together can help stimulate your brain and may even reduce symptoms of depression, says Craig Cole, exercise physiologist for Bethany Village, a continuing care retirement community in Centerville. 

Certainly, it’s important to follow healthy habits at every age. Quit smoking and make daily exercise part of your regular routine. Even just 20 minutes of walking a day can make a big difference in your health.

Older adults who have dogs tend to get more exercise than others as they are more likely to get out and walk their pet each day. Can you walk to the corner store instead of driving? Do you have a favorite mall where you can walk indoors for half an hour and window shop a few times a week? Does your retirement village offer outdoor paths or a fitness center you can visit regularly? Staying active into your later years will be the biggest and most important lifestyle change you can make.



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