The Key to Healthy Aging and Longevity: Lifestyle and Environment

senior woman reading a book

When it comes to getting older, we all want to age healthily and happily. As much as we strive to accomplish this, not many of us know how to actually achieve it. Is it proper nutrition, exercise and involvement? The short answer is ‘Yes,’ but it actually amounts to much more. In fact, the secret is in our lifestyle and environment.

“Although it might seem obvious, these two factors have a lot to do with living a good life,” says Lisa Wacht, Director of Health Services at Kendal® on Hudson, the only true Lifecare community in Westchester County. “Think of the older adults around you. Who seems to have fewer health problems? Who seems to be living a happy lifestyle? Consider how you’d like to live when you retire. Would you like to be like the person you’re thinking of? A lot of the time, when we consider this, we find that the person we are picturing lives an involved, engaged and active life – in fact, they may even seem to run circles around us. We can learn a lot from older adults about how to age gracefully and live healthy lives, and it’s important to listen.”

The Top 10 Secrets to Healthy Aging

Because lifestyle and environment are so important to healthy aging and longevity, it’s important to know where to start to create the best retirement lifestyle. To live long and healthy lives, remember the following secrets.

Secret #1: Fuel Your Body Right
According to an article from Harvard Health Publishing, it’s important to focus on vegetables and whole grains, limiting refined carbohydrates and cutting down on saturated fats while avoiding trans fats. The article also states that you should refrain from overeating and shut down the kitchen after dinner, making food off limits.

Secret #2: Get Moving
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. Not only can it improve strength and endurance, help you manage weight and your health, but it can also improve balance, helping to prevent falls and broken bones.

Secret #3: Exercise the Mind
Playing word games, reading books and learning new things can help to improve memory and enhance brain activity. It’s important to have a healthy mind as you age, so challenging it regularly is encouraged.

Secret #4: Find Your Passion
Do you have a hobby or talent you’ve neglected over the years? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t gotten the chance? Now is the perfect time! Finding something you are passionate about can greatly improve your mood, decrease the risk of depression and create an outlet for frustration! 

Secret #5: Socialize
Being engaged and staying social helps to manage stress, reduces the risk of depression and helps boost mood. At Kendal, engage with others by volunteering, joining clubs and sharing interests. 

Secret #6: Quit Sabotaging Your Well-Being
Smoking, excessive drinking and overeating can decrease your longevity. Be sure to moderate how much you drink and try to quit smoking. Don’t forget to get any medical issues looked at by a doctor and take prescribed medications as directed. 

Secret #7: Find Happiness & Reduce Stress
Do what makes you happy and relieve stress by exercising, practicing yoga, writing or even walking in nature. Not only can the sun boost your happiness, but the exercise can release endorphins making you happier and lowering stress.

Secret #8: Establish Proper Sleep
Don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s rest. According to Healthline, sleep is crucial for regulating cell function and helping the body to heal. The article also states that longevity is linked to regular sleeping patterns. Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day.

Secret #9: Never Stop Learning
Is there a yoga class you want to try? A musical instrument you’d like to learn? Do you want to go back to school or further your education? It’s never too late. Not only can learning create opportunities for greater socialization, but it can also help to improve brain health, satisfaction and allow older adults to feel more fulfilled.

Secret #10: Find the Right Retirement Lifestyle
To live a long, active and healthy life, older adults need to consider where they live. If they live at home, alone they may become isolated over time. It can also become tedious to worry about going grocery shopping, and tending to the yard during the changing seasons. Many older adults consider this and decide to enhance their life with a senior living community such as Kendal on Hudson, which provides delicious and healthy meals, exciting programming and fitness classes, and social opportunities.

Each day at Kendal on Hudson, we strive to provide the tools that allow our residents to live healthy, happy and engaged lives. To learn more or experience our lifestyle for yourself, contact Kendal today by calling 914-922-1000.

Together, Transforming the Experience of Aging.®

Founded on Quaker principles and guided by our values and practices, Kendal® on Hudson provides a vibrant, active and social senior lifestyle on our 25-acre campus next to the historic Hudson River. As the only Lifecare community in Westchester County, we offer four levels of service for our residents: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Support and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Services.

Kendal on Hudson is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization led by a volunteer Board of Directors. Kendal on Hudson is an affiliate of The Kendal Corporation, a system of communities and services for older people based in Kennett Square, PA. We support diversity, inclusiveness, and independence and support the values and practices of Kendal by remaining focused on healthy aging. Located in Sleepy Hollow, New York, just 35 miles from New York City, we offer a vibrant lifestyle, cultural programs, continued learning and health care for life.

For more information, please call 914-922-1000.