Time always moves forward, no matter how much we try to steal, save, or stop it. Anyone who’s raised children knows better than to fight against the endless cycle of the seasons – better to take steps to enjoy life to the fullest in the present and prepare for a better future.

We’re always learning more about aging

Fortunately, science is also always moving forward, seeking to discover new ways of staving off the effects of aging. Research is constantly being performed in the areas of medicine, fitness, nutrition, and overall health in trying to find the optimum ways to keep our loved ones with us longer – and keep us around to enjoy them.

It pays to stay informed about the latest and greatest practices in staying fit and healthy across the length of our years, and act on new discoveries as they are proven to work.

Exercise keeps the body & mind fit

One of those discoveries – though already a part of ages old wisdom – is that if you want to enjoy the benefits of a health body and a sharp mind, exercise must be a part of your daily life.

A study of 65-year olds at the University of Kansas revealed not only that more exercise resulted in better physical fitness – it also resulted in improved focus and better spatial visualization. Even 15 minute / day sessions resulted in benefits both physical and mental.

So dust off those rubber shoes and get started walking!

Eat for the future you

It should come as no surprise that a good diet is key to your short-term and long-term health. That adage has been around for decades – what’s changed is our understand of what a good diet is.

We’ve learned to reduce the consumption of sugars and carbohydrates (increased risk of Type 2 diabetes), to avoid preservatives, MSG, and too much salt in our meals (increased risk of high blood pressure).

We’ve learned to pay attention to where our meat or chicken comes from, to consume dairy that’s rich in calcium (helps avoid osteoporosis), and to try cooking with olive oil (monounsaturated fats that lower rates of heart disease).

But we’ve also learned that some items struck from the list of healthy eating have been returned: eggs aren’t necessarily the villainous sources of cholesterol they were made out to be; chocolates rich in flavanols help our hearts by helping preserve the healthy functioning of blood vessels; and red wine – in moderation, of course – helps protect against heart disease, diabetes, and age-related memory loss.

However, some old wisdom remains: we’ve been reassured by science that our parents were right: a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential to our continued health.

Keep your mind busy

Studies have shown that activities that engage our minds tend to help us retain their use longer into old age. From the old standbys like crosswords and mahjong, to modern video games – any hobby or activity that requires extensive use of memory, reasoning, and multi-tasking seems to help hold on our mental faculties as we grow older.

Where skills of the mind are involved, the classic adage seems to hold true: use it, or lose it.

Lifestyle matters

Any lifestyle check performed for medical reasons always factors in sources of stress, and ways to mitigate stress. This is because extensive medical research has revealed and reconfirmed that constant, high-level stress has multiple detrimental effects on physical and mental health, often compounded by lack of sleep: high blood pressure, heart disease, memory loss, inability to concentrate, the list goes on.

In the modern age, we are always reminded to make time for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for the dreams we have in life. Dedictaing hours (or the occasional vacation leave) can mitigate or even eliminate the effects of stress on our lives.

Furthermore, these pursuits help remind us about what’s truly important; what else is life for, if not for truly living?