Fountain of Youth: How To Stay Energetic At Sixty-Plus

While genetics and environmental influences can have a significant impact on overall health—there's more to this story.
A road sign that read fountain of youth next exit

Staying youthful while aging can be connected to lifestyle choices. While you can't stop the progression of time, you have more control over the effects than you might realize.

A youthful outlook is often considered the key to enjoying life as you age. You can increase your odds of staying active, independent and resilient. How? By being proactive about your lifestyle.

It may not be an external fountain, but it’s possible to enjoy the rewards of healthy choices. Use these 5 lifestyle tips to look great and feel great over 60.

Get Social

Portrait of senior friends enjoying outside dinner at home

Social activity is vital to health and happiness. Time spent socializing helps keep your mind young. Talking and interacting with others enhances cognitive abilities and stimulates your brain.

Consider the following benefits of frequent social interaction:

  • Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Enhances cognitive abilities and reduces memory loss
  • Promotes a greater sense of health and well-being
  • Reduces the physical and emotional effects of stress
  • Reduces your risk of Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis, by reducing inflammation

Older adults who stay socially active and engaged, report feeling healthier and happier than those who are isolated.

Get Exercise

Portrait of smiling senior friends exercising in the park

Physical activity can delay or reverse the symptoms associated with aging and protect your quality of life. Without exercise, physical impairments will lead to further functional limitations and frailty. Some of the many reasons to establish a healthy exercise routine include:

  • Enhancing the flow of oxygenated blood to your brain
  • Improving confidence and boosting your mood
  • Reducing your risk of depression
  • Improving balance, strength, and endurance
  • Reducing your risk of falls and injury
  • Enhancing your memory and cognitive ability
  • Improving sleep quality and enhancing your body's ability to repair
  • Regenerating healthy neurons to potentially delay the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia or to reduce the severity of symptoms

Experts recommend striving for 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least several times per week. A brisk walk, swimming, and even gardening will reduce your risk of muscle deterioration as you age. Muscle-strengthening activities, even when performed in the comfort of your chair when necessary, will improve your overall health.

Get Hydrated

Senior man excited to drink water

Even the best diet and exercise habits will not be entirely beneficial if you don’t drink enough water.

Your body requires fluids to function. Fluids keep essential nutrients flowing through your cells, help maintain healthy joints, and keep your body temperature regulated. Some of the other health benefits of maintaining adequate hydration levels include:

  • Increasing blood volume, which reduces the strain on your heart
  • Enhancing your body's ability to eliminate waste from your muscles, improving your muscle's ability to rejuvenate and repair.
  • Keeping energy levels consistent (fatigue is one of the first indications of dehydration)
  • Boosting the flow of oxygenated blood to your brain
  • Aiding digestion and elimination

Keep in mind that drinking plain water may not be enough to keep your body adequately hydrated. Drinking too much plain water can deplete your electrolyte levels. Consider supplementing your intake with electrolyte solutions, especially if you live in a warm climate.

Eat Healthy

Senior African American couple enjoying healthy dinner at home

Your metabolism will continue to slow as you age, meaning you will need fewer calories to support your weight. Therefore, it's vital to get the most nutrition you can from the calories you consume. The recommendations for a healthy diet include:

  • Five servings of colorful vegetables each day, and two servings of fruit
  • Whole-grain foods such as cereals, bread, and brown rice
  • Lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, and lentils
  • Heart-healthy fats such as nuts and oily fish
  • Low-fat dairy

Choosing fruits and vegetables is a great way to support healthy eating.

Consider Whey Protein

Top view, whey protein scoop on top of black background

Age-related muscle loss called sarcopenia commonly begins by the age of 40 and accelerates quickly after the age of 75. The decline in muscle mass is linked to increased mortality risk and reduced quality of life. But it doesn’t have to go like that.

Supplementing your diet with high-quality whey protein helps prevent muscle loss. Whey protein powder, a milk derivative, is a natural protein supplement that helps maintain lean muscle mass. Consider the value of the following benefits:

  • Easier on your digestive system than other forms of protein
  • Digests faster than animal proteins
  • Complete amino acid profile comparable to eggs, meat, and soy
  • Helps your body utilize vitamins D, E, and A
  • Rich in amino acids
  • Contains immunoglobulins that support your immune system

The benefits of whey protein are verifiable. In a study of men 70 and over, those who took a whey supplement for six weeks gained more lean mass than a control group who exercised but received a placebo.

Assistance Club Summary

The #1 Take Away: Your choices can help you stay active and healthy, feeling youthful.

While you can't stop the clock, the choices you make today will have a significant impact on your overall health as you age. Making a few simple adjustments to your social life, exercise, hydration and diet could have a considerable impact on your ability to maintain an active, independent lifestyle.