Aging Gracefully: Experts Share Insights on a Holistic Approach to Youthful Living

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Aging Gracefully: Experts Share Insights on a Holistic Approach to Youthful Living

Aging gracefully goes beyond minimizing wrinkles. It’s about feeling good and staying connected to the physical world in a meaningful, healthy way. Looking and feeling more youthful requires caring for your body, nurturing your mind, and fueling your soul with joy and love, according to the experts. 

Starting early is the first step, says Staci Leavitt Davidson, registered dietitian at Staci Leavitt Mind & Body in Melville. “Taking care of our bodies from a young age is crucial to prevent issues like eating disorders and osteoporosis and to ensure that we age gracefully.” She emphasizes prioritizing regular exercise, maintaining quality nutrition, and setting realistic goals for ourselves and our bodies. 

Recognize the difference between calorie and nutrition needs and how they change over time, advises Davidson. “As we age, our calorie needs decrease, but our nutrient requirements remain constant or may even increase, so we have to adjust our lifestyle habits accordingly,” she explains. Keeping track of food intake through a journal helps to increase awareness and avoid unhealthy eating habits, she says. 

Incorporating adequate hydration, proper sleep, and a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as sunshine for vitamin D and mood enhancement, is beneficial for overall health and well-being, Davidson notes.

Ensure that your metabolism is functioning optimally and maintain a healthy body weight by staying active, advises Casie Jericho Ludemann, certified nutritionist and fitness trainer at Casie Jericho Lifestyle Coaching in Islip. Take advantage of opportunities to get exercise. Walk, gesture when you talk, play with your kids, hit the gym, swim, hike, and bike. Park in the furthest parking spot at the store, take the stairs not the elevator, and babysit your grandchildren,” she suggests. Add weights to give your fitness routine a boost and combat osteoporosis, she adds. “Consistency and progression are key in the journey towards longevity,” Ludemann says.

Focus on the positive and create a path of joy, says Anastasia Polar, L.M.H.C., licensed mental health counselor at Inner Reflections Mental Health Counseling P.C in Woodbury. Remain in the present. “Dwelling on the past can impact our well-being by increasing our stress, anxiety, or depression,” Polar says. Learn to identify your emotional triggers and replace negative habits with healthier ones such as practicing mindfulness and gratitude, she says. 

To maintain a youthful glow on the inside and out, Polar says to stay connected to your community, loved ones, and friends, and challenge your mind. “Activities that may positively impact longevity stimulate the mind and reduce risk of cognitive decline as we get older,” she notes. Participate in social events, workshops, or classes that align with your hobbies or passions…volunteer. “Shared experiences create an opportunity to connect with others.” Find your sense of purpose and motivation and fill your days with love, laughter and smiles.