Thriving Magazine, September 2022, Issue 15

Hit or Myth The Truth About Healthy Aging

Most of us want to do the right things to live a healthy life and keep enjoying the things we love, but often we are confused about what things are the right things. We are constantly bombarded by social media, news headlines, articles, and commercials often presenting misleading and contradictory information, with none of it actually invested in our well-being.

What do I believe? Are the things I have learned actually correct? Have I been doing what I need to do to set me up for healthy aging? If I make changes now, is it too late? Will it make any difference? What does the science actually tell me? These are common questions that I have asked myself, and I get asked all the time.

Let’s break down some common myths, and get to what the research actually says, instead of opinions, individual experiences, and fads.

the myth: fad diets are so popular, they must work Fad diets sound too good to be true, because they are. Fad diets and nutrition programs are created to make money, not to make you healthier and happier. They sell you the idea of losing weight fast, however, they are usually very restrictive, involving banning entire food groups. Often, most people on these fad diets fail in the long-term, because they are made to fail. You achieve a little success, just to eventually fail, so they can lure you back in and make more money. the myth: sleeping-in on the weekend helps you catch up on sleep Our bodies function on a cyclical, 24-hour clock, called our circadian rhythm. We often think of the circadian rhythm as just our sleep/wake cycle, however, it is much more than that. Every cell in our bodies functions on this clock. Our bodies like regularity and consistency. When we sleep-in on the weekends, our circadian rhythm gets off schedule, which can impact our sleep quality, make us tired during the day, make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night, and can even impact food cravings.

do this Focus on eating whole, minimally- processed foods, with lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Minimize distractions while you eat, and drink plenty of water throughout the day, including during your meals. do this The best approach is to have a regular bedtime and wake time that you do your best to stick to every day of the week. Even if you have a night that you’re up later, wake up at your regular wake time the next morning to get your circadian rhythm back on track. As always, aim for a goal of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

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