Not many people are happy about growing older. But while you may not look forward to aging, positive lifestyle choices and maintaining healthy habits make the process much easier.

Below, we offer expert tips for living a long and healthy life.

Don’t Focus on Dieting—Focus on Lifestyle

When it comes to food choices, the key is sustainability. Many fad diets aren’t necessarily terrible, and they can help you lose weight quickly. However, it’s unrealistic for many people to maintain these diets in the long term. Instead, base your diet around the following:

  • High-fiber foods
  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Unprocessed food

Additionally, drinking is okay in moderation. While, a little red wine is certainly not bad, you want to stay out of the danger zone. For women, that means consuming no more than one drink a day and for men, no more than two.

Approach Exercise Strategically

Recent research shows that metabolism in adulthood doesn’t start to slow down until age 60. However, muscle is what burns calories, and when we’re younger we have more muscle mass. To get the most of your workouts:

  • Add weight training to your workout routine to help build muscle back.
  • Make exercise part of your everyday life. Exercise increases overall health and sense of well-being. It can also decrease stress which, if continuous, can actually speed up the aging process. Everybody is a little different but try to get a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise per day.
  • Incorporate a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout once or twice a week.

Get Ahead of the Game

Focusing on preventative care is key. Getting checkups, blood work done, and staying on top of tests is important. Sometimes people fall behind on prevention when they “feel good”, but as you age, be sure you’re getting the proper tests done at the right time. Standard screenings for adults include:

  • Skin check
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol screening
  • HIV and STI screening
  • Gynecologic exam
  • Eye exam
  • Dental exam

By the time you reach your 40s, other tests and vaccinations become necessary. When to start depends upon your risk. Discuss this with your doctor and work together to decide when you should take action on the following:

  • Colorectal screening
  • Mammogram
  • Testicular exam
  • Diabetes screening
  • Bone density test
  • Prostate screening
  • Shingles vaccine
  • Pneumonia vaccine

Remember, your doctor is here to keep you healthy. Open and honest conversations help them do just that. Making good lifestyle choices and paying attention to what your body is telling you can set you down the right path for a long life.