8 keys to healthy aging

Thanks to cutting-edge research, scientists know more than ever today about lifestyle choices that can help people to be healthy and happy during their retirement. Here are eight keys to healthy aging that can build your physical, mental and emotional resilience through each stage of life:

1. Be physically active. Walking or doing other physical activities regularly enables your brain to form new connections, improves mood and sleep, and lowers the risk of chronic disease, disability and falls, according to Dalhousie University.

2. Eat right. Healthy eating helps older adults to remain independent, maintain quality of life, and lower the risk of developing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory diseases, and some cancers, says the British Columbia Ministry of Health.

3. Stay socially connected. Seniors involved in more social activities enjoyed better health, were less lonely and were more satisfied with life, a Statistics Canada study found.

Senior couple resting at park, reading a book4. Keep learning. Enriching your mind in mid-life and as an older adult can protect against cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia, according to a JAMA Neurology study.

5. Think positively. Fostering brief moments of positivity each day protects against stress and depression, and boosts physical health and mental health overall, according to University of North Carolina studies.

6. Protect your joints. Tai chi can help heal joint pain from knee osteoarthritis and improve flexibility, according to a Tufts University study.

7. Calm your mind. Mindfulness meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression and pain, says Jama Internal Medicine.

8. Nourish your spirit. Meditating, yoga, fasting, walking a prayer circle, making a pilgrimage, singing with a choir, lighting Advent or Hanukkah candles, saying daily prayers, or contemplating a mountaintop view: these are all spiritual and religious practices undertaken by many people in their daily lives, which can provide psychological and physical benefits, according to Rutgers University.

Chartwell Retirement Residences offers a wide variety of engaging social and recreational programs and activities, and tasty, nutritious meals that nourish your mind, body and spirit. Learn more on their website.