No one enjoys the mental and physical effects that come with growing older. However, the youthfulness of your body and brain aren’t completely out of your control. In fact, there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make that can help you defy the effects of aging over time. These are five ways to keep yourself mentally and physically youthful as you age!

Rest, Rest, Rest!

While a good night’s sleep is a goal for most everyone, getting enough rest is also essential to maintaining a youthful body and brain. When you miss out on sleep, you bump up your risk for age-related diseases. Not resting enough also damages the skin, throws your hormones out of whack, and messes with your insulin, all which contribute to chronic illness and quicker aging. Sleeping well – and enough – can provide for a younger, fitter body and brain over time.

Manage Your Stress

Stress doesn’t just feel awful while you’re experiencing it – it also can also seriously damage the abilities of your brain over time. Constant, overwhelming stress destroys neurons in the mind. Although they naturally shrink with age, anxiety and persistent stress can worsen and progress this deterioration. Frequent stress also disturbs the brain’s ability to form, recall, and retain memories. Stress management can help keep your neuron levels healthy and your brain active.

Alter Your Diet

It’s no secret that our diets affect our physical and mental health, but certain foods can also slow down mental decline with age. Brain-healthy foods such as leafy greens, fruits/berries, nuts, grains, and poultry can have a drastic impact on the rate that the brain ages. A rigorously healthy, vitamin-rich diet can add years of youthfulness to the mind and improve long-term memory immensely.

Get In Exercise

Thinking about skipping your weekly trip to the gym? It may pay off to think twice. People who get a healthy amount of exercise in their routine can keep their bodies youthful for longer, often retaining the muscle, stamina, bone strength, and cholesterol of someone of a lesser age. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses, promoting a healthy, youthful body across the years.

Keep On Learning

No matter how full you’ve packed your brain with knowledge, pushing yourself to learn new things can boost your brain’s youthfulness. Our brains, even as we age, stay flexible and ready to retain new information. The perks of adventuring, learning, and growing? You can prevent cognitive decline and memory issues as you grow older, keeping your mind young, alert, and active.