4 Tips for Healthy Aging

Maastricht, 5th July, 2024

People worldwide are aiming to live longer and the key to enjoying those extra years is ensuring quality aging. It’s not just about getting older, it’s about getting older in good health. This is a global issue that affects everyone. How to achieve it?

tips for healthy aging

What is aging?


Aging itself isn’t a disease, but it does make us more vulnerable. Good health in old age means maintaining independence, which involves two main aspects: mobility, which can be driving a car or simply going to the toilet; and cognitive health – your ability to think, learn, and remember. There is a link between them as being sedentary can negatively impact your cognitive health (1). So, how to limit the loss of mobility and maintain cognitive health?

Tips for Healthy Aging


1.Take Care of Your Mental Health: As people age, they may experience certain life changes, such as retirement, which is a significant risk factor for mental health issues like depression (2, 3). Depression, in turn, is an established risk factor for functional mobility impairment (4). Additionally, stopping work may often result in memory loss and experiencing reduced social interaction, both crucial for cognitive health. Social interaction is extremely beneficial for memory (5) and should be encouraged especially after retirement.


2.Stay Physically Active: Regular physical activity is crucial for successful aging as it preserves muscle performance, promotes mobility, and reduces the risk of falls, thereby significantly boosting physical well-being (6). Physical exercises like yoga or walking also improve psychological well-being (including depression) by reducing muscle tension (7). Moreover, physical activity supports brain health by promoting brain maintenancе (8). It induces biological and structural changes in the brain (9), increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to your brain, which helps with memory and learning by benefiting the hippocampus, a key memory structure (7). This is essential since aging is associated with memory decline (10). To prevent it, engage yourself in activities like jogging, running, cycling, or swimming.


3.Take Care of Your Cognitive Health: Some people may possess or develop a cognitive reserve that helps them resist cognitive aging and reduce the impact of potential brain damage (11). This means their brain can function well even when affected by similar levels of deterioration as others. Key factors that improve cognitive reserve include cognitive stimulation and lifelong learning (12). To increase focus and protect your memory, use it regularly. Try navigating without maps, memorize your relatives’ phone numbers, read or learn a new language.


4.Make Smart Food Choices: Consuming flavonoid-rich foods, such as berries or citrus fruits throughout life may help limit or even reverse age-related memory and cognitive decline. Polyphenols, found in these foods, improve synaptic transmission, increase synaptic plasticity, and enhance neurogenesis. These compounds not only provide various other health benefits that collectively support memory (10, 13), but also may enhance muscle health (14), which is important for maintaining mobility. Additionally, there is an inverse relationship between the intake of polyphenols and depressive symptoms—the more you consume, the less likely you are to experience depression (15), supporting both mental well-being and cognitive health.




Healthy aging is about maintaining physical and cognitive health. By staying active, caring for mental and cognitive well-being, and making smart food choices, you can enjoy your later years with greater independence and vitality. Aging well is not just about adding years to life but adding life to years.