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Youth may be wasted on the young, as they say, but valued elders are living longer and more vibrant lifestyles.

The average life expectancy of someone living in the United States now exceeds 78 years. But longevity is only half of the equation. Seniors and their loved ones are now tasked with taking steps to improve their quality of life. The golden years can only shine brightly when your independence and dignity are fully intact.

That’s why many people are opting for medical alert systems in the event of an emergency. With such safeguards in place, our valued elders can focus on ways to age with improved grace. Consider these tips to extend healthy living.

Lower Stress

Many people would top their list of healthy living practices with good nutrition. Arguably, that may make sense. But stress has a tremendous impact on our bodies, emotional health, and outlook. It’s difficult to be graceful when you are overwhelmed by stress.

While it may be easier said than done, lowering stress can provide a tremendous uptick in daily living. Start by rooting out negative things such as cable news or electronics.

Consider creating a positive action plan for yourself that includes a set morning routine designed to improve mindfulness and reduce stress. Many people rise early when things are quiet, practice meditation, yoga, stretching or light exercise depending on needs and abilities. The point is to start your day off mindfully and foster a positive outlook.

Wake Fully Rested

Sleep and stress are intertwined. Without a full 7-8 hours nightly, the body cannot reset its cortisol levels. These are responsible for helping us deal with everyday physical and emotional stress.

Dark circle, bags under your eyes or a feeling of exhaustion may be indicators that you are not fully rested. If you are in bed and asleep for a full 8 hours, consider speaking with a medical professional about potential causes of interruption. Rest remains a key to physical and mental wellbeing.

Keep Learning

An active mind is a healthy mind. And a healthy mind fuels your personality and engagement with the others.

There are numerous ways to stay mentally fit including taking online courses, programs at local libraries or taking up lessons. Your golden years can be a wonderful opportunity to learn a musical instrument, draw, paint, discover photography or start writing. Exercising your brain is equally as important as exercising the body.

Keep It Simple . . .

The simple life is definitely the good life. That’s because the more stuff you have, the more time you spend tending to it. This is not to say that you should purge everything and become a minimalist.

Focus on the things that have special meaning or bring you some level of joy. By gradually ridding yourself of the unnecessary clutter, you may experience an inner sigh relief. Too much stuff tends to weigh us all down. Unclutter, be happy.

Maintain In-Home Safety

It’s common knowledge that hard falls and health hazards are acutely significant to our elder community members. Additional support rails in key areas are excellent ways to avoid a fall. But if one occurs, cell phones are not the most reliable way to call for assistance.

Fortunately, organizations such as US Medical Alert Systems offers a personalized emergency response that works 24 hours, 7 days a week. Knowing support will arrive in just minutes, allows you to focus on the positives, put worry aside and enjoy your independence.