top of page

From Chocolate To Power Naps: Surprising Keys To Healthy Aging

Many people believe that healthy aging and longevity are dictated by their genes, but this statement couldn’t be any further from the truth. While genetics may play a role in the development of diseases, it doesn’t determine our destiny. We have the power to control our environment, our thoughts, our diet, and our lifestyle, which, at the end of the day, will be the larger determinant of the quality of our life as we age.

Here are some habits that can bring a long life.

Bring The Mediterranean To Your Plate

Aim to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds to your plate as well as healthy fats and antioxidant-rich foods. With many studies these days focusing on food for a healthier lifestyle and longevity, the benefits of eating a Mediterranean-like diet brings power back in our hands (or our forks). 

Don’t Skip The Chocolate

Dark chocolate when eaten in moderation has incredible benefits and can even be anti-aging! Packed with minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, selenium, zinc, and antioxidants, it’s a load of nutrients that has been also shown to help with stress, lower the risk of heart disease, and it is protective against high cholesterol. The darker the chocolate the better, and remember that moderation is key!

woman dreaming of chocolate
Who else dreams about chocolate?

Move Around

Find ways to move your body naturally (but intentionally) throughout the day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car further away instead of disputing the parking spot closest to the store entrance, walk around when you’re talking on the phone with someone, or stand by the counter when using your laptop. Just by intentionally adding these small shifts to your activity level, you can burn an extra 1000 calories per week! 

Try Strength Training

Women who lift have lower body fat and increased muscle mass. Lifting weight has been shown to help improve bone density which helps in the prevention of osteoporosis. There’s also the incredible benefit of diabetes prevention and a reduction in cardiovascular risk. Aim to do a strength exercise 2-3 times per week. The goal is to reap all the benefits of strength training, not to join a physique competition (unless you want to, then you would train for that)! Once you find a routine that fits your lifestyle, stick with it. 

Make Time For Mental Wellness

Mental health is by far one of the most important items on this list. After the worldwide pandemic of 2019, many of us have experienced first-hand the deleterious effects of the pandemic on our mental health which has left its remarks in many people up to these days. The bright side of it is that we learned to value mental wellness like never before. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that in order to improve our mental health we should get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, try a relaxing activity, focus on the positive side of things, stay connected with friends and family, eat healthy, and have a good night's sleep. Don’t forget to stay hydrated to help you feel less tired and more focused throughout the day. 

Take A Power Nap

Napping for 15-20 minutes can help boost productivity, improve your mood, decrease your risk of accidents, keep you alert, and improve your memory. Unfortunately, many women feel guilty for taking a power nap when they can! Ladies, the world will not end if you stop 20 minutes for a nap; in fact, your to-do list will still be there waiting for you, the only difference is that after a restorative nap, you’ll have much more brain power and creativity to tackle them all. I could give myself an award as the napping queen and I am not embarrassed by it!

The world will not end if you stop 20 minutes for a nap; in fact, your to-do list will still be there waiting for you, the only difference is that after a restorative nap, you’ll have much more brain power.

Keep Stress At Bay

There’s so much that goes under the realm of stress, that we would need to write an entire book! Stress can exacerbate any physical or mental health problems and also decrease our lifespan. Therefore, finding activities that can help us decrease our stress level is crucial if we want to reap all the benefits of a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. Stress depletes B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, iron, and zinc from the body while increasing the risk for high blood pressure and diabetes. Find a way to decompress often; try yoga, meditation, prayer, exercise, going for a walk, receiving sunlight, journaling, watching a movie, or making a gratitude list.

Finally, developing healthy habits such as a healthy diet, exercise you enjoy, intentional movement, taking care of your mental wellness, and your brain are key components in determining how well you will enjoy your life while aging gracefully. Taken together, these changes will put you on a path to a long life.


Meet the expert:

Gabriela Rocha with Her Nation Magazine
Gabriela Rocha

Gabriela Rocha is dedicated to empowering women to overcome the modern health challenges, including weight, fatigue, bloating, and the '3-Highs': high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. With a passion for helping women achieve optimal health and well-being, Gabriela provides clarity amidst the confusion of online nutrition advice. Through her expertise and guidance, she leads a movement to transform lives, enabling women to thrive with vitality and confidence.

Dive deeper into her wealth of knowledge:



bottom of page