Healthy Aging – What You Can Do Today
With the advancements in medicine and technology, many people in the U.S. are living longer than ever before. However, as we grow older, our body and mind continue to change. We may not have the same energy we did when we were younger. We may also be at risk for recurring health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, or we may be dealing with long-term stress.
That is why it is important to take care of ourselves and learn how to stay healthy as we age. Fortunately, there are many steps we can take to live a fulfilling life as we grow older. No matter what your age now, it is never too early or too late to start. We have five useful tips for healthy aging.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is beneficial for us in many ways. By consuming whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, we will be better protected against illnesses such as heart problems, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. Eating fiber is also helpful as it will fill us up, lower our cholesterol level and reduce the chances of getting type 2 diabetes or colon cancer.
It is also critical that we avoid processed foods because high sodium can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Make sure to speak with your doctor about dietary restrictions since everyone has different needs.
As we all know, exercising can help us physically, emotionally, and mentally. However, as we age, we might need to adjust our fitness based on our abilities. The goal is to get moving for at least a half-hour every day by doing aerobic workouts such as walking, swimming, or cycling. This will keep our brain cells healthy by delivering more blood and oxygen. It will also retain our balance and mobility longer, as well as reducing our stress and improving our mood. In addition, it will protect us from many common chronic conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Visiting our doctor can help us detect problems at an early stage or before they start. Contact your primary care practitioner for an annual physical or whenever you have health concerns. Make sure to also come prepared for your appointment by bringing a list of your current prescription and non-prescription medications or if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms.
As we also know, sleep is important in our daily lives. It is common for older adults to experience insomnia, robbing them of the sleep they need. A lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems.
We all need to create a consistent sleep schedule with a bedtime routine so that we can get enough hours of sleep. Limit caffeine and alcohol and avoid using technology before bed, which can stimulate our brain. Instead, we can do relaxing activities such as reading a book or taking a bath to ease our body and mind. Also, avoid taking naps longer than 20 minutes during the day as they could disrupt your sleep schedule. If you continue experiencing sleep problems, ask your doctor if you can get a sleep study. You can now do them in the privacy of your own home.
Our mental health is just as significant as our physical health. Mental health is directly related to our level of stress and how we cope. Pay extra attention to spending time with friends and loved ones. This can actually help reduce stress and inflammation, or swelling, linked to arthritis and diabetes. We will also feel less isolated and depressed by spending time with someone meaningful with people we enjoy. In addition, having a hobby and volunteering are great ways to relieve stress.
Maintaining a positive attitude is also important. If we accept our age and have an optimistic attitude about our lives, we reduce our risk of depression and other ailments. fewer heart attacks and depressive symptoms.