Healthy Aging – What You Need to Know
With the advancements of 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. 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 live longer and 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 and lower our cholesterol levels and chances of getting type 2 diabetes or colon cancer.
It is also critical that we avoid processed foods because they have high sodium that can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Make sure to speak with your doctor about dietary restrictions since everyone has different diets.
As we all know, exercising can help us physically, emotionally, and mentally. But as we age, it may be difficult for us to work out for long hours. Try to exercise 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 prevent or provide relief for 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. We need just as much sleep as younger adults ranging between seven to nine hours per night. However, we may not get enough sleep every night because we may experience insomnia, which is common among older adults. A lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems.
That is why we should create a consistent sleep schedule with a bedtime routine so that we can get enough hours of sleep. We should refrain from using technology late while also avoiding caffeine or alcohol. 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 will also disrupt your sleep schedule. If you continue experiencing sleep problems, ask your doctor if any of your medication might be keeping you awake.
Our mental health is just as significant as our physical health if we want to continue being happy and lowering our stress as we age. To keep our mood elevated, we can spend time with our loved ones to 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.
Maintaining a positive attitude is also important. If we accept our age and become optimistic about our lives, then we will live longer and have fewer heart attacks and depressive symptoms. And to add further happiness in our lives, we can also do hobbies or volunteer work to better ourselves and help those in need.