Seven Tips for Healthy Aging
Aging is a normal and natural process that leads to physical, mental, emotional, and sexual changes. While some of these changes are positive, most are negative as they influence overall health and well-being. The main challenge of senior living is proactively maintaining your health and well-being while minimizing the adverse effects of aging. Knowing the normal changes associated with aging is key to living healthily. The tips below can promote healthy aging.
1. Stay Physically Active
Exercising and physical fitness can mitigate several negative effects of aging on general health. Regular exercises help seniors improve their balance, remain mobile, and improve mood and cognitive function. Exercising regularly and maintaining physical fitness also helps manage several chronic conditions associated with aging, such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart diseases, and diabetes.
Fortunately, you don’t have to engage in intensive exercises. Simple aerobic activities like brisk walking and swimming can improve your physical health.
2. Healthy Eating
Smart food choices are another crucial component of healthy senior living. A healthy diet can improve brain function and prevent the onset of various health conditions associated with aging. Like routine exercise, a healthy diet isn’t just about weight. With many diet options available, choosing the best diet can prove challenging.
Generally, eating patterns with healthy fats, lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables is nutritious. Mediterranean diets have more health benefits than the conventional American diet.
3. Schedule Medical Checkups and Adhere to Them
Senior adults should also schedule and adhere to medical checkups with doctors, eye specialists, and dentists. These visits present a perfect opportunity to detect and treat problems before they worsen. Older adults using multiple medications, have several conditions, with mobility or memory issues, or who were recently hospitalized should schedule appointments with geriatricians.
4. Take Medications as Prescribed
While this may seem obvious, adhering to your medication schedule also supports healthy aging. Senior adults often use several drugs simultaneously for various conditions. Many drugs make it difficult for seniors to remember how and when to take them. Besides adhering to the prescription, they should insist on periodic reviews of medications with primary care doctors to evaluate the essence of these drugs.
5. Limit Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
Smoking and alcohol consumption has negative effects on overall health and wellness. Heavy drinking increases susceptibility to heart conditions and increases the mortality rate. On the other hand, quitting smoking can control blood pressure and heart rate, reduces cancer risk, and improve the immune system.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is another major contributor to overall health and wellness. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults above 65 should sleep for 7 to 8 hours. However, aging often leads to changes in sleep schedules. Older adults often feel sleepier in the evenings and experience early waking. This isn’t unusual, and adults should adjust accordingly, provided they meet the recommended hours of sleep every night.
7. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Mental health and wellness affect the general health and quality of life of aging adults. Maintaining social activities like interacting with family, friends, and community members regularly benefits overall health. A study by The Journal of Gerontology found that adults aged above 65 with frequent social activity had better moods and few negative feelings.
Aging adults who don’t have active social lives should consider reconnecting with old friends. They can also make new friends through volunteer activities, alumni groups, church groups, and gyms.
Healthy Living While Aging
Since aging can’t be avoided, senior adults should find ways of embracing the process. Instead of focusing on current limitations, adults should explore their senior years by living healthily. The Arbors in Amarillo, Texas, is a wellness community that offers health and wellness programs, such as wound care, nutrition, physical activities, and therapy, that improve recovery and general health of senior adults.