Support Healthy Aging: Making Good Health-Related Choices


Support Healthy Aging: Making Good Health-Related Choices

With advances in the fields of medicine, nutrition, and psychology, aging healthily and gracefully has never been more accessible. Healthy aging is not about trying to look younger, it’s about sustainably maximizing the quality of life.

The second phase of life has several benefits to be reaped. People are experienced, wise, and have sizable savings to spend. Taking good care of the body and mind, and investing effort and time to educate oneself on the advantages and pitfalls of aging can go a long way in healthy aging.

With the right blend of mindfulness and good information, aging can turn people into the best version of themselves over time.

Active Lifestyle

Regular exercise is the most crucial method of maintaining a healthy body. After the 50 year mark, body functions take a huge dip. Muscles and bones soften and general strength decreases.

When it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle, a little can go a long way. Moderate exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. It can also help keep diabetes under control, combats high cholesterol, and contributes to overall increased lifespan. Exercise also strengthens bones and muscles, reduced weight gain, and uplifts a person’s mood.

Aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, cycling, and dancing can be inculcated into the everyday schedule. Even 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can help boost white blood cell production, keeps brain cells healthy and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Proper Diet

Healthy food is important regardless of a person’s age but becomes an especially important factor in the later years. Being picky with food intake can have long-term payoffs. For example, ingesting large amounts of sodium contributes directly to increased risk of hypertension and heart disease. Avoid packaged and processed foods, and food cooked in unhygienic environments. Highly sweet or spicy food, salty foods, and fatty meals are best avoided too.

Plan a diet rich in essential nutrients – Preferably whole foods and organic ingredients. Load up on vegetables and fruits. People with existing heart conditions can switch out meat for healthier options. There are even tasty plant-based meat substitutes available on the market today. Lean protein from fish and beans and moderate servings of fat-free dairy foods can be included too. Foods rich in fiber like whole grains, barley, nuts, and seeds are important to maintain a well-functioning bowel.

Brain Exercises

One in eight elder citizens of the United States show symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Cognitive decline is a natural part of the aging process, even without a brain disorder.

Challenge the brain constantly and keep it on track. Memory loss and general dysfunction of the brain can be kept at bay by exercises targeted at the brain. Board games with family and friends, learning a new language or musical instrument, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and reading books are good ways to keep the brain as sharp as a tack. Solving the daily crossword puzzle or Sudoku grid can also help a lot. Give priority to mental health and practice acceptance and meditation.


Regular Doctor Appointments

Keep in touch with the family doctor proactively. Schedule and attend regular full-body checkups. Identify and mention any concerning symptoms without hesitation. X-rays of the lower body area can be instrumental in identifying and preventing any hipbone issues.

Stay up to date on prescriptions and immunization. Ask the family doctor for supplement recommendations to maintain good bone strength and nutrient intake. Blood tests can help identify any underlying conditions, and make sure vitamin deficiencies are taken care of in a timely manner as well.

Preserve Relationships

As a person gets older and retires from work, it’s important to maintain a sense of purpose. Responsibilities and priorities shift as one ages and a strong support circle of caring family members and friends can work wonders.

Living alone is detrimental to mental health and cultivates a mental psyche of loneliness. It’s also important to have other people close by in case of a medical emergency. Social isolation can be battled by sharing meals with friends, visiting the public library or malls with family members, and taking vacations with the spouse. Reach out to friends going through a similar phase in life. Sharing experiences and comparing notes with like-minded individuals can also be helpful.

Adequate Sleep

Studies show that the human body can survive longer without food than sleep. Older adults might not get adequate sleep owing to disturbed sleep cycles or dehydration. Sleep deprivation can cause depression, increased risk of falling, irritability, low energy levels, and memory loss. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is important. Keep the bedroom dark and noise-free. Keep the alarm and a glass of water within close reach.

Older adults should aim for about 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. A good night’s sleep can help reduce the risk of heart disease, decrease obesity, and improves focus and concentration.

Stress Reduction

Retired adults may not have a steady source of income. Their relationships with their children or spouse might be rocky, or their pension plan might not be enough to make ends meet.

Getting old comes with a host of physical and mental issues, and the sources of stress are around every corner. Stress serves as a catalyst for mental disorders, heart conditions, fatigue, and overall decreased quality of life. It’s important to identify and mitigate sources of stress.

Practice mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and Tai Chi. Remember to maintain perspective and adapt to changes. It can also prove to be beneficial to talk to a therapist.

Taking steps to strengthen your health can add years to your life and life to your years.