Aging Made Healthy: Tips for Seniors
of advice and tips for healthy aging
doesn't always come easy, even though it's an inevitable process. But with the
right attitude, some good advice and useful tips, healthy aging
can be made easy.
The years keep ticking by, and there’s no way to stop the aging process.
Unfortunately, with age comes various ailments. Things start to slow down physically and mentally, your metabolism
may change, and aches and pains become more common. For this reason, it is important that you strive to age
healthfully so you can thrive in your golden years.
Make Exercise a Priority
Gray hair isn’t the only physical change you will experience as you age. Your body
weight fluctuates, muscle mass/strength diminishes, and bones become weaker. Fortunately, exercise is a way to
fight back against these changes and experience plenty of benefits too, including improved strength,
flexibility, and mobility, higher self-esteem, improved mood, lowered risk of depression, and increased
socialization (if exercise is done in a group setting). Before you get started with any exercise routines, be
sure to get a physical exam and the okay from your doctor. Then, explore the many options available, such as
aerobics, yoga, walking, and swimming at home, a local
gym, or a senior community center.
Keep Your Brain Sharp
Like your physical health, mental health is important too and can deteriorate over
time if you don’t take steps to exercise it. There are plenty of ways to exercise your brain, and
many of them you may do already. Reading and puzzles such as crosswords and jigsaw puzzles improve your memory,
hand-eye coordination, and overall cognitive ability, as well as decrease your chance of developing dementia.
Writing can stimulate your creativity, as well as light up the area of your brain that deals with thinking and
memory. If you’re technologically savvy and have a smartphone or tablet, there are plenty of brain-training apps you can download for a mental health boost no matter where you are.
Get Enough Shut-Eye
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t wake up feeling well rested, but many seniors
have sleep issues that
prevent them from getting that good night’s sleep. Getting enough shut-eye not only leaves you feeling
energized, but it can also lower stress and improve your memory. If you wake up feeling achy, have numbness in
your limbs, or toss and turn throughout the night, your mattress may be to blame, and it’s a sure signal that it’s
time to get a new one. Any serious problems with sleep, such as sleep apnea, snoring, and depression, should be
addressed by a doctor. You may need to take a look at your nighttime habits, as well; that cup of tea and the
blue light from the television could be disrupting your sleep-wake cycle. Blocking out light, reducing noise,
decluttering, and lowering the temperature can set the mood for sleep.
As you age, a variety of factors can impact your eating habits and needs such as a
loss of appetite due to medications, changes in taste and smell, and diminished oral health. However, eating right
ensures you get the right nutrients, stay at a healthy weight, and lowers your risk for chronic diseases such as
diabetes and heart disease. So, how can you find the right balance? Try to
incorporate nutrient and fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. If cooking
or preparing foods is the issue, look for convenient alternatives such as canned or frozen fruits and
vegetables, pre-cooked protein such as chicken and turkey, or healthy frozen meals. If you are concerned you
aren’t getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals, talk with your doctor about the possibility of
Stay on Top of Preventive Care
A key piece to healthy aging is staying on top of preventive care. Doing so
can prevent illness, as well as catch health conditions early before they become a serious problem. It is
imperative that you stay on top of health screenings for diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, cancer, and
thyroid function. Be sure to keep those appointments with the dentist and eye doctor as well.
Aging happens naturally, but doing it in a healthy way takes some effort on your
part. Get started with an exercise routine, incorporate daily brain exercises, get plenty of sleep, and eat right.
Keep up with your preventive care and you are on the right track to a healthier you.