Ways to Protect Your Health As You Grow Older
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) are now approaching retirement age, with an estimated 10,000 turning 65 daily. With this milestone comes the realization that aging can bring about physical and mental health changes.
Once you reach a certain age, taking special care of yourself and your health is essential. As we grow older, our body changes and experiences new challenges. Also, depending on the lifestyle choices we make and the health decisions we make, our life can be prolonged. And to ensure that we can continue living an active, healthy life as we age, we must take proactive steps to protect ourselves.
Here are some ways you can keep yourself healthy and age gracefully:
Take regular screenings and tests:
As we age, we must take preventive health measures and regularly screen for different illnesses and diseases. This includes having regular check-ups with your doctor and taking tests for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. Also, make sure to get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly.
Especially getting the flu shot every year is vital in protecting your health. However, if you’ve worked in the construction industry and may have been exposed to asbestos, you must get tested for mesothelioma.
The reason for that is that this type of cancer tends to develop much later in life, and you need to be aware if you’re at risk. And if you’re already diagnosed, explore any available treatments and options to prolong your life and quality of life. You can also visit the Mesothelioma Resource Group website for more information.
Get regular physical activity:
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy body as you age. Not only does it help with muscle and joint flexibility, but it can also help improve your mental well-being and reduce stress. And to keep fit, try to do some form of exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes four or five times a week.
This can be anything from light walking to swimming, cycling, and yoga. According to a study, people over the age of 50 who engage in regular exercise have less pain and stiffness in their muscles.
Luckily, you can also find many low-impact exercises suitable for people of any age. However, getting a doctor’s advice before starting any exercise program is essential if you’re not used to exercising regularly.
Eat healthy and nutritious foods:
Eating healthy is especially important as you age since it can help delay the onset of certain health problems. In addition to eating more nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, you should limit your intake of processed and sugary snacks
. Also, add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, which can help reduce inflammation and support heart health. Additionally, limit your sodium intake and increase your intake of fiber-rich foods to ensure healthy digestion.
Most importantly, get enough water – at least eight glasses a day. The benefit is that it will help keep your skin hydrated and glowing and will also help flush out toxins from your body.
Get enough rest:
As we age, our sleep patterns change, and we often find it difficult to get enough rest. But getting enough sleep is essential for good health since it helps with energy levels, mental clarity, and overall well-being.
To ensure you get enough quality sleep, maintain a regular sleeping schedule and keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and comfortable. Also, avoid drinking caffeine late in the day and limit your screen time at night so that you can relax more easily.
Quit smoking & reduce alcohol consumption:
Smoking and drinking too much alcohol can take a toll on your body as you age, so it’s essential to reduce or even quit them. Quitting smoking can help reduce your risk of developing certain health conditions, like heart disease and cancer.
As for alcohol, paying attention to the recommended guidelines for healthy drinking is essential. That means if you’re a man over 65, you should limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day; if you’re a woman over 65, it should be limited to one drink every two days.
Finally, if you’re having trouble quitting smoking or cutting down on alcohol intake, seek the advice of a doctor to get help.
Spend time with family and friends:
As we age, it’s important to stay socially active by spending time with our loved ones. Being around family and friends can help reduce stress and improve our mental well-being. So, reconnect with your loved ones often by going out for dinner, visiting each other, or even just catching up on the phone.
Also, consider joining a community group or volunteering your time to help those in need. This can help keep you connected to the world and provide a sense of purpose. And, if you’re feeling isolated or lonely, don’t hesitate to reach out for support.
Take care of your mental and emotional health:
Our mental well-being is just as important as our physical health, so caring for both is essential. Practice relaxation techniques like yoga and deep breathing to help reduce and improve mood.
You can also seek the help of a mental health professional if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression. Additionally, prioritize activities you enjoy, such as reading, walking, or exploring nature. These activities help reduce stress and boost your mood.
Stay informed about your health:
It’s essential to stay up-to-date on the latest medical news and recommendations for seniors. Make sure to get regular health check-ups and screenings for conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Also, it would be best to ask your doctor plenty of questions about medications, supplements, and lifestyle changes that can help improve your health. Finally, stay informed about new treatments or research that may benefit your health.
The key to staying healthy as you age is ensuring you care for your body and mind. That means eating a balanced diet, getting enough exercise and rest, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, spending time with family and friends, taking care of your mental and emotional health, and staying informed. By following these tips, you can stay healthy and active as you age.