Stay healthy later in life
Even though you may have felt invincible in your youth, you know you won’t live forever. You may be wondering how you can adjust your life in a way that helps you maintain the strength and mental prowess you had in your youth.
The good news is that no matter how old you are, there is always a chance to improve your mental and physical health. Most of the time, this can be achieved by following the same advice you were told when you were a child: exercise, eat well, deal with stress. It’s a basic recipe, and anything is possible if you start making a change today.
As you get older, you need to continue to monitor and improve your physical health. Moderate exercise can do wonders for your body, and not only will it make you stronger and more resilient, it could help your mental health as well.
You don’t have to go crazy when it comes to exercising. Doctors recommend that you do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. This can include jogging, long walks, exercising on the stationary or elliptical bike, or anything in between. In addition to your cardio, lift weights or try another form of strength training to work all major muscle groups at least twice a week.
In addition to keeping you slim, exercise is essential for fighting deadly diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. This is because exercise creates a healthy immune system so you don’t get sick that easily. With today’s viruses like COVID-19 posing risks to older people, being in good physical shape is more important than ever.
It is also important to focus on brain function and cognitive health. Memory loss and reduced cognitive ability may be more common with age, along with an increased risk of dementia. You still want to keep your brain sharp, and that doesn’t require in-depth brain exercises. By trying new things and keeping your brain active, you will increase your cognitive health for the rest of your life.
Any new activity can trigger this healthy brain development. For example, a new hobby like embroidery or playing chess will make your brain work differently than before. You can also do more ambitious projects, like volunteering at a charity. In addition to learning new tasks, you should meet and talk to new people, which will also develop this creative energy. If you are retired, plan an exciting trip to a place you have never been before, because traveling and discovering new places are wonderful ways to expand your mind.
Another part of a healthy brain is keeping your stress levels in check. Unnecessary anxiety will not only affect your cognitive abilities, but chronic stress can actually alter your brain and even increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
If you feel like you are too stressed out most of the time, you should start working on reducing your anxiety. Talk to your friends and family when you are feeling upset and explain your issues, as talking about it might help resolve the issue. You can also practice yoga or medication to reassure yourself. Consider taking long nature hikes in the local park, as doctors have noticed that outdoor activities will not only help you physically, but can also play an important role in decreasing unhealthy anxiety. If you still have stress and anxiety issues, consider speaking with a licensed therapist.
Regardless of your age, the importance of good sleep will always be the cornerstone of a healthy life. Doctors recommend that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. A good sleep routine is essential for many reasons, including improving this very important cognitive ability. When people sleep less, they tend to wake up with a more fuzzy mental state, which can affect their ability to remember basic facts. Since you want to remember all the amazing memories of a life well lived, sleep should be your number one priority.
To get the sleep you need, it’s important to have a good routine, which includes going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. This way your brain recognizes when it’s time to sleep. Older people often sleep lighter than younger ones, so it’s okay to take a nap during the day once in a while to catch up on the sleep you’ve been missing out on.
As your age increases, so does your risk for heart disease. This disease can occur naturally or be accelerated by a lifetime of excessive nicotine or alcohol consumption, a diabetic disorder, hypertension, or substance abuse disorders, among others.
As you get older, heart disease can develop if you haven’t taken care of your body as much as you should. But while you may have made bad choices in the past, now you can lower your risk of heart disease with several life-extending tips, including eating healthier, exercising, and, if you smoke, stop immediately.
To get the help you need before heart disease gets worse, it’s important to recognize the signs. Usually, abnormal heartbeats can be the first sign, and they often produce a rush in the chest, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Signs of a heart valve problem can include fatigue, chest pain, and even swollen feet or ankles. Since you can’t see what’s going on inside and don’t want to take risks, it’s important to see a doctor right away if you experience these issues or other persistent pain.
If you find out that you have heart disease, your doctor will likely recommend medication to reduce the effects or surgery if the disease progresses to an unsafe level. It’s a good idea to have cardiovascular screening that will detect potential heart disease, and this procedure is covered by Medicare Part B. If you have surgery or have a case of mild heart disease, counseling programs and rehabilitation are also covered by Medicare. .
A good diet is also essential as you get older because just like exercise and good sleep, sticking to healthy foods will lower your risk of serious health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cancer. high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia. Again, as you get older the risk of these diseases increases, so it is important to do everything possible to stay in great shape so that you can enjoy your old age the way you want.
The best diet includes several important elements:
- Whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice provide the nutrients and vitamins your body needs.
- Low fat dairy products will provide the calcium and protein that will keep your bones strong and long lasting.
- Lean protein, which can come from seafood, eggs, and beans, will help you build and maintain muscle, support your immune system, and lower your blood pressure.
- Fruits and vegetables should be eaten with every meal, as eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day can also help fight disease and cancer.
- Nuts, especially almonds, provide many nutrients, antioxidants, and a high dose of vitamin E, which is essential for fighting the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to eating a healthy diet, older people can also try other alternative supplements, such as collagen, which can be found by eating pork rinds or drinking bone broth. Collagen has been shown to help with sleeping problems and may improve joint pain as well.
While you are doing a great job with your exercise and healthy eating, you can get the extra help you need by taking supplements, some of which can work wonders for the elderly. For example, as you age, your skin may tend to weaken as your body begins to produce less natural vitamin D than it did in its early years. Taking a vitamin D pill once a day can encourage this natural production and create stronger skin.
Another great supplement is vitamin B12, which is incredibly helpful in protecting your blood cells, which are responsible for fighting the effects of anemia and helping you feel more energetic during the day. Calcium is another important supplement as we age, especially for older women, because it helps fight the development and symptoms of osteoporosis and reduces the risk of heart attack.
You can get these and many other helpful supplements every day with less effort by taking a multivitamin, which typically also provides vitamin A, folic acid, and potassium, all of which are essential for your overall health. .
As you can see, there are many ways to stay healthy and happy in your old years. Just follow the health tips you’ve been hearing for years. By taking a proactive stance in the functioning of your body and brain, you can stay strong and alert for a very long time.