Staying healthy can seem like an impossible goal as more and more candles appear on the birthday cake. Joints stiffen, muscles lose some of their ability to mend, and energy seems to vanish. Diminishing health does not necessarily have to be taken for granted with increasing age, however. These five habits, implemented when aging, will work toward a healthy body and mind.
Make Wise Food Choices
One of the most common complaints as people age is that of digestive difficulties. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and many people ignore the signals of the changes that often come with an aging body, preferring to continue with the meal choices that were enjoyable in the past. This can lead to acid reflux, bloating, constipation, and gas, as well as unhealthy weight levels. Gradual changes in diet can build toward healthier habits, greater levels of energy, and a happier digestive system. Strict diets are not necessary to encourage healthy lifestyles with age; in fact, restrictive diets can backfire and be counterproductive. Instead, aim toward smaller meals throughout the day that include whole grains, a variety of vegetables and fruits, lean sources of protein, and plenty of fluids.
Lifestyle changes that occur gradually with aging can slowly transform a moderately active lifestyle into one that is largely sedentary. However, people of every age need to be active for a healthy body. The benefits that come with activity, such as endorphins released to create more positive moods and increased energy levels are also worth striving for. Ten minutes at a time of aerobic activity, once or twice a day, is an excellent way to launch a regimen of increased exercise. Health experts also recommend balance and strength exercises, preferably twice a week. Those with restrictive health problems should consult physicians for appropriate exercises that will be most helpful in their cases. A good way to stay motivated in being active is finding a partner or two for exercising, or at least staying in contact to keep each other accountable.
Work Toward Goals
Depression is a common problem among the young and aging alike, but staying healthy becomes extremely difficult with this condition. To fight depression, having goals that can be worked toward with recognizable progress is a powerful weapon. Having responsibilities is also helpful in fighting depression and encouraging a more positive outlook. Residents of nursing homes, when each resident is given a task such as a plant that is his or her sole responsibility to tend to, they are overall healthier than their counterparts without such tasks. Whether the goal is learning something new, keeping a plant alive, or achieving improved abilities in a hobby, it will help maintain healthier psychological and emotional states.
Another important way to stay active and promote health with aging is with mental ability use. Participating in an enjoyed activity, or exploring new interests that might become favorites, are excellent for mental stimulation as well as providing goals. People who have exhibited a lifelong love of learning are less prone to such diseases as Alzheimer’s, in addition to the enjoyment that comes with pursuing interests.
Be Proactive with Doctor Visits
As the body’s complaint’s increase, it can be harder to determine which new aches are worthy of medical attention. Staying up to date with advised medical checkups, as well as receiving the recommended tests at appropriate intervals, are vital ways to keep your doctor involved in your health and aware of problems as soon as they might occur. Come up with lists of questions ahead of time and make sure the doctor is aware of any changes in your health so that all the benefits of modern medicine are being used to keep you healthy.
While everyone should try to stay healthy, regardless of age, as people grow older health tends to come at a higher priority. Unfortunately, with advancing years, a healthy state can seem near impossible to achieve and sustain. As with machinery, bodies tend to break down more as time goes by, getting injured far more easily and taking far longer to heal. Fortunately, a few simple lifestyle changes can maximize the body’s ability to resist and recover from stress, as well as increasing the potential lifespan and making those years more comfortable and enjoyable to live. The preceding five ways to stay healthy as you age are simple to implement and have lasting, positive results.
Sarah Daren is a writer and blogger who produces articles in the field of health and aging. This article was written specifically to explain ways to stay healthy while aging and to promote further studies in this field with an Online Gerontology Degree .