Healthy-Aging

How to Promote Healthy Aging

Our health and lifestyle change as we age and enter new phases of life. Making it a priority to proactively take care of your physical and mental health allows you to enjoy the rewarding experiences that come with each new chapter. Here are some tips to take care of your body and mind and ultimately promote healthy aging.

Move your body

Science tells us that individuals who exercise regularly live longer and experience less pain. Moving your body not only helps you maintain a healthy weight but also helps you maintain muscle mass. This is important because many older adults experience a decline in muscle function as they age. There are so many ways you can stay active throughout the day or week. Gardening, walking the dog or taking the stairs instead of the elevator are all great ways to increase your activity and help yourself to feel more energized.

Fuel your body with good food

Making healthy food choices promotes brain function and helps to avoid many health problems. Your body may experience changes as you get older – from appetite to the way your body digests food. When you fuel your body with good food you help maintain your energy.  Focus on incorporating these foods into your meals and snacking:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Lean meats
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Lots of water

Setting good eating habits now can help improve your well-being as you age.

Get a good night’s sleep

When you are not well rested you can become irritable, depressed, forgetful and more prone to falls or other accidents. Setting good sleep habits now can help to improve your sleep. Try these steps to help promote a good night’s sleep:

  • Fall asleep and get up at the same time each day.
  • Avoid naps late in the day so you don’t wake up at night.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and cool.
  • Avoid screens for at least one hour before bed.

Quit Smoking

When you choose to stop smoking, you instantly add several years to your life. There are so many benefits to kicking this habit including lowering your risk of:

You will also improve your blood circulation and increase your ability to exercise when you choose to stop smoking. Exercise is can help you fight smoking cravings or situations that trigger your urge to smoke. Try scheduling activities for the time of day you’re most likely to want a cigarette. Your doctor is also a great resource to help with quitting.

Get regular checkups

Don’t just go see your healthcare provider when you are sick. Schedule regular checkups for preventive services. Being proactive in your healthcare helps with disease prevention and early detection when treatment is the most effective. Research shows that seeing your provider regularly helps to:

  • Identify chronic conditions early
  • Reduce risk factors for high blood pressure and cholesterol levels

Depending on your age, lifestyle, family history and existing health conditions will affect how often you need to go to the doctor so make sure to ask your provider what is best for you. 

Mental health matters

Our mental health is a crucial tool and affects so many parts of our being from how we feel, think, act, make choices, and relate to others. Managing social isolation, loneliness, stress, depression and mood changes through medical and self-care is important to healthy aging. Keeping a circle of close relationships, building your social network and staying connected with others can improve your mental and physical overall well-being.

Keep your brain active

Keeping your brain sharp helps to prevent cognitive decline and memory problems. Taking up new hobbies like a craft or learning a new instrument are great ways to keep your brain active and prevent memory loss as you get older. Challenging your brain by incorporating activities like music, crossword puzzles, or reading into your routine can keep your mind active and promote cognitive health.

Do things you enjoy

Having a hobby or leisure activity that you enjoy can help you maintain a sense of purpose and lower your stress. Research shows that people who partake in hobbies are happier, experience less depression and live longer. Consider volunteering. Pardee offers a wonderful range of volunteer opportunities and it is a great way to become more active in your community.

 If you have questions about maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you age, talk to your provider. Find a provider near you.

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