We’ve all heard the same old healthy aging advice – stay active, eat right, rest…Sure, the basics are important, but how do you actually accomplish those tips safely and effectively as you get older? Aging looks different from one person to the next. And, if healthy aging is the key to feeling your best, then you should know how to conquer your obstacles and fulfill your body’s demands. After all, we all want to live to 100, don’t we? Here are 6 tips you can begin today for a longer tomorrow!
A balanced diet with plenty of nutrients is essential. Generally, fruits, lean protein, and vegetables should be your top priority.
Eat a variety of fruits and veggies, but especially dark leafy greens, berries, and citrus. These foods are high in antioxidants! Reduce your red meat and switch to fish or chicken. If you have diet restrictions like diabetes or an intolerance to gluten, a meal delivery service can be an easy and healthy way to stay on track. Also, stay hydrated with 6-8 glasses of water per day. That sounds like a lot, but it’s easier than you may realize! In fact, foods that have high water content count toward your recommended 8 glasses! Fruits and veggies like watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, and oranges are actually more than 80% water. Sip on that exciting piece of knowledge!
Exercise is another key to aging well and it also combats health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Exercise keeps your muscles and bones strong and improves balance and flexibility.
Engaging in moderate exercise for at least a half hour most of the week is optimal. Brisk walking, swimming, or light strength training are all great options. If possible, try to aim for a mix of cardio and weights. Strength training exercises with weights or resistance bands will help you maintain muscle mass that naturally decreases with age. Focus on all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, chest, shoulders, and arms. Stronger muscles will help you stay mobile and independent!
Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or strength training regimens!
A lack of sleep can increase the risks of things like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, among other issues.
Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to allow your body and mind to rest. Establish a relaxing pre-sleep routine. This means, limiting screen time and avoiding large meals, caffeine, or exercise too late in the day. Short naps of no more than 30 minutes can also be rejuvenating. But, avoid napping late in the day so you can sleep well at night!
Chronic stress can take a major toll on your health as you age. Mental health is equally important as physical health!
Practice relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and even meditation. Taking short breaks to unwind and de-stress can help. Spending time with others can help combat social isolation and depression. Call a friend or family member regularly, volunteer, or join a local club. If needed, talk with a professional therapist or tried counselor to help you work through challenging life transitions.
Too much sun exposure can lead to simple wrinkles or even skin cancer. Skin protection and sun safety are critical at any age!
Wear protective clothing including broad-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and loose lightweight clothing when outside. Use sunscreen and reapply regularly. UVs are strongest in the afternoon, so try to stay out of direct sunlight then. Practice UV protection even on cloudy or overcast days.
Routine checkups allow your doctor to monitor your health over time, manage chronic conditions, and detect any serious health issues as early as possible. Schedule an annual physical with your primary care physician for routine health screenings based on age and risk factors. Monitor blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Maintain a healthy weight.
Cancer screenings such as mammograms, colonoscopies, pap tests, and prostate exams are increasingly important as you age. Simply follow your doctor’s advice on which tests and when. Of course, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, bring it to a doctor’s attention for testing whether you are due for a checkup or not! Most chiropractors would suggest you visit a spine surgeon in Phoenix, or in your area, once every few months if you have previously suffered from back problems. Early detection of disease is critical to successful treatment and management.
Taking good care of your physical and mental health will keep you strong and independent longer, so you can enjoy retirement. Focus on all of these tips to feel your best. If you prioritize your health, you’re more likely to age on your terms!
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Destiny Clarkson is a writer from Knoxville, Tennessee with a love for country music, poetry, and dancing in the rain. See more posts from Destiny.
Originally published May 05, 2023
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