Have you ever decided to embrace a healthy lifestyle but abandoned the idea because you think you are now too old to adopt healthy practices? Don’t let your age be a barrier.
Getting older is natural; it’s an ongoing process encompassing transformations in almost every realm of life – emotional, social, sexual, and physical. Some of these transformations may be positive, while others may be negative. Nevertheless, growing old in no way depicts decline. There’s no reason why this second part of your life can’t be full of rewarding experiences, opportunities, and adventures. You can become much more confident and stronger than your younger version and gain wisdom and purpose.
Sure, some of your hair might turn gray, and your face might exhibit fine lines as you age. Still, your mind and body can grow as healthily as possible. All you need is to optimize the positive aspects of aging while incorporating proactive measures to boost your wellness and mitigate the negative aspects.
Factors such as genetics are beyond your control and might impact the healthy aging journey. However, simple steady changes can breed positive outcomes, and incorporating even a few can get you on the right path. So, let’s flesh out some of those:
1. Keep the body physically fit
Physical activities reduce the risk of diabetes, dementia, blood pressure, and heart problems. Essentially, it enables you to live a healthy life in your golden years rather than spending the last years of your life fighting chronic illnesses. So, carve out time to perform muscle-strengthening activities or balance exercises. Or perhaps, you can choose to join a yoga class or practice it at home while watching online tutorials.
While it’s true that aging affects capabilities and your joints might not function the same as they did in younger years. Consequently, your body might grow susceptible to arthritis, tendonitis, and inflammation. Nonetheless, wearing the best ankle supports can assuage the symptoms and help you achieve better mobility.
Ankle support is primarily an external support item made of elastic material to provide compression and alleviate pain. It assists in keeping everything in place and prevents the accidental turning of joints. So, wearing it can help you run or perform other exercises smoothly and reduce the risk of injuries.
2. Keep up with the regular check-ups
Regular check-ups can help you identify any health issues early on and get them treated before they become significant. Therefore, schedule appointments with your healthcare specialist and share every big or small concern regarding your health. This way, the healthcare provider may suggest lifestyle habits or recommend supplements that can yield positive health results.
While you are at it, get your vital signs and routine tests done. High levels of cholesterol and blood pressure increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. However, these problems are treatable with medication if only addressed beforehand.
And although it may sound like a no-brainer, always take the prescribed medications according to your primary care doctor’s instructions. Also, ensure the periodic review of medicines to determine whether they are still crucial for your health. After all, the more medications you take, the more you become subject to adverse drug reactions.
3. Eat a healthy diet
It’s no secret that a nutritional and well-balanced diet is the key to keeping your body at its healthiest. What you eat every day translates to different aspects of health, such as the risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, and quality of life.
So, make low-saturated fats and fibers the institution of your meal. Additionally, an ideal diet must contain whole grains, fresh fruits, veggies, fat-free dairy, nuts, and seeds. That said, ensure your body gets the right amount of calcium and vitamin D. These help lower the risk of osteoporosis, hypertension, and cognitive decline.
Moreover, drink the amount of water your body needs daily. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and listless throughout the day. Fresh fruit juices, tea, and coffee can keep the body hydrated, but try to avoid sugary drinks.
4. Maintain social connections
Staying socially active can yield a good deal of benefits for your health. For instance, it can help lessen feelings of loneliness – which is a contributing factor to depression and dementia. Not only this, it enhances self-worth and gives a person a sense of well-being.
A 2019 study comprising participants (above 65) revealed that people with high levels of interaction are more likely to have positive moods and encounter fewer negative emotions. Further, as per another study, people with healthy relationships and social ties with friends and family members tend to experience fewer health issues and live longer. Conversely, according to another study, lack of social connectedness or low-quality social interactions can cause health conditions such as autoimmune disorders, heart diseases, and blood pressure problems.
So, squeeze in time to schedule meet-ups with your loved ones. However, if you don’t have an active social circle, seek opportunities to interact with like-minded individuals at gyms, churches, alumni groups, or volunteer work.
5. Reduce alcohol consumption
If you drink alcohol, you might be aware of its effects on the body, such as the warm buzz, drowsiness, headaches, or hangovers that usually appear first thing in the morning. However, since these effects don’t last for longer durations, you might not feel worried about them.
While occasional drinking isn’t much of a concern, binge drinking can cause deterioration to your health. Excessive drinking can lead to anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, and a weakened immune system. Therefore, limit the alcohol intake to provide your liver time to eliminate the toxic impacts of the alcohol.
As per the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines of the Department of Health and Human Services – US, women should consume one drink of alcohol, and men should consume two drinks daily. However, according to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, men should also curb their alcohol consumption to one drink daily.
When it comes to growing older, embrace the journey. But unfortunately, most people don’t feel good about aging; the thought of it fills the person with fear and anxiety. And most of these fears usually derive from the widespread misconceptions about aging.
Nevertheless, it’s a privilege not everyone gets in their life. Although it comes with a fair portion of challenges, getting older is a gift. It makes you a lot more resilient than you may even realize. The strategies discussed can help you boost your mental and physical well-being and continue to prosper, irrespective of your circumstances and age.
So, be socially and physically active, practice gratitude, and relish every moment. Stay optimistic and savor the wisdom which comes with leading a life brimming with memories. Lastly, enjoy every moment of the healthy aging journey; after all, you are now the person you couldn’t wait to become.