Getting older definitely comes alongside its fair share of changes. Some of those changes will be welcome, while others won’t, but ultimately aging is what you make of it. The more you understand about how to care for your body as it ages, the more you’ll enjoy the process. The following tips can help.
The older you get, the more important it becomes to stay as active as you can. Regular exercise keeps your joints limber, preserves muscle tone, and helps keep your brain cells healthy. Thirty minutes of activity per day is a good baseline to shoot for, but don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. Logging three shorter activity bursts of ten minutes apiece is just as beneficial. What you do for exercise is completely up to you, but even just some light walking will do the job.
The more mindful you are of what you put into your body and how you eat as you age, the healthier you’re ultimately going to stay. Nutritious, wholesome foods like fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains should be the mainstays of your diet. Keep consumption of sugary, salty, fatty, or pre-packaged items to a bare minimum, if you eat them at all. You’ll drastically lower your chances of developing serious ailments like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Make sure you get plenty of fiber for digestive health as well.
Keep Up With Check-Ups
Regular doctor visits are important for people of all ages, but it’s especially important to stay on top of your check-ups as you age. Check-in with your primary care physician once a year and specialists as often as recommended, but make an appointment sooner if anything worrisome comes up in the meantime. Be sure to have your eyesight and hearing checked on the regular as well. The sooner you’re fitted with any glasses or hearing loss solutions you may need as you age, the higher your ongoing quality of life will stay.
Although insomnia can plague people of any age, it’s especially common in older people, so it’s important to do what you can to preserve your sleep quality. Establish a regular sleeping schedule for yourself that you stick to as closely as possible. Keep your bedroom dark, as well as temperature controlled. (Most people sleep best in rooms that are nice and cool, but it’s up to you to decide what’s most comfortable for you.) Steer clear of alcohol or caffeine consumption in the hours leading up to bedtime as well.
Maintain Social Connections
It goes without saying that loneliness can be a real drag, but it can actually be harmful to your health as well, especially as you age. Aging people who are lonely and lack social connections are more likely to suffer from dementia, anxiety, and depression as they grow older. They also tend to die sooner than those who have plenty of friends and strong family connections. That said, make it a point to stay connected to other people as you age. Spend time with family. Maintain your friendships. Stay involved in your community by volunteering, taking classes, or anything else that strikes your fancy as well.
Nix Bad Habits
If you’re a smoker or consume tobacco products of any kind, one of the best things you can do for your body is quit. It’s never too late, so it doesn’t matter whether you’ve smoked your entire life or only for a couple of years. You’ll dramatically decrease your chances of getting cancer, lung disease, and the like as you age. The same goes for heavy drinking. The fewer bad habits you have, the longer you’ll live and the better your quality of life will stay.
Of course, these are just a few of the ways you can make the aging process as positive as possible for yourself, but they’re an excellent start. What are you doing to age healthily and happily?