No matter what your age, it may not be too soon, or too late, to start thinking about healthy aging. And, since we each get a little older every day, it makes sense to think about healthy aging as a “life-course” process. That means almost anyone can get on the healthy-aging path. Parents can teach their children healthy living habits by starting them early, so that good health behavior may last a lifetime. If you didn’t have the full benefit of learning healthy living and aging habits when you were young, now is the perfect moment to help you take charge and be on your way toward a healthier life.
Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at any age and that doesn’t change just because you have a few more grey hairs. As we grow older, we experience an increasing number of major life changes, including career changes and retirement, children leaving home, the loss of loved ones, and physical changes. How we handle and grow from these changes is the key to staying healthy.
Here is a complete guide for healthy aging for the elderly:
1. Eat The Right Foods In The Right Balance
You probably know by now that eating well is important at any age. Eating the right amount of healthy foods can help reduce your risk of many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers.
Put down the salt-shaker and eat at least 5 nutrient-dense foods (foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories) per day.
2. Live An Active Life
Regular exercise is one of the greatest keys to physical and mental wellbeing. Living an active life will help you stay fit enough to maintain your independence to go where you want to and perform your own activities. Regular exercise may prevent or even provide relief from many common chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and arthritis, to name a few.
3. Acknowledge And Express Your Feelings
You may have a hard time showing emotions, perhaps feeling that such a display is inappropriate and weak. But burying your feelings can lead to anger, resentment, and depression. Don’t deny what you’re going through. Find healthy ways to process your feelings, perhaps by talking with a close friend or writing in a journal.
4. Cultivate Your Relationships
Twenty-eight percent of older adults live alone, and living alone is the strongest risk factor for loneliness. Common life changes in older adulthood, such as retirement, health issues, or the loss of a spouse, may lead to social isolation.
Maintain communication with your family and friends, especially after a significant loss or life change. Schedule a regular time to meet with friends and family – over coffee, during a weekly shared meal, or around a common interest. Reach out to friends who might be isolated or feel lonely.
5. Protect Your Skin From The Sun
Too much time in the sun can cause wrinkles, not to mention cancer. But wearing sunscreen can help prevent your skin’s aging. And while the sun’s UV rays to trigger vitamin D production, which is essential for bone health, that’s hardly a good reason to expose yourself.
6. Try Cardio-Based Activities
Cardio is important for cardiac health and calorie burning, but you need more than just cardio workouts. An effective exercise plan includes cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises. Strength training will increase muscle mass, bone density and decrease body fat. It will also help to reverse sarcopenia.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Many of us seem to get less sleep than we need, but healthy sleep habits are key to our vitality, function, and independence. If you have difficulty sleeping, speak with your doctor. There are treatable sleep disorders and other medical considerations to explore with your healthcare team that can help get you back to those necessary hours of sleep at night.
Have a wind-down routine every night before going to bed (e.g., try turning off electronic devices like the computer and TV, read a book, take a warm bath, change into comfortable sleep clothes). Also, try calming exercises such as meditation to relax the mind. And make sure to avoid alcohol.
8. Load Up On High-Fiber Fruits, Vegetables, And Whole Grains
Your whole digestive system does slow as you age, so fiber is very important. Consume fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. They will help you feel more energetic and give you fuel to keep going.
9. Reduce Stress
As we age, our stressors change and so does our ability to deal with stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression. Stress may also cause memory loss, fatigue, and decreased the ability to fight off and recover from infection. In fact, it is estimated that more than 90% of illness is either caused or complicated by stress.
10. Relax More
Try to minimize stress, as this can also affect your weight. Many people tend to turn to eat as a stress-coping mechanism. Too much cortisol, which is released when under stress, can slow your metabolism. One technique to reduce stress is relaxation breathing.
Your goal may not be living longer, but about increasing the number of healthy years you’ll have in the future. Live a healthy life now, so you can enjoy what you have enjoyed in life for longer. In this post, I shared with you a complete guide for healthy aging for the elderly.
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