AGE-OLD WISDOM FOR GROWING ‘YOUNG’
While aging is inevitable and totally out of our control, many aspects of healthy aging result from the choices we can make. September is Healthy Aging Month, an annual health observance created to focus on the positive aspects of aging. Below are 10 Healthy-Aging Tips to improve their mental, social and physical well-being.
1. Stay Connected
Staying social is essential to aging as it allows older adults to maintain their emotional health. In addition to staying connected with loved ones, realizing there is still time to make new relationships and mend troubled ones can be a great way to relieve stress and anger. Social connections can be therapeutic for all ages through giving and receiving love.
Physical activity can become challenging when our bodies don’t seem to move the way they once did. However, regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep things working correctly and can help prevent health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes, and can reduce arthritis pain and lower blood pressure.
But physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as walking around the house or the block or carrying groceries. Every day, adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of activity, but if 30 minutes all at once is too much, break it up in to three 10-minute walks spread throughout the day.
Not only does regular physical activity help prevent health conditions, but it can help manage issues already present. It can help with sleep, improve overall mood, and increase the energy needed to continue being active.
3. Find Balance
Falling is the leading cause of injury for adults over 65. Improving core fitness through balance exercises or joining a yoga or Pilates class can help prevent these injuries.
4. Stress Less
Stress accelerates the signs of aging on the mind and body and can lead to depression and chronic illness. Regular exercise, social connections, and consuming a healthy diet are three ways to help decrease stress. Deep breathing done in yoga and meditation is also proven to reduce stress levels.
5. Exercise Your Mind
While aging is a part of life, rapid memory loss and Forgetfulness do not have to be. In addition to physical exercise and eating better, continued learning and activities that challenge the mind can help slow the effects of aging on the brain.
Pursuing new hobbies or taking continued learning classes are both great ways to keep your mind sharp. Simple activities like crossword puzzles and Sudoku are great ways to exercise your mind.
6. Beat Forgetfulness
In addition to exercising your mind, staying organized, making lists, and creating reminders are all excellent ways to fight Forgetfulness. These simple steps can help you stay focused and reduce stress and anxiety.
7. Eat Well
A balanced diet is vital to maintaining a healthy weight, but healthy eating also decreases your risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. It increases mental acuteness, energy levels, and immune response.
Some healthy-eating tips for adults over 65 include:
- Consume more fish and less red meat.
- Avoid foods with empty calories and fat.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Increase fiber consumption
- Avoid sugary drinks
- Limit alcohol
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Avoid packaged, processed foods
- Reduce salt, fat, and butter
- Drink plenty of water
8. Add Some Spice
Aging and the use of certain medications can reduce our sense of taste. Adding spices and herbs to recipes can expand the palette without adding extra salt, sugar, or fat to amplify the flavor. Certain herbs and spices also have health benefits. For example, ginger, turmeric, and cumin have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help maintain health.
9. Give Yourself an Oil Change
Switching from partially hydrogenated corn, soy, and palm kernel to oils like fish, flax, coconut, and olive can contribute to a healthier, longer life. These “good” oils are full of Omega 3 fatty acids, the one type of fat you don’t want to cut back on. Research on Omega 3s has found this fat reduces inflammation and helps prevent arthritis and heart disease.
10. Regular Checkups
One of the best ways to catch health problems early is to see your primary physician regularly. Regular office visits allow your doctor to perform preventative screenings and spot abnormalities faster. They can also reevaluate current medications that may need to be updated.