5 Steps to Staying Healthy as You Get Older

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Looking after your health has become more important than ever in recent years. The global pandemic has made many take a long hard look at their daily practices in an attempt to make health a priority. As you enter the later years of life, how can you ensure you are functioning at optimum levels and maintaining healthy habits for a longer life? 

Stay active/prevent disease 

Staying active can be said to be the single most important element of staying healthy for the young and old. Regular physical exercise is proven to prevent illness, keep muscles strong and improve mental health. You don’t need to engage in gymnastics or high-impact activities to enjoy the benefits. Regular walking will keep the joints supple and strengthen the heart. Regular exercise also helps older ones walk independently and maintain autonomy over their lives. Staying active also helps flexibility and coordination. It’s more difficult for seniors to recover from falls so engaging in activities to help prevent it is a wise move. 

Another way to stay in tip-top condition is to deal with any ailments swiftly and get the right treatment by arranging annual wellness visits for a comprehensive preventative healthcare plan. It’s useful to discuss options with your doctor who can provide advice on the various ways to help identify any areas of your health that needs attention. 

Social engagement 

Human connection is vital for lifelong happiness and although you may be approaching the twilight years, it does not mean you should shut yourself away and leave socializing to the young and energetic. If you are retired it’s natural to want to slow down and enjoy a calmer way of life away from the rat race, but how can you ensure you still interact with others and avoid isolation? 

Joining some local community groups or clubs specially designed for seniors is a great way to engage with like-minded people and form new friendships. You may have a hobby that you enjoy and could share the time spent engaging in your favorite activities with others. Joining groups or clubs will help you feel a sense of belonging and spending times with friends decreases stress. Studies have shown that individuals with strong social relationships had a 50% increased likelihood of survival. So connecting with others can be life-saving. 

You could embark upon a new hobby. With retirement, comes extra time. Learning a new skill is a great way to help you to feel useful and focusing your energies on something new will help you stay positive and promote happiness. 

Eat well 

Eating well is important at all ages but as you get older and the body processes become slightly less efficient, it’s crucial to be careful what you consume. 

Eating a nutritious diet that contains the right number of calories will help fight off illnesses and keep your immune system working well. Following a diet of fresh vegetables and fruit, adequate protein and healthy fats will give your body what it needs to help you stay energized and fight diseases common in the older generation. 

Avoiding sugary foods and drinks – especially soda – can really help your oral health as well. A Calgary orthodontist recommends that you brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking sugary foods

If you’re a fussy eater or struggle to get the right amount of nutrients, you can consider taking supplements. You can get supplements for most vital vitamins and it’s good to do some research about the various benefits of each supplement and consider asking your doctor to test any deficiencies you may have. 

Limiting alcohol consumption is important as you get older. Any drink above one per day will affect your mortality rate so being mindful is wise. 

Identify health problems early 

Even with the best will in the world sometimes you may be faced with symptoms that are concerning. Try not to ignore any warning signs that things aren’t quite as they should be. Physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, pain, temperature, loss of feeling in limbs and any other changes should be investigated immediately. With the right medical help, any issues can be diagnosed and resolved swiftly so you can get on with enjoying this time of your life. 

If you are suffering a lack of energy or desire to engage in activities you used to enjoy, be sure to talk to a professional. Depression can affect people of any age and isolating yourself will exacerbate the problem and could lead to a more serious condition. You can discuss options with your doctor who will suggest ways to manage stress and depression and point you in the right direction for some more hands-on help. If your depression is caused by dealing with a chronic condition, your doctor may be able to suggest ways to manage it or some medication to help you sleep and regain some emotional balance. Don’t suffer alone, reach out and get the help you need. 

Spend time out of the house 

It is tempting to slip into a routine of sleeping late and not venturing far from home when you have retired. But why not use this time to visit places you’ve always wanted to, or even plan a few breaks or holidays. With extra time and less responsibility, retirement is the perfect period to start ticking off that bucket list. If you are enjoying good health then the world is your oyster, even if you are suffering from some age-related health issues you can still plan some trips, just ensure you include rest time and any required medication is stocked up and packed. 

You could plan a trip to the theater or a city break! Perhaps you’ve always wanted to swim with dolphins or see the Colosseum in Rome. Or you may have always wanted to visit some landmarks near your town or city, whatever your tastes, a change of scenery could be what you need to keep your spirits high. With good planning and a positive attitude, you could be jetting around the world in no time. 

Don’t let age hold you back from living your best life. You must look after your physical and mental well-being and by doing so you can successfully make these days the best of your life.

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