In honor of Healthy Aging Month, we are sharing some simple tips on how you can feel your best regardless of your age:
- Be active. Exercise is a key factor to both your physical and mental well-being. Not only does it help you stay fit and mobile as you age, but it also can prevent common medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, etc. When you perform physical activity, your body not only reaps the benefits, but your mind does too. Exercise releases endorphins in your body that boosts your overall mood and relieves stress. It also improves your memory, and can help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Maintain a healthy diet. You should consume a diet that is rich with fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods. Try to avoid foods with a lot of sodium, as they can lead to cardiovascular disease as well as other health problems. As you age, your diet may need to evolve to meet your body’s needs. Speak with your doctor about proper nutrition to ensure that your diet is adequate. Remember, no matter what age you are, the better you eat, the better you will feel.
- Stay social. Retirement, health issues, loss of a spouse or a close friend…these are all major (yet common) changes that older adults experience that can lead to loneliness. It is important that you do not isolate yourself from others. Maintain communication with your family and friends. Make regular plans, such as a weekly coffee date or a family dinner. Join a committee or a book club. Being active in your community can provide you with a sense of purpose and overall satisfaction.
- Focus on your health. As you age, you may feel that you no longer have control of your health; however, you are your best advocate. It is important that you attend annual physicals with your doctor. If a health concern arises, you should schedule an appointment immediately. Also, you should go to every appointment prepared with a list of questions and your current medications. The earlier a health concern is caught, the better. Don’t ignore any signs or concerns.
- Get enough rest. It is important that you are getting eight hours of sleep each night. A lack of sleep can cause depression, moodiness, memory problems, etc. Develop a sleep schedule, and stick to it. When you go to bed, avoid electronics, such as the TV or your tablet. Also, avoid caffeine in later hours of the day, so that when your head hits your pillow, you can fall asleep sooner rather than later.
While aging can be scary for many, it happens to everyone. Rather than dreading growing old, we should embrace it and take care of ourselves at every stage of life. Remember, life is a gift – enjoy it!