As we age, our bodies change. But there are steps we can take to stay healthy as we grow older. There are many resources which discuss what to do—and not to do—as we age. However, we researched and found five of the most important tips for staying healthy.
5 Tips for Staying Healthy as You Age
- Eat the right things. This might seem obvious, but it’s important. Eating lean meats, fruits, vegetables and limiting sugar and processed foods will help you maintain a healthy weight and will help reduce the bad cholesterol caused by eating fatty foods building up in your heart and brain. You can still have the occasional treat, but try to stick to healthier, fresh foods rich in vitamins, and healthy fats. Talk to your doctor about your individual nutritional needs.
- Move your body. Sometimes it’s hard as we age to stay as active as we once were. But if you don’t move it, you lose it. Lack of movement can cause inflexibility, which can increase the chances of falling. Stretching is important and the Mayo Clinic says gentle movements, including tai chi or yoga, can increase your flexibility and help reduce falls in older adults. Check with your doctor before you start any exercise regimen.
- Keep your brain active. The risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias can start to develop as we age. You can help slow cognitive decline by keeping your brain active through learning new activities such as a new language, or musical instrument. Reading, puzzles and other activities that keep your mind active are also beneficial.
- Get enough sleep! After retirement, many people get off schedule and that can affect your sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep each night by avoiding caffeine late in the day and avoiding television or smart devices that emit a blue light that stimulates the brain and can make it difficult to fall asleep. Adequate sleep helps clear away toxins in the brain and can help prevent memory problems and decrease fall risks.
- Stay social! And we’re not talking about Facebook. It’s easy to slip into social isolation after the death of a spouse, or retirement and that isolation contribute to loneliness, depression and cognitive decline.
Aging is a wonderful part of life, with many new experiences. But we can stay healthy by eating right, staying active physically and mentally, getting enough sleep and regularly meeting and speaking to friends and family.
If your loved one needs in-home health care for a while, All Saints Health Care can help. Call us at 316-941-9698 or contact us through the website. We would love to help your family member get back to their lives, safely.