Although growing old can come with several significant life changes, you can do a variety of things to make the process more gradual by being sure to prioritize your health and promoting your lifespan and health span. Besides the wisdom that comes with age, your body doesn’t follow the same trajectory. Very few people can say they’re healthier at sixty than they were at thirty. However, if you prioritize your health as you age, you’re likely to have a timeless body that seeks to defy the science of aging. So, enjoy life and do what you can to have lots of rest and adequate sleep, and then follow these tips for a healthy you.
Muscle mass is one of the best predictors of health and longevity. Maintaining muscle mass and reducing sugar consumption can support your hormonal health, preserve your metabolism and keep your vitality well into your advanced years. Muscle tissue releases myokines, improving cognition, immunity, and anti-cancer activity. By performing regular resistance-based exercises that prioritize strength, you can delay the loss of bone density and the risks of physical injuries. You can enroll in your local gym and work with a trainer for safety reasons and also get effective results.
Have Some Sun
With age, vitamin D production in the skin becomes less efficient. It’s essential to spend some time outdoors to get that sunshine vitamin, a very important hormone for maintaining healthy bones, boosting the immune system, and improving your cardiovascular function. Remember to wear some UV protection on your skin, and don’t sunbathe for too long.
Mind Your Care Givers
It may seem odd that part of caring for yourself is minding those who care for you. They can suffer from caregiver stress or fatigue, which affects the quality of care. You can encourage or require them to get regular respite care, especially in a home-care setting. This ensures they’re healthy, pleasant to be around, and can give you the care you deserve.
Stay Intellectually Active
One of the most unsettling aspects of aging is the potential for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s, mental disorders like dementia, and overall cognitive decline. These conditions are increasingly present in those with diabetes, suggesting that brain energy and blood flow may be compromised. Paired with other healthy habits, staying mentally active can at least slow down the rate of decline. Brain health helps you enjoy your current life, perform mental functions like reasoning, thinking, and decision-making, and steady your mood. With these, you can maintain a sense of independence and unique individuality and experience a full life.
As we age, major arteries get less flexible and thicker, exerting too much strain on the heart and leading to high blood pressure. Regular mindfulness practices such as Yoga or meditation can reduce your stress hormones and improve your blood flow, reducing your risk of strokes or heart attacks. If you can’t handle your anxiety, are just having a hard time being and feeling relaxed, or have a chronic pain issue, see a hypnotherapist. Their guided interventions modify your emotions and nervous system, which can help you unlock things that may be bothering you that are tracked deep inside your subconscious mind. Hypnosis can also help you manage chronic pain by learning to dial it down.
Maintain Healthy Social Interactions
People could be triggered and generally become difficult to deal with; however, investing in people is good for your health, especially as you age. Strong personal relationships and a sense of community are underestimated contributors to longevity. Social isolation can result in significant physical and mental decline while having close loved ones offers emotional support and behavior modifications that can help you overcome periods of high stress. Your social circle will also be the first responders in case of a personal injury or emergency.
Beat Unhealthy Habits
Getting rid of bad habits that damage your health is a worthy pursuit. Smoking damages your lungs and every other cell in your body, making you look older while increasing your mortality. Excessive alcohol consumption damages your organs and puts you at risk of lifestyle diseases. Overeating or under-eating causes damage, so maintaining a healthy balance is key. Eating late at night is also a bad habit you should kick. Often, older people have problems sleeping, but this shouldn’t be a license to eat past 10:00 PM.
Practice Sleep Hygiene
The only way your cells get to regenerate is when you get enough deep sleep. As you grow old, your sleep patterns may change for various reasons. However, you can do some things to improve the quality of your sleep. Things like sleeping in a dark room, lowering your room temperature, avoiding screen time an hour before bed, going to bed at the same time every day, winding down towards bedtime, or even drinking a soothing tea or showering before bed. All these help bring your mind and body to a relaxed state that will help you fall asleep and stay asleep. If you notice persistent insomnia, it’s important to see a specialist so that serious issues of sleep disorders can be addressed.
Go for Medical Check-ups
You’d rather be safe than sorry. Some severe conditions, like certain types of cancers, can be treated well if detected early. Preventive health services can save your life, and don’t be embarrassed about concerns you may have about your health; discuss it with your doctor to find a solution. If you’ve got a chronic condition that requires management, it’s crucial to have regular checks to ensure optimum health. If you have diabetes, for instance, you know that a risk factor is developing a diabetic foot, which means you’ll benefit greatly from regular podiatry services. The same is true if you have a systemic illness with foot manifestations. Often, undiagnosed or unmanaged health problems in one area can cause problems in another; hence your annual recommended check-ups should matter to you if you want to prioritize your health.
Get Health Insurance
As your body ages, it can be faced with a myriad of health issues. You need to secure a way to ensure you can get the care you will require if the need arises, and the best way to do that is by investing in proper health insurance coverage. This relieves and takes the pressure off your family or carers from having to come up with doctor’s fees every time you need medical care.
Educate Yourself About What to Expect
While you can’t anticipate everything and life events have the potential to blindside us, it’s prudent to understand some of the expected changes in your health and life. Also, if you’re living with a particular health condition, get to know its prognosis to prepare well. A prognosis will also help you face whatever is unavoidable with acceptance and courage. This reduces panic and fear and promotes a good attitude that benefits your well-being. Important decisions about the level of care you may need can be made early, such as home care, assisted living, nursing home, special equipment, and so on.
Take Care of Your Eyes
Age-related vision changes become gradually evident, and you may notice the need for more light, difficulties in reading, or problems with glare. Protect your vision by combining all the other healthy habits, plus wearing sunglasses or a brimmed hat in bright sunshine. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports and get prescription glasses to improve your vision if that’s what you need. You should also schedule a comprehensive eye examination with an optometrist annually or more frequently if you’ve diabetes or a family history of eye disease.
Prioritize Your Oral Health
More than just a beautiful smile, you want healthy teeth and gums as you age. Problematic teeth can interfere with your nutrition if you can’t chew your food correctly. A trip to the dentist can be frightening but very needed; something that often starts small, like a cavity, can cause infections and severe effects that could be fatal. Daily habits like brushing your teeth and flossing go a long way in preventing some of the dangerous conditions. Aging can cause your teeth to get crooked as your bone structure changes. Misaligned teeth can change your face’s structure and interfere with your speech and even breathing, which can bring on snoring. Several remedies can correct this, but see a modern adult orthodontics specialist should your teeth need to be re-aligned.
The best way to ensure you’ll take your water is to carry a water bottle everywhere you go, take frequent sips, and not wait to get thirsty. If you’re eating right, some more hydration should come from your food. A lack of energy, dizzy spells, dry skin, hair, or chipped lips are all symptoms of dehydration, which can precipitate more health problems if not corrected.
As you age and your body starts to slowly break down, your food may not meet your dietary needs. Supplements are a healthy option to keep your body vitalized. Prioritize vitamins, trace minerals, and omega 3s and 6s for your bone health, cognitive and brain health, and minimize annoying inflammation.
Watch Your Diet
One can’t overstress the importance of a healthy diet; stick to more plant-based foods as you age and eat enough. If you need accountability, education, and a partner to help you make the dietary changes you need to improve and maintain good health, don’t hesitate to hire a dietitian. Likewise, if you have allergies, and sometimes age can herald new ones, food intolerance, digestive issues, or hyper-acidity can interfere with your appetite and quality of life. Hiring a dietitian is a great investment. Stick to foods that don’t aggravate existing conditions and invest in more organic produce.
Take Care of Your Skin
Skin care is essential not just for beauty, although this is still important since how you look affects how you feel. The skin is the largest organ in your body, and more than any other organ, it’s exposed to all sorts of toxins, allergens, and UV rays all day long. Skin protection, personal hygiene, and avoiding toxic environments guard your health. It also ensures your skin removes toxins from the body freely and efficiently.
Among the benefits of aging is that you’ve learned some important life lessons, such as nobody gets out of this life alive. Life experiences teach you not to sweat the small stuff, and facing the not-so-small ones will not take you out. Therefore, having a positive outlook on life improves your overall well-being and gets you the most out of life. Make peace with your past, accept today, and always try to cultivate the future you want. Be grateful for your life and the things and people in it. Focus on remaining present at every moment and relish every pleasant experience.
Learn to Let Go
As you advance in age, you’ll reflect and see that not all of your dreams and aspirations come true. You’ll notice a few failures and possibly regrets as well. You’ll undoubtedly have gotten acquainted with losing some stuff and even loved ones in different ways. Mourn your losses, grieve the person you should have been over what you became, and forgive those who hurt you; nothing can age you faster than a bent toward bitterness. Release and embrace it. Your emotional health can get projected onto your physical health, so make sure you are healing that.
Your daily lifestyle habits and environment have a much more significant impact on healthy aging than your genes. Most people put off adopting a healthy lifestyle because they are so busy. Well, there’ll never be a magical time when you’ll have no other obligations, no stress, and plenty of free time to dedicate to your well-being; that’s unrealistic. Learn to work with the time you have right now, as it is, and consider these tips as an investment in your health. Remember, the first day of the rest of your life, no matter how old you’re, begins right now!