Transition – a term no one can understand better than older adults.
From losing the company of their children to the loss of some adequate body functioning, this term starts making real sense in old age. The onset of each change varies. Some take you by surprise, like the deaths of your loved ones. And others are steady, you realize them upon inspection.
While we cannot help fix the core realities of life, we can definitely work to minimize their impact. The second half of your life doesn’t have to be the one where you start depending on people. Adopting a healthy lifestyle enables you to maintain a sound mind, body, and heart. You can find the power in you and beat all the anxiety without relying on others.
So as your hair sprouts grayer and face sports more lines, start making suitable health choices. According to Dr. Margaret Moore, who is an advisor for the Healthy Aging Program for the Center for Disease Surveillance and Prevention (CDC), there are multiple ways to improve your health through a healthy diet, exercise, and more, even into old age.
Do not wait for an event or a disease to provoke the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. Here are five tips for healthy aging and an active lifestyle you must start right away:
- Eat Whole Foods
As you age, you are no longer a food-lover like you used to be some years ago. Your taste buds have changed suddenly, and it creates an impact on your appetite. Plus, your metabolism is slower than before, so your body doesn’t accept junk.
Instead of fighting your body and following the old eating patterns, tweak it up with healthy choices. Avoid fried foods. Instead, choose high-fiber foods like whole-grain cereals, bread, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.
Lucia L. Kaiser, Ph.D., the community nutrition specialist at the University of California, recommends that whole foods are a great place to start if you are trying to eat healthily. Many studies have proven how diets rich in fruits, whole grains, and vegetables can reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, heart conditions, and type 2 diabetes.
- Walk or Jog
A recent study in Sweden found that exercise is the most significant contributor to a longer life. It adds extra years to one’s life. Even if you have been in the old phase for long, it is never too late to start taking brisk walks down the park.
Dr. Camel Dyer, a geriatrician in Houston, states that she has come across patients who started workouts in their 70s and acquire great benefits from it. Of all the exercises, walking is the easiest one. You can take a stroll at any lane or a park near you. Just aim for 30 minutes every day.
If it is too much for you, cut it down to shorter strolls. It pumps more blood to your brain cells, keeping it healthy and in shape. If you feel walk or jog is not your thing, you may also enroll in an exercise program. Make sure there is an expert there who helps you achieve your milestones gradually. Put on a comfortable boxer brief or a well-branded tracksuit to maintain a better posture through the exercise routine.
- Sleep Well
Insomnia is the most reported issue by older adults. It occurs when you cannot sleep through a regular schedule. Even during sleep, you get easily disturbed. Then, there is the problem of the sleepy daytime feeling which overcomes your mood and keeps you grumpy throughout the day.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-8 hours of sleep for adults aged 65 and older. It believes that older adults who sleep between 6-9 hours every day can have better cognition, physical, and mental health.
If you are having trouble falling asleep or maintaining a sound sleeping pattern through the night, seek professional assistance. They will help you learn how to sleep well. Also, practice certain things like reducing caffeine intake, keep your bedroom dark, stay away from all screens, and don’t nap longer than 20 minutes during the day.
- Your Brain
Now that you have retired and the burden of responsibilities has lifted off from your shoulders, it certainly doesn’t mean you cannot jog up your brain cells anymore. In fact, this is the high time you start taking care of your brain cells.
Studies have shown that a lifestyle of cognitive stimulation through active learning causes a slower cognitive decline. Also, 1 in every eight older adults (65+) in the US have Alzheimer’s disease. Read about the warning signs of this disease, here.
To reduce your chances of falling into the patients’ list, feed your creativity.
You can do that by learning a new language, a new skill, playing word games, and crossword puzzles with your buddies in the park. Read all the books you always wanted to, now that you have enough time. Write a journal about the remarkable experiences of your life!
The bottom line is, never stop mind-boosting activities. Have a meaningful life. And as you move ahead with focus, you will witness incredible benefits on your overall take on life.
- Practice Prevention
Many diseases, depression, chronic conditions like diabetes, and accidents are preventable. There are several preventive measures you can take. For instance, get regular checkups with a health professional. They will provide you a diet chart and habits to integrate into your life. Pay close attention to your body, and if you suspect something fishy, get an instant examination at the local health center.
Being alert of your food intake and staying hydrated are also the keys to adequate prevention.
Remember, physical fitness is not the only goal you should try to achieve in your old age. Being healthy also means staying mentally and emotionally stable. Figure out what makes you happy and stick by that. Always work on upgrading your self-esteem, so you emanate an aura of confidence. Managing stress and an optimistic outlook are the key ingredients of healthy aging.
Do you agree with us? Let us know in the comments.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer. She loves to read and write articles related to health and lifestyle, sometime on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates and you can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia