In life, we have many choices that determine how healthy we are, and those choices also lead to how healthy we stay – or can stay – as we age. There are some conditions that are genetic and out of our control, but there are other steps we can take to help us age in a healthy way. We have put together this list of 6 tips to help you age in a healthy way.
If you’re like most people, you want to age as healthy as you can and live as long as you can. Living longer also means you should take care of yourself – starting today – to ensure you have a high quality of life as you age. Being an active adult is what Baby Boomers are seeking, and staying healthy and happy means taking a few, mostly easy, steps toward a healthy lifestyle.
6 Tips To Help You Age In A Healthy Way
Physical health matters. This is obvious, we know, but it’s still true that people aren’t as healthy as they should be and that can be attributed to many factors.
- Get up and get moving. Physical activity is one of the most important steps you can take toward good health. Take a walk. Do chair yoga. Go swimming. There are many simple steps you can take to get more physically active. Call an American House Senior Living Community near you because we welcome “drop-in” visitors to our physical and fun activities.
- Wear an activity bracelet that counts your steps. Challenge yourself to go just ten more steps today than you did yesterday. Even if you can’t get outside and walk, there is no reason you can’t walk around your home or march in place during television commercials. Any physical activity is better than no activity.
Eat healthy foods. We know it’s easy to grab processed foods from the cupboard or stop at a fast food drive-through and there’s nothing wrong with that occasionally. Make smarter food choices, and that coupled with physical activity will help you stay healthier.
- Cook meals at home. Eat the meals we offer our American House Senior Living Community residents because they are healthy, balanced meals.
- Count calories.
- Eat fruits and vegetables every day.
- Eat lean proteins.
- Watch your salt intake.
- Make whole grains a part of your daily diet.
- Don’t skip meals.
Get your zzz’s. Your body needs a good night’s sleep to repair and rejuvenate itself. Lack of sleep could make you depressed, forgetful, irritable and more prone to falls. If you can’t sleep at night, talk with your doctor.
- Strive for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
- Individuals who sleep fewer than six hours a night may be at a higher risk of developing dementia.
- Lack of sleep can make depression symptoms worse.
- Getting a good night’s sleep can lower your risk of heart disease or obesity.
Live a healthy lifestyle. There are many habits we may have carried with us from our youth, and if we can rid ourselves of these unhealthy habits we may live longer and healthier.
- Cut back on alcohol use. Wine or beer or spirits in moderation is not a bad habit but drinking to excess can lead to health issues.
- Quit smoking.
Don’t skip doctor’s visits. Prevention is better than trying to cure an illness that has gone unchecked.
- Go to the doctor once a year, at a minimum, for your annual health screenings.
- Follow your doctor’s advice.
- Have regular health screenings that your doctor may recommend. If you’re experiencing symptoms, you may lose the chance of having your doctor catch a disease in its earliest stages, when it would be most treatable. Regular check-ups can help ensure you could start treatment months or years earlier than would have been possible otherwise.
Mental health matters. Your mental health is an essential component of your overall quality of life and health.
- Manage stress. Monitor those times when you feel stress and anxiety. When you make note of them, you might be able to avoid those stressful situations. Physical activity helps combat stress. Journal about those items or times that cause you stress and anxiety.
- Monitor your moods.
- Seek out friendships and social interaction.
- Combat loneliness.
- Social isolation was detrimental for so many older adults during the pandemic. We also know it’s not as easy to make friends and stay in touch as we age.
- Make use of technology to call friends and family or ask for help setting up video chats. Connecting and being able to see the faces of loved ones can help combat isolation.
Protect your cognitive health. There is no truth to the myth that we should stop learning because we’re aging. Don’t let your cognitive health decline and put you at risk of dementia.
- Get more than 100 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous activity. Find something you enjoy and you’re more likely to stick with it.
- As mentioned, stop smoking and drinking heavily.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Engage in activities that are mentally stimulating like writing, reading, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles or card games.
- Getting a full night’s sleep will also protect your cognitive health.
- Learn something new.
All of this may seem overwhelming, but many of the items mentioned here naturally go together to help you age in the healthiest manner possible. Look at these items and pick and choose one or two things to try for a week. Next week add something new. We hope our 6 tips to help you age an a healthy way gives you food for thought!
Here’s to your healthy aging.
Contact an American House Senior Living Community near you and take a tour and also ask us about the physical and fun activity sessions you could try out!
American House was founded in 1979 to enrich the lives of seniors and their loved ones in an environment that fosters independence, compassion, quality services and meaningful relationships. We provide a wide range of senior living options, including independent living, independent living with assistance, memory care services provided by a third party, respite stays and hospice in Dearborn Heights, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights and Westland.