Part 1: 6 Tips for Aging Well
It is not just about living longer; it’s about staying healthy and continuing to be happy doing what you love. It is never too late to make changes that can help you live a longer healthier life. Follow our tips for aging well (and feeling great).
1. Be aware of your diet
A balanced diet is crucial for good health, energy and preventing illness. An ideal diet should be low in saturated fat, with lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, and small amounts of low-fat dairy or lean meat.
Keeping hydrated is also important, so drink lots of water to keep you from feeling tired or confused. Tea, coffee, and fruit juice will also help you to stay hydrated. Alcohol should be drunk in moderation.
2. Get up and move
Keeping physically active can help offset many of the effects of aging by keeping you strong and healthy. It is also an important part of managing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and others. Exercising regularly also boosts your self-esteem, improves your sleep, and gives you more energy.
Government guidelines recommend that older adults do 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week as well as strengthening exercises twice a week.
3. Get regular checkups
Visit your primary care provider for preventative services, not just when you’re sick. It is important to take charge and feel empowered about your health. Regular checkups can help improve your health and reduce your chance of getting sick.
4. Get enough sleep
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night and a little less for adults over 65. If you are having persistent sleep problems and self-help measures are not working, it’s a good idea to visit your primary care provider.
5. Stay social – keep in touch
By spending time with others, you are more likely to experience a positive mood, have fewer negative feelings, and higher levels of activity. Develop hobbies or interests that fit your lifestyle or consider volunteering.
Socializing is also good for your brain. A study published in 2021 that looked at older adults in Japan found that participants with consistently high or increased social engagement had a lower risk of dementia than those with consistently low social engagement. See your primary care provider if you have questions about mental health memory or brain health.
6. Give up smoking
Smoking is bad for you because it is scientifically linked to a whole range of health problems, including but not limited to heart disease and lung cancer. If you stop smoking, regardless of your age, your circulation, lung capacity and energy levels will improve.
If you need help to stop smoking, speak to your primary care provider or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help.
Also, remember, it’s never too late to change. Seniors in their 70s and 80s who modify their behavior still reap rewards.