Part 1: 6 Tips for Aging Well
We know it’s not just about living longer; it’s about enjoying a healthier and happier extended life. To do this, you need to take care of your physical, mental, and cognitive health. Check out our top tips for healthy aging:
1. Watch what you eat and drink
While it may seem like common sense, maintaining a well-balanced diet is vital for good health, sustained energy levels and warding off illnesses. An ideal diet should consist of minimal saturated fats, ample servings of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, oily fish, and modest portions of low-fat dairy and lean meats.
Keeping hydrated is also important, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, which can lead to fatigue and confusion. Additionally, beverages like tea, coffee, and fruit juice can contribute to your hydration, but steer clear of sugary carbonated drinks. Alcohol should be drunk in moderation.
2. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise is a way to show care for your own well-being. It’s like giving yourself a gift of strength and good health. By staying active, you can reduce the chances of facing issues like obesity, heart problems, stroke, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. As if it weren’t enough, being physically active can also give your self-esteem a boost, help you sleep better, and increase your overall energy levels.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults aged 65 or older need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running.
If that sounds like a big commitment, don’t worry. You can start small and gradually build up to that goal as you become stronger and more accustomed to it. Remember, every little bit of exercise counts, and taking steps towards a healthier you is an act of self-care.
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 a good night’s sleep
Getting a proper amount of sleep is crucial for your health and mental awareness. 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. Factors like illness or physical discomfort can make falling asleep difficult, and certain medications may keep you awake. Not getting high quality sleep can result in irritability, feelings of depression, forgetfulness, and a higher likelihood of experiencing accidents or falls. It’s vital to prioritize good sleep for overall well-being as we age.
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. Regular mindfulness activities can boost your mood and reduce stress.
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. Take the tests and make the most of your doctor
As we age, your hearing and eyesight can be affected, so it’s important to get them checked regularly. It’s also a good idea to build a strong relationship with your doctor and make sure that you have regular routine tests.
We all worry about our health as we get older but by having routine health checks and connecting with your doctor when needed, you can spot any problems in the earlier stages when they are easier to treat.
At Exemplar Care, we offer a concierge membership for those on Medicare; providing greater access to your provider to relieve your concerns and discuss your symptoms when you need to.
It’s never too late to change. Seniors in their 70s and 80s who modify their behavior still reap rewards.
Aging well is about staying healthy and happy! Our providers are available to help you live your healthiest life.