Aging doesn’t necessarily have to be the grueling process everyone makes it out to be; it doesn’t have to be an endless struggle against declining physical appearance, cognitive abilities, physical health, and social life.
With the right lifestyle choices, you can overcome many of the challenges that you now think of as inevitable.
When you age, you have much free time on your hands as the burden of work, bills, and social obligations are lifted from your shoulders.
You gain wisdom, lose social pressures, get more comfortable being yourself, and have grandchildren to play with or are off on your own with no burden.
Despite this, you must not lose purpose in life as you age and continue working towards ensuring a healthy lifestyle for yourself.
If you are experiencing changes in your physical and mental health as you age, fear not; no hurdle is impossible to overcome.
The following tips and tricks will help you ensure a healthy lifestyle even as you age:
Get routine medical checkups and prompt treatment
Regular checkups are crucial at any age, especially as you get older. Your immune system gets weaker over time, and the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, pulmonary disease, etc., increases.
Routine medical exams are crucial to identify some of these problems in time because they don’t exhibit symptoms until the condition has worsened.
For some chronic illnesses, specific treatment options become less effective after the 50s. For instance, older patients with mesothelioma don’t usually qualify for life-extending treatments.
Check out mesothelioma veterans center for more information regarding this.
If you were diagnosed with a chronic illness, ensure punctuality on your routine exams and treatment sessions because effectiveness declines as you cross the 60s.
Don’t be a couch potato
Physical activity is as important as regular checkups. Exercise is a wonderful counter to problems that are more of a risk in the elderly; for instance, regular exercise decreases the risk of diabetes and heart diseases and keeps your body mobile for longer.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, adults must stay active with moderate exercise for 2.5 to 5 hours daily. One should also include muscle-strengthening activities twice a week or more.
For something more fun than a traditional workout in the gym, you can opt for swimming, cycling, walking, or jogging. Activities promoting balance and strengthening muscles are also recommended for the elderly.
Don’t isolate yourself
No matter how relaxing it might be to stay in your room watching television and doing nothing but relaxing on your own, avoid complete isolation.
Research has shown that older people who are more social have happier and more enjoyable lives and are less stressed than those who don’t. Loneliness is a known cause of sadness and depression.
Unfortunately, in the UK, one million people can spend up to 30 days in isolation. This practice is very harmful to your psychological health in the long run.
It can even increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Keep in touch with others; at least one person a day. As unusual as it might seem for an older adult to socialize, make sure to visit old friends, go to the club, make new friends, and register for fun activities in clubs that host your population and meet new people.
Join a support group
Undoubtedly, aging will inevitably bring significant changes in your life, and it can be challenging to cope with.
Having a group of friends who relate to your problems, have gone through the same, and understand you better than others is a tremendous blessing.
You can find a social circle by joining a support group where you will meet other people working through the same emotional, social, and physical challenges. When you know that you’re not alone, it gets easier to make it through.
If you are tech-savvy, you can join support groups over the internet or by telephone. Still, if you value traditional one-on-one interaction, you can join a physical support group in your vicinity and enjoy the experience of leaving your living space.
Either way, support groups provide great emotional support, practical advice, coping skills, and information.
Watch what you eat
You are what you eat; while your diet is essential for ensuring good physical and mental health at all ages, this is particularly true for vulnerable times like old age.
For the elderly, the risk for diet-influenced chronic illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular disease is higher.
So, monitor your dietary intake carefully. The recommended diet includes various items from all five food groups, with a sufficient amount of vegetables, fruits, legumes, wholegrain, fiber-rich foods, meats, poultry, dairy products, healthy fat, etc.
Be careful about the fats you consume because they are the prime culprit behind cardiovascular diseases.
Avoid foods rich in saturated fat and replace them with unsaturated fats found in oils, nuts, butter, etc.
As difficult as it is to resist the urge to consume treats like pastries, cakes, biscuits, or pies, remember that your health is a priority.
Work on your mental health
Lastly, internal peace and happiness are the keys to aging well and healthily. Some people don’t take the negative changes of aging well and let it take a toll on their psychological well-being.
However, have no fear; it is possible to maintain perfect mental health and well-being with the right strategies. Keep your social bonds strong, accept the changes that come with time, and always think positively.
Also, keep in touch with your therapists and doctors to watch out for and deal with problems like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
The typical negative stereotype about old age doesn’t necessarily have to apply to you. You can successfully make it through the aging process with the right decisions and habits.
Look after yourself and make medical checkups regular, stay active, socialize, join a support group, eat healthily, and look after your mental health. Your happiness is in your own hands.