Healthy aging is something that should be a top priority for everyone and should start from a young age. By taking care of our mind and body in our 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, we will be able to live a longer and healthier life in our 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond. The problem is that many people wait until they are approaching their golden years to start taking better care of themselves. By this time it is sometimes too late as their bodies are already
As we age it is important to to keep a close eye on our overall health on a consistent basis. Seeing that aging brings with it a lot of health issues, routine tests and screenings should be scheduled with your primary care physician. This will enable you to catch and treat any health problems before they become too serious. Here is a list of important tests and screenings all older adults should have:
- Mammogram (for women)
- Pap smear (for women)
- Blood pressure check
- Blood test for lipid level
- Periodontal exam
- Eye exam
- Vitamin D test
- Bone density test
- Skin exam
- Diabetes test
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone level screening (TSH)
- Prostate cancer screening (for men)
Adopt a Healthier Diet
Apart from getting routine checkups, adopting a healthy diet can put you on the right track to a healthier lifestyle. Our bodies tend to loose important nutrients as we get older. A healthy diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and veggies. You can also incorporate vitamin supplements in your diet, which helps provide some of the nutrients you are no longer able to get from your food.
Add in An Exercise Routine or Some Type of Physical Activity to Your Daily Life
Staying active is also a great way to get your body moving. Think of ways you can get some exercise each day, whether you join a fitness group or dance class. If you like being indoors, you can try exercising with workout videos from YouTube or other streaming service. Having someone to workout with can help boost your enthusiasm and make your workouts more enjoyable. A partner or group can also help keep you accountable and invested in your workout routine. Whether you decide to take a walk each day, go for a jog, swim, or other activity, just remember that people who remain physically active typically enjoy a longer, happier life.
Fall Prevention – Take Measures To Ensure a Safe Home
Seniors need to ensure that their homes are safe for daily living in order to prevent falls in the home. Falls can lead to harmful injuries, disability or even death. Check you home for tripping hazards like wires, loose carpet or floor boards and broken furniture. You can have a friend or family member come over to help rearrange your furniture etc. so that it is safe for you to walk around without being harmed. By rearranging your home (bathroom, living room, kitchen and other areas) and removing anything that can cause you harm, you will be able to feel safer at home even if you live alone. Lighting plays a very important role in a senior’s home. Make sure that your lights, lamps and all lighting fixtures are properly working and that your lights are bright and not dim. Dim lights can cause injury, as you may not be able to properly see where you are going or if there is a tripping hazard in front of you. A safe and fall free home should be a top priority for all seniors.
According to The National Institute on Aging: “Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults—7 to 9 hours each night. However, there are many reasons why older adults may not get enough sleep at night. These reasons can include feeling sick or being in pain, as well as the fact that some medicines can keep you awake.” Sleep is very important for our bodies to function properly, so try speaking with your doctor about the best ways to adopt a good sleep schedule.
Stay Connected To Friends & Family
No matter our age, having a connection with others is important to both our mental and physical health. As we grow older those relationships are even more important because we have a support system. Many seniors suffer from depression caused by loneliness. This depression can take a toll on your mind and ultimately your body. Try to build a community of family and friends around you so that you can have people to talk to and engage with. If you do not have many friends or family members living close by, you can connect with then via Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram (as well as many other social & video apps). You can also join groups at your church, or in your local community. This will give you the opportunity to not only participate in fun activities, but also cultivate meaningful relationships with people around you so that you don’t feel lonely.
Remember, healthy aging is all about adopting a healthier lifestyle. This means making changes where necessary to ensure that you are taking care of your mind, body and happiness.