Healthy aging is based on a well-rounded approach to life that fulfills not only our physical needs but our mental and emotional needs as well. When we recognize and meet these needs, we set the foundation for a healthier, happier and more fulfilling aging experience.
1. Eat the Rainbow
As we get older, our bodies begin to need fewer calories, but we still need lots of healthy nutrients. By eating food “from the rainbow” (a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables), we enjoy the benefits of delicious and nutrient-rich foods while reducing added sugar, salt, and fat. Add other healthy choices like eating foods made with whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products, and drinking an adequate amount of water every day to help you feel strong and energetic.
2. Enjoy an Active Lifestyle
Making physical activity a part of your regular routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Exercise can include daily activities such as walking, gardening, stretching, biking, or taking the stairs. Your local community or senior center may offer free or discounted classes like Tai Chi, water aerobics, or yoga. Choosing activities that you enjoy will not only benefit you physically but socially and mentally as well!
3. Avoid Using Tobacco
If you use tobacco, now is the perfect time to quit. Although it can be a hard habit to break, you don’t have to do it alone. Your doctor can help you find the support you need to start living a healthy, tobacco-free life.
4. Stay in Touch with your Healthcare Provider
See your doctor not only when you’re sick, but also for preventive services and screenings that can help you avoid disease or offer the treatment benefits of early detection. Manage your health by taking your medications, following up with your doctor, and maintaining your health plan.
5. Get your Z’s
The better rest you get, the more opportunity your body has to restore and rejuvenate itself. Developing a schedule or bedtime routine to regularly get seven to nine hours of sleep per night is important to your health. Aim for going to bed around the same time every night, turn off the television and put down your phone. Drink a cup of herbal tea and enjoy some relaxing music to let your body know it’s time to rest.
6. Cultivate your Relationships
Keep in touch with your friends and family. Modern platforms like Skype, FaceTime, and other social networks make it easier than ever to stay connected. A strong support system is vital to a person’s health, no matter their age. Healthy, loving relationships keep the mind sharp and the heart full!
7. Exercise Your Brain
Keeping the brain active is essential as we age and according to research, may delay memory decline. Simple things like reading, writing, working crosswords, or even learning something new challenges our brain and helps keep it healthy. So, visit the library or challenge a friend to a game of chess for a little mental workout!
8. Relax and De-Stress
Aging brings new life challenges that sometimes cause stress, which may lead to anxiety and depression. Finding healthy ways to manage stress is important to your well-being. Chatting with a friend or loved one, exercising, enjoying a hobby, journaling, or meeting with a mental health professional can help you reduce the stress in your life.
9. Invest in your Community
Volunteering is a wonderful way to reinvest your talents and experience. Whether you become a mentor to a young person, help at a food bank or animal shelter, or find another way to give of yourself, the benefits to your community and the future will be invaluable and, it will make you feel good, too!
10. Be Kind to Yourself
Aging is a gift. If you choose to stay positive and embrace the process, you will continue to grow personally, experience loving relationships, contribute to your community and enjoy your life to the fullest. Make the most of every day and live your healthiest, happiest life.