Making This The Prime Time Of Your Life
With people living longer – and healthier – than ever before, our latter years afford us the opportunity for more fulfillment and fun.
To focus on healthy aging, start by considering doing the following:
Engage your mind and spirit: Stay sharp and mentally enriched by reading and writing, doing puzzles and playing games, taking classes at a community college or online, engaging in arts and crafts, playing and listening to music and traveling, even if just short day-trips. Seeing and experiencing new things can make you feel youthful. Immersing yourself in a hobby and engaging in lifelong learning not only can help you stay young at heart but mentally and physically healthy, too.
Focus on your nutrition: Make sure your diet includes lots of fresh, nutritionally rich foods and go easy on junk food and fast food. With the advice of your healthcare provider, take supplements to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
Keep moving: Staying physically active can do wonders for your overall health. In addition to building strong bones and muscles to help prevent falls, exercise helps your cardiovascular health, and staves off depression. Find a type of physical activity that keeps you interested and motivates you to make it a daily habit. Consider joining a health club or find a buddy to enjoy walks or other exercise with.
Pay attention to your health: Key to keeping illness and physical problems at bay is having regular screenings and check-ups from healthcare providers. If and when a physical or mental health change occurs, don’t assume it’s “just part of aging” – go get checked out. Symptoms can be signs of treatable illnesses especially when addressed early. Changes with vision and hearing are a common part of growing older but can often be helped easily with the right prescription of glasses or the appropriate hearing aid. Because vision and hearing problems can be signs of other health issues and can also affect your balance, make these check-ups a priority. Dental care becomes more important as we age especially because it can impact our eating and can also affect our heart health so take good care of your teeth and see your dentist regularly.
Stay socially connected: Make a concerted effort to keep up with friends and loved ones through regular phone calls, emails and visits outside your home. Join recreational clubs where you can make new acquaintances as well as get involved with new activities and interests. Volunteer your time – by doing so, you’ll not only experience the joy of giving back and having a purpose but you’ll also get to interact with others.