10 Tips for Healthy Aging

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Daniel Pavlik Sr DC

Sep 21, 2020

Thanks to advances in modern medicine, people are living longer, healthier lives. To reap the full benefits of improved longevity, however, you may need to make a few changes to your lifestyle as you get older. Here are 10 tips for wise and better aging.

1: Stay active

You don’t have to engage in strenuous exercise to stay healthy. There are plenty of enjoyable activities that will keep you fit and healthy without being too taxing.

Walking is a good option for most people, as long as you don’t try to walk too fast or too far for your fitness level.

Swimming is another recommended option for health-savvy seniors. Swimming provides low-impact exercise, allowing you to strengthen your muscles and get the cardio you need.

Cycling can also be a great way to strengthen your lower joints and muscles without putting too much strain on your knees or hips.

Try a gentle exercise modality with slow, deliberate movements that emphasize a range of motion. Yoga will help you to stretch your muscles and keep your joints flexible, while tai chi and qi gong are ideal for seniors.

2: Stay mentally active

Exercise your brain with puzzles and games. Try taking a course in a subject that interests you, such as a foreign language.

3: Socialize

Getting older can be an isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep up with friends and family members, and make an effort to get out and meet new people too. It can be a little daunting at first; keep in mind that there are plenty of people in a similar situation who would love to get to know you. Look for clubs and groups centered around a shared interest.

Social interactions aren’t just fun. They’re an essential part of healthy aging and wellness. Your level of social interaction is a significant predictor of well-being and longevity in later life. The more vibrant your social life, the happier and healthier you will be.

4: Stay on top of your stress

Stress is part of life at any age. When you’re older, you may find that stress affects you differently and that you have new stressors that you’re less equipped to handle. De-stress with enjoyable activities, relaxation, and meditation.

5: Get regular checkups

Even if you feel great, don’t skip your annual trip to the doctor. If you do experience changes in your health, don’t try to tough it out. See your doctor and talk over any new symptoms.

6: Give up tobacco and nicotine

Quitting smoking may be tough, but it’s one of the best investments you can make for your long-term health. Avoid products that contain nicotine, including snuff and nicotine patches or gums. It’s okay to use substitutes while you’re giving up, as long as you taper these off too.

7: Cut down on alcohol

Alcohol consumption can impair your chances of maintaining a healthy metabolic age. The occasional glass of wine won’t hurt you, but you should exercise moderation in your alcohol consumption.

8: Eat a healthy diet

As we get older, our dietary needs change. People’s bodies need fewer calories but may require more nutrients. Some vitamins are less well-absorbed in older people, particularly B12. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods — far from it. Just cut back on saturated fats and processed carbohydrates and pile your plate with healthy vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Enjoy oily fish like salmon or tuna two or three times a week. Switch from candy bars and potato chips to fresh fruits and tree nuts as snacks.

9: Sleep tight

As you grow older, a lack of sleep can cause more severe problems. Get seven to nine hours a night to protect your brain, heart, and overall health.

10: Stay positive

Perhaps most importantly, you should stay positive. Cultivating a more optimistic outlook can pay dividends in terms of both mental and physical health. Health and well-being aren’t just for youngsters anymore. If you find your health declining, or experience a new symptom, don’t suffer in silence. A medical professional may be able to help resolve the issue.

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