Aging doesn’t have to mean a decline in health and well-being. With care and a few fundamental lifestyle changes, you can continue to enjoy better aging well into your senior years.
1: Get plenty of sleep
The amount of sleep an individual may need varies from person to person. That said, you should aim for between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. If you don’t get enough sleep, or if you’re sleeping poorly, your mental and physical health may be affected.
2: Look after your digestion
As we age, digestion slows down, and the GI tract can become more sensitive. Your diet should reflect your body’s changing needs. Cut back on processed carbohydrates and saturated fats, while eating more vegetables and heart-healthy fats such as fish oils.
3: Keep moving
The more sedentary your lifestyle, the more likely you are to develop health problems. You don’t need to become a star athlete — find healthy physical activities you can enjoy. Walking, swimming, cycling, and disciplines such as yoga are a great way to stay in shape.
4: Stay connected
Try to find time to catch up with family and friends when you can, and look for opportunities to meet new people. Look for clubs, outings, and regular events in your area. When going out to meet people isn’t possible, social media and technology such as video chats can be a lifeline. Social activity isn’t just enjoyable — it’s excellent for your health. The number and quality of a person’s social connections are strongly correlated with better health outcomes in later life.
5: Don’t neglect your mental health
Your mental and emotional health are just as important as your physical well-being. If you’re suffering from mood disturbances or feeling low, speak to your doctor. You should also protect your mental faculties. Aging doesn’t have to mean a decline in mental faculties. While specific changes occur in the brain as we age, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to stay sharp. Puzzles and games that require intelligence and engage your mind are ideal. You could also try learning a new language. Language learning is correlated with lower rates of cognitive decline and dementia.
6: Take care of your teeth
If they’re not looked after, your teeth and gums can deteriorate rapidly. Visit your dentist every six months for a checkup. Dental issues can cause all kinds of health problems, from harmful bacteria entering your gut to dangerous infections that can attack bone and other tissues. It’s even possible for untreated cavities to lead to blood poisoning. Dental pain is also a factor that can reduce your quality of life significantly.
7: Have regular eye checks
Your eyesight is irreplaceable. Aging can affect your vision in several ways: farsightedness or nearsightedness might become worse, while new conditions like glaucoma or cataracts can emerge. Your optometrist can ensure that these problems are caught early and remedied appropriately. Left undiagnosed, some treatable eye conditions can cost you your sight. If you drive, it’s especially important to monitor your vision for any changes.
8: Prevention is better than cure
Forestalling the development of diseases is much more effective than treating them. You can nip potential problems in the bud by scheduling annual checkups with your doctor. Your doctor can arrange screenings for common issues such as high cholesterol, heart disorders, various cancers, etc. You should also ensure that you get all your recommended vaccines, including a yearly flu shot.
You should also seek medical advice if you experience a decline in your overall health or well-being. There’s no reason to suffer in silence if you develop a symptom that bothers you. Talk to your doctor about digestive changes, pain (especially in your chest), fatigue, or difficulties with physical activity. Your doctor may be able to help you find the root cause of these problems and get you back to your old self again.
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