Staying Healthy As We Age

As daunting as it may seem, the aging process is something we all go through. While we might not appreciate the signs of getting older, such as the changes to our skin, or muscles and our joints, the physical changes do not mean a sedentary life. Today, older people are enjoying life to the full. As we age, staying fit and healthy is more important than ever to avoid some of the health problems that sometimes come with aging. Keep on top of your health and wellbeing with these tips on health for the older generations!

Healthy Eating

A healthy diet is important at any age. The food we eat gives us energy and helps our cells to function and repair themselves. If you fuel yourself with poor quality food, then you are not giving your body what it needs to work properly.

Foods we should all eat are a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins from legumes, fish and chicken, and dairy produce such as milk, yogurt, and cheeses. Foods to avoid include processed and fatty foods, and too much sugar and salt.

It is also a good idea to limit your alcohol intake. You can still enjoy a drink now and then, just avoid consecutive days with alcohol and don’t have more than one or two. This gives your liver the time it needs to process the alcohol, without it building up and causing fatty deposits in the liver.

Foods that are rich in antioxidants may help you live a longer and healthier life. Antioxidants help to get rid of oxidative compounds in the body that can, over time, deteriorate organs and other body tissue. Blueberries, olives and dark cholate are all examples of antioxidant-rich food that help us sty feeling fitter and healthier as we age.

Drinking enough water is also important, as the older body is more prone to dehydration than younger bodies. Staying hydrating not only helps your body stay in good condition, but it also helps your brain to function well too.

Exercise

As we age, our muscle may lose their strength and joints can become stiff. A regular exercise routine helps to keep you strong and agile and may add years to your life. Exercise also has a beneficial effect on the brain, helping to prevent memory loss and improving cognition.

If you find it hard work to exercise alone, you might find it better to join a local group. This could be anything from a gentle yoga class, a gardening club or just going swimming with a friend.

Even if you have never been one for exercise before, it is never too late to start, and you’ll soon start to feel the benefits to your health.

Mental Health

People who have good mental health live longer than those who suffer from mental health conditions. Having a mental health condition, such as depression, can lead to the stress hormone cortisol from accumulating in the body. This can cause health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems and an increased risk of stroke. These health conditions become more common in the aging population, so taking steps to improve your mental health could prevent onset. If you suffer from a mental health condition, seek help from a doctor and begin the steps to getting well.

Good mental health as we age also depends on having a network of supportive friends and family.

Social Life

Having a varied and active social life is one way to keep you feeling happy as you get older, and people who are happy are less likely to develop health problems and usually recover more quickly from illness.

It can be the case that older people become more isolated. This could be due to a number of reasons such as the fact that they could lose old friends, perhaps their children may have grown up and are be busy with their own lives, or they have lost a spouse.

Loneliness can be detrimental to health for many reasons. One immediate problem is that if health condition develops, there is no one to encourage an older person to seek advice, and it may just go ignored. There is also evidence to suggest that loneliness leads to cognitive decline and mental health conditions such as depression.

The good news is that there are many ways to keep an active social life as we enter our golden years. Check the local newspapers for community groups, for example; there could be an art or sewing group, an over fifty friendship group or women’s and men’s only clubs. Going to your local church, mosque or synagogue can help you to make new friends and feel welcomed into a community of people.

Another way to widen your social circle is to volunteer your services. It might be something small like helping to serve tea and coffee at a local center, helping out at a charity event or organizing a cake stall.

Mentally Active

Keeping mentally active as we get older keeps ‘brain fitness’. Using the brain to solve puzzles, do math and letter games such as Sudoku and crosswords, helping to keep your brain agile.

Don’t stick to the same old routines, try different things to challenge you mentally such as learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby.

Health Checks

Because we are more prone to health conditions as we age, it is important to get regular health checks with your doctor. You may experience the odd symptom and just put it down to old age, and in most cases that could be right. However, it’s best to be cautious and proactive and get any potential problems seen to, to rule out any possible underlying health conditions.

Older people may be invited to be screened for some cancers, such as bowel and breast cancer. While you might not feel any symptoms, early detection saves lives. A clear screening will also give you peace of mind, so you can focus on enjoying life.

When you visit a doctor for a health check, you can expect to have your blood pressure measured. High blood pressure is more common in older people and can lead to health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney problems. Often, people don’t know they have high blood pressure until they get it checked, so it is worthwhile doing so.

Another health check the doctor may perform is for cholesterol. Having high levels of cholesterol can cause a build-up in the arteries, narrowing the arteries making blood pass through more slowly.

As we age, our eyesight may also deteriorate. It is a good idea to get regular eye checks, not only so you can see clearly but to check for problems within the eye. Conditions in the eye can signal problems within the body, such as diabetes. Other eye conditions include glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Sensitive Aging Issues

One thing that often goes unspoken as we age is sexual health. It is a common misconception that older people are less sexually active, but in fact, many older people enjoy a fulfilling sex life for as long as they are physically capable. Sex does change as the body gets older, but this doesn’t mean it has to be forgotten and is less meaningful and enjoyable. There are, however, some issues that can affect sex at an older age.

For men, one issue that is associated with aging is erectile dysfunction. Most men, at some point in life, will experience it, but it becomes more common in older men. As we age, the blood vessels deteriorate and do not perform as well as they once used to. This can be a contributing factor to difficulty in maintaining an erection, especially over the age of 70. There are products that are effective in the treatment of this sensitive issue. See generic Cialis Canada for more information on buying online.

Getting older is a fact of life, but it doesn’t mean you are resigned to your armchair and slippers! With age comes wisdom, and you have a lot to offer. Use your wisdom to appreciate the good points of becoming older. See the beauty in the lines and wrinkles, know that you have the life experience that gives you a deeper understanding of the world, and maintain a positive outlook to keep you feeling young. By doing all the right things to keep yourself healthy, you can enjoy life as you age.

Through keeping an active social life, keeping an eye on your health, staying mentally and physically active and addressing any potential health problems before they come into fruition, you can ensure that you enjoy your best years as you get older. The best way to go about aging is to embrace it and see the new opportunities that can be offered. Spending time with friends and family can be all the more enjoyed knowing you yourself are embracing a healthy lifestyle that will stand you in good stead for years to come.

 

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