Getting older doesn’t mean you’ll experience poor quality of life,
But you must know what and what not to do as your body ages.
Aging gracefully is not about living longer or trying to look like the 20s – it’s about living healthily and happily for a long time. It’s about living your best life mentally and physically.
When you’re getting older, your life starts changing, from physical to mental, sexual, emotional, and lots more.
Knowing what physical and mental changes occur as you age is the first step towards protecting your health.
Here are some common bodily changes:
- Your bones become thinner and more brittle with age as they lose density, mass, and this may result in Osteoporosis. According to MedlinePlus, low bone mass increases your risk of broken bones which can cause a stooped posture or loss of height.
- It is common for most people to experience slight forgetfulness as their ability to process information or to multitask becomes slower. However, if you experience this more often, you should have it checked by a medical professional.
- As you age, you may notice that your five senses – hearing, smell, vision, taste, touch – aren’t quite as sharp as they used to be. The sharpness of your vision may be dull and you may need glasses. You may start to lose your sense of taste because of the decreasing number of your taste buds. Due to nerve endings in your nose, your sense of smell may weaken. You may also find out that your sensitivity to touch, pleasure, or pain is reduced.
- Your skin gradually loses its elasticity and may start to sag and wrinkle. However, if you protected your skin from direct sunlight and smoke when you were younger, your skin will look much better as you get older. The most important anti-aging products to use are sunscreen and moisturizers. This will greatly reduce your chances of having skin cancer.
- Many women experience physical changes after menopause. These changes can reduce your sex drive. For men, the equivalent of this is erectile dysfunction. Nonetheless, this may indicate an underlying medical issue as a side effect of a medication. If you have an open-minded partner willing to experiment, you should see a medical practitioner.
The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to keep your body healthy for as long as possible. Let’s take a look at them:
10 Tips for Healthy Aging
Stay physically active
Regular exercise can significantly lower your risk of diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetics, and heart failure and offset many negative effects of aging. Keeping physically active can help improve your balance, keep you mobile, and improve your mood by reducing feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.
The department of CDC recommends:
- 150 minutes of aerobic exercise like swimming, or taking a walk each week. This is easily achievable if you break it down to 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week.
- It also recommends muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups at least twice a week.
Watch what you eat and drink
Having a balanced diet is crucial for good health, energy, and preventing illness. To get the nutrition that your body needs and lowers the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, make foods that are low in saturated fat, with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive nuts, legumes, oily fish, and low amounts of lean meat and processed food.
Visit the doctor regularly
Don’t neglect yourself. Schedule regular checkups with your doctor, dentists, and other specialist providers and stick to them. This will allow you to discover health problems early and treat them before they become worse.
How often you see a doctor depends on your fitness, age, lifestyle, and exercising conditions. If you have a chronic condition, you should schedule an appointment with a Geriatrician. Geriatricians specialize in the treatment of old people.
Quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption
The U.S Department of Health & Human Services advises that alcohol consumption be limited to one drink per day for women and two for men. The mortality risks associated with excess alcohol intake have drastically increased.
Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but several resources can help you along the way. Speak to your doctor about it.
Sort out your sleep
Many people have trouble getting or staying asleep as they get older. This can leave you feeling grumpy and tired.
However, you can avoid insomnia by cutting down daytime naps, establishing a bedtime routine, and going to bed at the same time every night.
Getting enough sleep can help you lower the risk of stroke, reduce depressions, inflammation, stress, and obesity.
Staying focused and living in the moment has proven to have many health benefits that can help you age gracefully like:
- Improved focus, immune functioning, and emotional reaction.
- Better memory
- Less stress
- Better relationships
You can practice mindfulness by meditating or doing simple yoga exercises daily.
Take care of your teeth
To prevent gum disease, you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. This helps to remove pieces of food and plaque between the teeth.
Sore, bleeding gums, and gum disease can be linked to stroke, heart disease, and diabetics. Have regular checkups with your dentist to get proper oral care.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking enough water helps to improve your energy level and brain function. It has also been proven to keep the skin healthier without wrinkles and reduce the visible signs of aging.
How often you drink water depends on factors such as your age, thirst, activity level, gender, and how often you urinate.
Find new hobbies
Make the most out of your time by engaging in pleasurable activities. People who engage in hobbies are happier, less depressed, and live longer.
This can also help you maintain a sense of purpose throughout your course of life.
Stay socially active
Establishing relationships with people can prevent you from feeling lonely and anxious. Keep in touch with your friends and family who don’t live nearby by using skype.
If you’re single and you’d like to meet someone, you can try online dating applications. If you don’t have an active social life, you can also seek out church groups, volunteer activities, or any other groups that have similar interests with you.
Aging gracefully is about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and surrounding yourself with the people or things that bring you joy.
While it’s natural to worry about challenges, don’t forget to enjoy the moments. Don’t hesitate to speak to someone if you’re noticing unusual and worrisome signs.