September is Healthy Aging Month, an annual health observance created to draw national focus and education to positive aspects of aging and tips for a healthy life, even as we age. Healthy Aging Month helps provide inspiration and tips for older adults to improve their mental, social and physical well-being. Learn about healthy habits you can adopt now with these 10 Healthy-Aging Tips!
10 Healthy-Aging Tips
1. Stay Connected
Staying social is an essential part of aging as it allows older adults to maintain their emotional health. In addition to staying connected with loved ones, realizing there is still time to make new relationships and mend troubled ones can be a great way to relieve stress and anger. Through the giving and receiving of love, social connections can be therapeutic for all ages.
When our bodies don’t seem to move the way they once did, physical activity can become challenging. However, regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep things working properly and can help prevent health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes, and can reduce arthritis pain and lower blood pressure.
It is recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that adults 65 and older get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. This can include simple things like balance exercises, walking, biking, strength exercises and swimming.
3. Find Balance
Falling is the leading cause of injury for adults over 65. Improving core fitness through balance exercises, or by joining a yoga or Pilates class, can help prevent these injuries.
4. Stress Less
Stress accelerates the signs of aging on the mind and body and can lead to depression and chronic illness. Regular exercise, social connections and consuming a healthy diet are three ways to help decrease stress. Deep breathing done in yoga and meditation is also a proven way to decrease stress levels.
5. Exercise Your Mind
While aging is a part of life, rapid memory loss and forgetfulness do not have to be. In addition to physical exercise and eating better, continued learning and activities that challenge the mind can help slow the effects of aging on the brain.
Pursuing new hobbies or taking continued learning classes are both great ways to keep your mind sharp. Simple activities like crossword puzzles and Sudoku are also great ways to exercise your mind.
6. Beat Forgetfulness
In addition to exercising your mind; staying organized, making lists and creating reminders are all good ways to fight forgetfulness. These simple steps can help you stay focused and reduce stress and anxiety levels.
7. Eat Well
We all know a balanced diet is important to maintaining a healthy weight, but did you know healthy eating also decreases your risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses? Not to mention it increases mental acuteness, energy levels and immune response.
Some healthy-eating tips for adults over 65 include:
· Consume more fish and less red meat.
· Avoid foods with empty calories and fat.
· Find out how many servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended for you with this calculator from the CDC.
· Avoid processed foods.
· Increase fiber consumption.
8. Add Some Spice
Aging and the use of certain medications can reduce our sense of taste. Adding spices and herbs to recipes can expand the palette without extra salt, sugar or fat that is often added to amplify taste. Certain herbs and spices also have health benefits. For example, ginger, turmeric and cumin have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help maintain health.
9. Give Yourself an Oil Change
Switching from oils like partially hydrogenated, corn, soy and palm kernel to oils like fish, flax, coconut and olive can contribute to a healthier, longer life. These “good” oils are full of Omega 3 fatty acids, the one type of fat you don’t want to cut back on. Research on Omega 3s has found this fat reduces inflammation and helps prevents arthritis and heart disease.
10. Regular Checkups
One of the best ways to catch health problems in the early stages is to see your primary physician regularly. Through these regular office visits, your doctor will be able to perform preventative screenings and spot abnormalities faster. He or she can also reevaluate current medications that may need to be updated.
Healthy Aging with UnityPoint at Home
UnityPoint at Home provides a broad range of services that can help with creating and maintaining health goals, even as you age. Click here to learn more about the services we provide and how our team of dedicated professionals can help you or a loved one.