One of the greatest privileges in life is getting to grow old. Not everyone sees it that way, however. Many feel concerned for what life will be like for them as they age, worrying about their physical, mental, and social health. Will they be able to do the things that they love? Will their declining body keep them stuck at home or in an assisted living facility? Will they get to experience enough social engagement to stave off loneliness?
These are questions that you might face yourself if you are starting to approach your later years. But growing old does not have to be full of fear. There are plenty of ways that you can support a healthy lifestyle as your body and mind begin to feel the effects of aging.
Investing and supporting a healthy lifestyle now is the best way to prepare yourself to age gracefully. Although we cannot control everything that happens in our bodies, there are a few practices that you can maintain to give yourself the best chance of long-term wellness and independence.
New Types of Exercise
It is no secret that exercising is a key aspect of any health journey, and it is especially true the older you are. The unfortunate reality is that your body’s integrity will start to decline as your muscles, joints, bones, tendons, and organ systems weaken. It is impossible to stop this process, but you can help to slow its effects on your lifestyle. Remaining active is so important for elderly individuals, but it should not look the same as it did in their 30s or even 40s. Physical exercises that work well for seniors include water aerobics, chair yoga, resistance bands, and calisthenics. These activities are better suited to keep your body moving without putting unnecessary stress on the areas of your body that are starting to degenerate.
Invest in Personal Hobbies
Keeping your mind engaged is just as important as staying active when you think about supporting health as you age. Mental health could become more of a struggle later in life, especially if you are dealing with the loss of family and friends that you have known for decades. Plus, the unavoidable realization that you are not as capable as you used to be can lead to depression. It is crucial that you find ways to keep your brain and your hands engaged at this stage of life. Hobbies are a great way to do both. You could take up knitting, sculpting, wood-crafting, painting, collecting, or any number of activities that get your creative juices flowing. The more you exercise your brain with these activities, the better off your mental health will be going forward.
Focus on Your Diet
What you put into your body is a huge indicator of overall health. In many cases, older individuals may become apathetic about their diets, eating whatever they want whenever they want. However, it is even more important to be selective about the food that you eat at this life stage. A balanced intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy foods can continue to supply your body with the nutrients needed to maintain the functionality of your cells. The right diet is the only sufficient way to deliver those key vitamins and minerals. If you want to take a step further in protecting optimal cellular health, you can also take vitamin or mineral supplements to support this healthy diet.
Staying Vigilant with Health Conditions
Being proactive about your health is important, but so is being reactive. As you age, your number of trips to the doctor or other medical professionals should probably increase. When you notice something is off about how you feel or a body part that is experiencing pain, the worst thing you could do is put off a potential diagnosis. Your body is going to be more prone to diseases or conditions the older you get and staying on top of these changes is the best way to combat them. Do not be shy about visiting a medical care specialist to see if there is a bigger issue that could result in long-term damage and an early move to an assisted living facility.
How Will You Prepare for Old Age?
The right time to adopt healthier practices is always now. When you think about what you want your life to look like as you get older, consider how the choices you make today will affect that future. Will you put off living a healthier lifestyle until it is too late to slow the effects of aging? Or will you start investing and supporting your wellness now with some of these practices?
The earlier you start caring about your well-being the more likely you will be to experience a long, healthy, and happy life going forward.