Now that the kids have grown, you’re ready to embark on a wonderful a new chapter in your life. You want to have the best possible experiences as an empty-nester, and that means keeping in good health as we age. The bad news is, now more than ever, it’s especially important to be intentional about taking care of yourself. The good news is, we’ll show you how easy it can be if you give priority to these three things, below.
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CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn how to maintain good health as you age by making three things a priority. This includes:
- About Our Health as We Age
- Eating Nutritious Foods
- Preventing Bone Loss
- Supporting Your Brain Health
- Final Thoughts on Health as We Age
About Our Health As We Age
Many people fear getting older and have a negative view of the process even though, by definition, the alternative is much worse.
It’s nonetheless understandable, because – even with all of the aging-positive articles and other content you can find online – there is still a tendency to look at old age more through the filter of what it does to you, as opposed to what you can do when you get to that stage.
There are a few examples of this.
- Typically, certain sicknesses can be more lethal for patients the older they are when they get it.
- If someone in their eighties has “a fall” those words have much grimmer implications than they do for someone in their twenties.
- And of course, as someone gets older, the question of brain health is never far from people’s lips.
In each of these cases, there is a lot you can do to get on the front foot and make yourself less vulnerable.
And as we look down the list below you’ll see that aging isn’t synonymous with decline.
1. Eat Nutritious Foods
We all know of the benefits of healthy eating, and we even know that it can be done without having to sacrifice tasty and tempting foods.
As you get older, though, it does become more important.
Some illnesses notably affect older members of society disproportionately.
As far as we can tell, it’s because of vulnerabilities like hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, all of which can be aggravated by the way we eat.
Reducing the levels of red meat, refined sugars and trans fats in our diets can help stave off these conditions, and healthier options can reduce their likelihood and their severity.
Beetroot is a particularly good tool in the fight against hypertension, for example.
While it is inevitable that we will eventually become less resilient with age, there is no age at which that has to kick in, so it’s worth fighting.
2. Prevent Bone Loss
When you were a small child, you probably fell over a lot.
Most of us did, because we hadn’t learned to look where we were going, and so falling over became a normal part of life.
Which is why a lot of kids wouldn’t understand why adults talk in hushed tones when someone older has had “a fall”.
For seniors, a fall in the wrong place at the wrong time can be a lot more serious – largely because of the greater likelihood of fractures, with all of the complications that can bring.
There are other factors in the danger from falling, and it’s a particular concern for people who have been prescribed blood thinners.
No, but the primary concern is a result of the loss of bone mass that happens as we age. It is inevitable that this will happen, and it’s more pronounced in women.
But there are medical solutions for bone loss conditions such as osteoporosis, and exercise and diet approaches can even see you gain back some of the lost bone mass.
Yoga is a great way incorporate some exercise into your lifestyle. And, you can make modifications to the poses if you have physical limitations that come with age.
Or, add a daily walk with a friend or relative into your daily routine. You may not even realize how sedentary you’ve become. Wearing Fitbit on your wrist can track your steps and heart rate, and also gives you gentle activity reminders.
So keep moving. That might mean taking walks whenever the weather is pleasant, or wearing a fitbit that reminds you to stay active.
3. Support Your Brain health: The “D-word”
All of us as we get older will become somewhat more forgetful.
The main reason for this is that we’ve been alive longer and have more to remember.
It doesn’t mean, however, that people’s minds won’t turn towards dementia as a cause when you have some slips.
It’s important for everyone to realize that dementia is not inevitable at any age, and that forgetting a few details here and there is not a sign of the condition, which is much more profound.
It can also be fought before it happens.
Keeping close to others is important, so talking to family and forming bonds within your community, like at the Senior Citizen homes at Catholic Care Center, will make a huge difference.
Challenging yourself and testing your brain by doing trivia quizzes, learning another language or developing an in-depth interest that requires research can also help.
Staying mindful and physically active, and keeping a healthy heart, will also make a considerable difference.
And have a change of scenery whenever possible. Travel is good for your mental health!
Your brain, just like any other part of you, benefits from being in a healthy body.
Final Thoughts on Health As We Age
No-one is going to live forever, but there are already more than half a million people in the world who are over the age of 100. That number could skyrocket to nearly 20 million by the end of this century!
If you make the right decisions now, you could be among that number, and you won’t just live long…you’ll live a healthier life, too.
This article is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.
Photo credits: Clock – Mikes-Photography, Beetroot – Silviarita, Walking – pasja1000, Crossword – Steve Buissinne, Woman – Orna Wachman (Pixabay)
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