It’s estimated that more than 56 million people aged 65+ live in the United States. People often associate growing old with declining health; the body weakens, muscles ache, and memory starts to fade. However, aging doesn’t necessarily have to come with a blow to your well-being. As per a survey from 2019, more than 80% of adults aged 65 to 74 describe their overall health positively.
It is easy to live healthy while growing old: you just need to follow a healthier lifestyle and give up some of your nasty habits. So, are you willing to make a few changes to your life as you age? If yes, then read the following suggestions and learn how to manage better well-being as you grow older:
- Get vaccinated
Your immune system becomes weaker as you age, making you more vulnerable to infections like the flu and COVID-19. Hence, renewing your vaccinations and improving your immunity against some prevalent diseases is important. Getting vaccinated will reduce your chance of falling sick.
- Visit your doctor more often
Never miss your doctor’s appointment. Ask the doctor to run routine tests like taking your blood pressure and checking your cholesterol level. These regular checkups can help healthcare practitioners detect disease early and treat you properly.
Some chronic conditions are difficult to detect in their early stages and only manifest as a full-blown diseases when you’re much older. For instance, if you were exposed to asbestos in your youth, you are at risk of developing a condition called mesothelioma. This rare disease manifests itself decades after the initial exposure. Detecting mesothelioma early can help you get the necessary treatment. With the help of a lawyer, you can receive mesothelioma settlements worth a million or two to treat the condition and manage a comfortable life.
- Eat a healthy diet
Instead of relying more on junk food, switch to nutritious meals that give you the energy needed for a productive day. When growing older, men need to consume 2,800 calories, while women require 2,200 calories every day. You can get these values simply by eating healthy meals comprising fruits, veggies, dairy products, lean meat, and whole grains.
- Find new and active hobbies
Engaging in social activities and having different hobbies can improve physical and mental well-being. Participating in these activities prevents aging-related health issues such as dementia. You can try your hand at cooking, bicycling, gardening, swimming, martial arts, or learning another language. Teaching yourself something new will enhance your mental agility and prevent your mental health from declining.
- Take care of your teeth
Research suggests that 1 in 5 older adults have untreated tooth decay, and almost American aged 65+ have increased chances of cavities. Tooth decay doesn’t only harm your oral well-being, but can also cause infections in other parts of your body. Here’s what you can do to protect your teeth from gum diseases and maintain a healthy set of teeth in old age:
- Give up smoking and/or vaping
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth
- Ask your doctor about taking calcium supplements
- Focus on protecting your skin
Some of the earliest signs of aging appear on your skin, so looking after it can make you appear younger. As you grow old, your skin becomes less elastic and produces fewer natural oils, making your skin more wrinkly. However, you can diminish the appearance of these wrinkles and fine lines by investing in some quality skincare products. Do the following to keep your skin looking rejuvenated and less wrinkly:
- Stay hydrated
- Use good quality skincare products
- Avoid spending too much time outside
- Clean your face gently with water
- Put some sunscreen on when going outside
- Don’t adopt a sedentary lifestyle
It’s believed that 25% of Americans live inactive lifestyles. This passive mode of living is unhealthy for people of all ages, and particularly for those entering their sixties, so try to stay active by getting a moderate amount of physical activity into your routine. This could include doing house chores instead of lounging around or squeezing in 30 minutes of exercise every day. The latter doesn’t mean engaging as lifting heavy weights or doing deadlifts. Just stay on your feet by walking, jogging, and bicycling. Avoid sitting in front of the TV for too long.
- Sleep as much as needed
Your body needs a sound sleep every night to refresh itself and prepare for another productive day of work tomorrow. So, make sure your bedtime lasts between 7 and 9 hours each night. Cutting down on your sleep will harm your mental and physical well-being.
- Socialize with friends and family
As you age, you become vulnerable to mental health conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. However, socializing with your friends, neighbors, and family keeps your brain sharp and your memory intact. That’s why you should avoid isolation and mingle with people. Try the following:
- Traveling via public transit
- Adopting an animal companion
- Using apps such as Zoom and Skype to stay connected with long-distance friends and family
- Going out with friends for dinner or breakfast
- Joining group exercise classes
- Cut down your booze stash
It’s a no-brainer that alcohol leads to several health problems and needs to be avoided as you age. If you cannot give up drinking altogether, then at least cut down your alcohol consumption. Healthcare professionals suggest no more than 2 drinks for men and 1 drink for women per day. Better yet, seek professional help for addiction.
Physical and mental health problems become eminent as we age. However, you can thwart the ills of aging and live a healthy life when growing older by focusing more on self-care. So, move around more often, adopt active pastimes, socialize with friends, get as much sleep as needed, and regularly visit your doctor to catch the burst of a health condition. Be sure to visit your doctor regularly to keep track of your well-being.