It’s no secret that as we get older, we need to be more cautious about our health. For many, trips to the doctor become more frequent and medical complications more common. That means it’s essential to be proactive and develop habits that will improve your wellbeing as you age.
Here are some tips to help you stack on track for healthy aging:
1. Stay Hydrated
Though this may seem simple, dehydration is a major issue among seniors. According to the Cleveland Clinic, dehydration is a common cause of hospitalization among the elderly. That’s because as the body ages, it retains less water than it does during its younger years, which makes paying attention to hydration a key aspect of staying healthy.
Water plays a key role in regulating body temperature, helping blood circulate, and lubricating joints, allowing your body to function optimally. People who fail to stay properly hydrated may experience issues with dizziness, difficulty walking, confusion, or other symptoms that may lead to an unexpected hospital visit. To avoid this, try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and only drink high-sugar juices sparingly.
2. Never Underestimate A Healthy Diet
We write a lot about healthy eating and recipes on this blog because keeping a healthy diet is a crucial part of managing conditions like diabetes and heart disease, but eating nourishing foods is not just important for chronically ill people. As you get older, your metabolism slows down substantially, and you won’t be eating as many calories as you did when you were younger. That means that it’s more important than ever to make sure the foods you are eating satisfy your nutritional needs.
Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains ensures that you’re giving your body the vitamins and nutrients that allow it to function well. Read about the DASH diet here.
3. Keep Active
For people of all ages, physical activity plays a central role in maintaining health. Though it may be tougher for seniors to stay active, there is abundant evidence that it can help them improve their wellbeing in numerous ways.
The physical aspect of exercise can help improve strength and mobility, keeping the body in shape and making it easier to walk around and do daily tasks. Activity is also beneficial for mental health, as it can release endorphins and increase blood flow to the brain, helping mitigate mental decline. Finally, there is evidence that exercising can help promote faster recovery after medical procedures or injuries.
4. Stay Purposeful
Though preventing and mitigating health conditions is crucial for elderly people, that’s only half the struggle. Maintaining good mental health is another vital aspect of healthy aging. As they age, people may experience feelings of depression, loneliness, and purposelessness due to the major life changes that accompany aging.
To help prevent more minor feelings of depression and combat loneliness, be proactive and seek opportunities to be social or feel useful. Start a bridge club, take an exercise class, or volunteer with a charity! Taking advantage of opportunities to stay engaged with your community and other people will help you maintain your mental wellbeing. If you are experiencing more severe mental health issues, seek help from your doctor to discuss treatment options.