4 Tips for Healthy Aging
By Jeremiah Bailleu
September is Healthy Aging® Month, an annual observance month designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older. While there is (unfortunately) no magic pill that you can take or food that you can eat that will keep you looking and feeling like a 21-year-old forever, there are many things you can do and steps that you can take to keep your mind and body in good condition as you age. After all, life expectancy is getting higher and higher every year thanks to modern medicine.
Here are a few tips to help you age gracefully and healthfully.
Maintain a healthy weight — This is going to be hard to accomplish without keeping an eye on your diet, which we will discuss next. According to the experts 80 percent of weight loss is what you put in your mouth. Maintaining a healthy weight is not only good for your heart and lungs, but can really take a load off of your weight-bearing joints (hips, knees and ankles). When you carry around extra weight it begins to cause aches and pains on your tendons and joints when you try and get exercise, limiting mobility as you age.
Eat a balanced diet — Eating a diet that is full of fruits and vegetables, and low in fat and cholesterol is important to keep your body and mind in good shape. Fiber is one of the most important things that most adults just can’t seem to get enough of. According to a study published in Journals of Gerontology, “Eating more fiber was linked to a better chance of healthy aging.” They believe that people who get adequate amounts of fiber tend to live longer. A balanced diet is essential for good heart health, and we all know what can happen if you don’t take good care of your heart. It’s no secret that they key to healthy aging is keeping an eye on what you eat as you get older.
See your doctor regularly — For people 55 and older, seeing your doctor regularly is extremely important. Your body is not able to handle things like it was when you were in your mid 30’s. It is important to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor and have your yearly physical done to make sure that your body is healthy. Screening and preventative testing may be recommended by your doctor, even if you are healthy. The goal of these visits is to find problems early or before they start. Identifying health problems early can increase your chances of successful treatment.
Get moving — Regular exercise helps keep your body young, even as you age. Let’s not forget that routine physical activity will also help you maintain the healthy weight. After age 40, adults who get 30 minutes or more per day find themselves in much better health than those who don’t. As we age, blood vessels begin to stiffen and we see a gradual increase in blood pressure. The best way to counteract this is to get out and get your blood pumping with some cardio. Speed-walking is much easier on the joints than running and can really get the heart kicked into gear. Strength training (not necessarily heavy lifting) can keep your bones and muscles strong, helping to prevent mobility challenges as you age.
If you follow these four simple tips you have a much higher chance of living a long and healthy life. Healthy aging is something that you must stride towards each day, and a little bit of effort can go a long way when you are consistent. Eat healthy, go to your check-ups and get your daily exercise in and you will stay on the path to success!
About the Author
Jeremiah is a Marketing/Advertising Coordinator at the Nicholson Clinic. He assists with patient support and customer care for Nicholson Clinic and ReLaunch Nutrition. Jeremiah started with Nicholson Clinic two years ago and recently received his degree in Marketing from the University of North Texas.
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