There’s a misconception that reaching your senior years means that you will develop a range of health conditions and lose your independence. While this might have been the case a few hundred years ago, it couldn’t be further from the truth in the 21st century.
Nowadays, getting older doesn’t mean that you need to sit at home all day and rely on the help of others. You can live well into your eighties and nineties with complete independence and freedom.
In order to live a long and prosperous life, you need to live a healthy lifestyle. Numerous studies have confirmed the life-extending effects of eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and keeping your brain active.
No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to start making positive changes in your life to maximize your health and well-being. This includes changes that boost both your physical and mental health (because they’re both just as important as each other)!
How to Stay Healthy as an Older Adult
You might be wondering how you can improve and maintain great health as a senior. Well, look no further! Here are some simple and effective ways to stay healthy as you age.
Move Your Body
It’s recommended that you get around 150 minutes of physical activity every week as a senior, with at least two of your exercise sessions focusing on strength. Exercise is a key component for maintaining great health and fitness.
The list of physical and mental health benefits that regular exercise provides for older adults is endless. Here are nine of these incredible benefits:
- Easier weight management
- Lower risk of being overweight or obese
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes
- Improved bone mineral density (bone strength)
- Increased flexibility and mobility around the joints
- Improved balance and stability
- Lower risks of falls and injuries
- Improved confidence and independence
Find a form of exercise that is enjoyable and accessible for you, whether it’s dancing, swimming, or gardening. Avoid doing anything too intense or exercise that could put you at risk of injury.
If you have a lung condition that decreases your ability to take in enough oxygen during exercise, consider getting the best portable oxygen concentrator. This medical device will supply your body will extra oxygen to support your lungs when you’re exercising.
Socialize With Your Loved Ones
Social health is often neglected when it comes to health and well-being but it’s just as important as physical and mental health. Your social health ties directly into every other aspect of your health and well-being.
When your social health is optimal, you’ll feel happier and more confident in yourself. Going out with your friends or visiting your family members can promote a sense of belonging and highlights how much support you have in your older age.
Socialization can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. It may help to sharpen your memory and cognition. Regular connection with others might even extend your lifespan, and this was the case for both in-person and online connectivity. So, if you can’t see your loved ones in person, a quick video call can do the trick!
Reduce Your Psychological Stress
The negative effects of chronically high levels of stress can be detrimental to your health. When you’re overly stressed, a hormone called cortisol is constantly pumped through your body, promoting weight gain, premature aging, and high blood pressure.
Finding ways to reduce your psychological stress will lower your cortisol levels and keep your body and brain as healthy as possible. Some great stress-relieving techniques to try include:
- Meditation or breathing exercises
- Socializing with loved ones
- Taking part in hobbies that you enjoy
- Getting great sleep
Quit Smoking and Avoid Alcohol
Smoking and alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of a range of diseases, including heart disease, liver cirrhosis, and cancer. As difficult as it can be to remove cigarettes and alcohol from your life, doing so can have a positive impact on your overall health and may extend your lifespan.
While it’s okay to enjoy an alcoholic beverage every so often, try to limit yourself to a maximum of one to two drinks a day. Certain medications can negatively interact with alcohol so it’s important to check with your doctor if you’re concerned.