Aging is one of the inevitabilities of life; it’s unavoidable. Over the years, our bodies begin to change both physically, and psychologically—where in many cases, it can be frustrating and debilitating. However, as September is Healthy Aging Month, we will examine tips and tricks to stave off the achy joints, increased waistlines and beyond! Through a commitment to self-care, your body’s physical and mental effects can be greatly reduced—leading to increased life and vitality throughout your Golden Years.
Diet & Exercise
The jury has reached a verdict: staying atop a regular exercise program and eating healthy is good for you! While this might not be news, it can be difficult to maintain as an aging adult. According to a University of Birmingham study, a lifetime of regular exercise can slow down the process of aging. Although there is no way to turn back the clock if one’s led a sedentary life for years, there is the promise of working out in the future. Older adults should check-in with their doctor before starting any strenuous exercise, but even walking for 30-minutes a day can have benefits on overall health and conditioning. Sticking to a diet of lean meats, such as poultry, fish, and a reduced intake of red meats have shown a reduced risk of heart disease. Eating green leafy vegetables and avoiding empty calories and processed foods/sugars have been shown to help older adults effectively lose weight.
Keep the Mind Sharp
There are simple ways to train the mental faculties to retain their sharpness, including basic tasks like making the bed every morning. Studies have shown that bed-making every morning is the first success-driven goal of the day that one can achieve, leading to better choices throughout the day. Taking pride in one’s appearance can also positively affect emotional and mental health, and significantly increase an aging individual’s self-esteem.
A commitment to self-care, including regular bathing and grooming, can not only help skin stay healthy, but add to confidence in later years. Staying on top of signs of mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety, can help promote emotional well-being and overall health. It can certainly seem scary reaching out for mental help, but it is necessary to rule out chemical imbalance and any other underlying disorders. By keeping the mind sharp, decision making, and confidence can remain strong through the aging process.
Nurture the Soul
Mindfulness and spirituality can positively affect overall health. The feeling of well-being, inner peace, and hope can come through a variety of different sources, including religion, art, music, or even a connection with nature. Many studies on meditation have been conducted and have shown a tremendous health benefit, with reports of anxiety, stress, and depression reduction from regular practitioners, along with an overall sense of wholesomeness.
Practicing yoga can also have similar effects as mindful meditation, along with a provided bonus of calorie burning! Gentle yoga can be a great exercise for older adults, and they can work up to very strenuous regimens as strength and mental focus build. A focus on visual arts, such as drawing or painting, or practicing a musical instrument like guitar or piano, can provide a sense of spiritual, artistic release and help to keep the brain active.
Stay Protected While Living an Active and Healthy Lifestyle
While many people view the aging process as bittersweet, it doesn’t have to be when a healthy lifestyle is adhered to. There’s no question that maintaining an active life with a commitment to well-being can extend a person’s years, so why not kick start the process—beginning today. With a medical alert device, you can do the things you live, with the confidence that a help—whether from a loved one or from emergency response—will always be just a button push away. Healthy Aging Month only lasts for 30 days, but a healthy life can last for years to come.