When you think of yourself in your seventies, do you envision a sedentary individual, or the next Ernestine Shepherd breaking new records and conquering new heights? Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll find yourself inspired to make a few promises to yourself and take charge of your health as you greet your old age.
Focus on prevention
Various bodily functions start to slowly deteriorate as we age, and while this natural process cannot be entirely stopped, the least you can do is make sure you keep it all in check. Annual visits to your doctor for a routine checkup can help prevent various diseases and catch any issues early on for proper treatment.
Your vision, hearing and dental health are particularly sensitive, while certain illnesses are known to wait for your senior years to appear, hence the need to monitor your overall health.
By mastering new skills, learning a new language, or taking part in generally challenging activities for your mind, you’ll help your body and mind ward off many issues of ageing. Don’t limit yourself to mental processes only, like puzzles or reading, but expand your views onto the realm of physical skills such as dancing as well.
Keeping your mind and your body engaged is an excellent way to improve many of your abilities, protect your memory, safeguard your balance and coordination, and ward off many brain-degenerative illnesses.
Boost your quality of life
You’ve raised your kids who have now flown the nest, your spouse may have passed away, or you are simply single – whatever your situation may be, even just a bit of support can make a world of a difference in your everyday life.
In order to ensure healthy ageing and greater independence, you can work with an in-home care professional even just a few hours every day to build healthy habits and make sure you stay consistent. They can help with anything from meal planning, regular workouts and sticking to your medication schedule, while even just some companionship can help you stay healthy and happy.
Choose a healthy menu
As with any health goal in life, little can be done without tweaking your diet to meet your changing needs. Since your body is ageing, you will soon start experiencing various deficiencies, and that requires a new take on your eating regime. First of all, define your goals with your doctor, whether it’s weight maintenance, adding a few pounds of muscle due to age-induced muscle loss, or losing weight.
Then, you should adapt your diet to your levels of daily activity, as well as your individual dietary needs. Make sure you get enough protein to preserve your depleting muscles, and ample nutrient-rich foods for micros such as calcium, magnesium and various vitamin to protect your immune system.
Kick unhealthy habits
Just like introducing smarter decisions can make a major difference in your senior life, so can the choice not to indulge in certain activities. Anything that endangers your health such as smoking, too much alcohol, or too much sugar should be your next healthy resolution – one that shouldn’t wait for the New Year.
If you spend lots of time outside, good for you, but make sure that your skin is sun-safe in order to prevent any damage, or even cancer. It’s time to reconsider any habits that are potentially putting your health and wellbeing at risk.
Introduce an exercise regime
If there’s a single aspect of your life that is the closest thing we have to the elixir of youth in every possible sense of the phrase, that would be physical activity. Studies have shown that regular exercise is not only essential for maintaining proper mobility, flexibility, skeletal and musculature strength, but also for staving off dementia and other brain-degenerative diseases that come with age.
In addition to helping you reduce many health issues, exercise is a great way to boost your independence and add a level of variety to your social life.
While we’re on the subject of social, meeting new people and staying in touch with friends and family on a regular basis adds immeasurable value to your senior lifestyle. It helps keep stress at bay, adds meaning and purpose to your life, and it seems that social support and closeness are one of the key elements of a happy senior life.
Safeguarding your relationships through hobbies, physical activities such as strolls in the park or attending various events in your community will help you enjoy your life and truly embrace the old adage that age is nothing more than a number.