Living a healthy lifestyle won’t just help you to live longer; it can also aid you in having a happier life, especially as we get older. Below we look at the ultimate guide to living a healthy lifestyle at an old age.
When we get older, staying active can become more difficult, especially if you suffer with bone/joint pain or any conditions that mean usual exercise is off the table. Daily exercise is vital at any age to remain healthy and strong. Exercise can lower your risk of stroke, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Not only is it good for your physical body, but exercising makes us happier, improves self-esteem, and improves our quality of sleep.
You should look to achieve around 150 minutes of exercise each week. This can be something as simple as going for a walk around the park, walking quick enough to increase your heart rate and get out of breath but not so quickly that you struggle. While exercising is important, going at a pace for you is vital to prevent injury. Get start small and do work your way up if needed. Swimming is another great activity, especially for those with arthritis. If you have health issues, speak to your doctor or a physiotherapist about what exercises you can do to strengthen and condition your body in a safe way.
Getting Enough Sleep
Many people find that, as they age, they struggle to sleep. Remember, you aren’t alone in this. Many older adults struggle with sleep as we produce less growth hormones. Due to this, we experience less deep sleep within our sleep cycle which lessens melatonin production, meaning it is harder to sleep and you are more likely to wake in the night. There are many ways to counteract this, such as speaking to your doctor, establishing a bedtime routine, switching off electronic devices close to bedtime and avoiding alcohol.
If you find that your bladder is weaker as you age, it might be that you often wake in the night for the toilet and then find it difficult to go back to sleep. To counteract this, try to limit the amount of water or other liquids you have before bed, especially caffeinated drinks such as coffee or tea. Caffeine is known as a diuretic, meaning it will have an impact on how often you need to head to the bathroom. Getting enough sleep is essential, especially in preventing the risk of accidents and falls as you age.
As we age, we can find ourselves missing the social connections we had during work and with our families. Children grow up and have their own families, meaning they may not have as much time for us as before. Spending time with others is especially vital as we grow older as this will prevent feelings of loneliness or isolation. If you have friends and family that live far, invest in a tablet so you can keep in touch via video calls. There are plenty of great online classes that can help you to learn how to use a tablet if you don’t know-how. If you miss working and having chats with colleagues, have a look at local volunteering opportunities for a chance to make a difference and stay social while doing so.
If you live alone, assisted living may be a great next move. Being single, bereaved or divorced in old age can feel lonely, and assisted living is a great way to meet new people and be part of a community. Frontier Management have a range of senior citizens independent living communities, which allow those who are capable of living on their own to come together in a community, for a chance to make new like-minded friends and enjoy a range of social activities.
Quit Bad Habits
As we age, smoking and alcohol consumption will only aggravate any pre-existing conditions and decrease energy levels. If you are struggling with sleeping especially, cutting out alcohol or smoking can help. Smoking is bad for your body and has a detrimental effect on your lungs. As we age, the lungs begin to lose strength, making you more susceptible to diseases. The good news is stopping smoking at any age will improve energy levels, sleep, lung capacity, and circulation.
Drinking less alcohol can also improve your lifestyle in many ways. Alcohol can affect mental health and for those who are feeling lonely, this will only make the situation worse. Alcohol is also known to cause memory problems and dizziness, which can increase the risk of accidents or falls within the home or while outside. If you are taking other medications, cutting out alcohol is especially important to reduce damage to the liver and to ensure your medications are working as they should.
While this seems like an obvious one, eating and drinking well can help you in living a healthy lifestyle at any age. A healthy, balanced diet can prevent illness, improve energy levels and can even improve mental health. Taking time to make fresh food and meals for yourself each day will not only keep you busy, it will make you feel good. If you cannot cook, be sure to find a great meal service that offers a wide range of choices. Try to avoid microwave or frozen meals if possible.
Make sure to consume plenty of water to stay hydrated and alert and cut down on sugar to maintain good dental hygiene. Be sure to consume foods that contain lots of vitamins and minerals and perhaps check in with your doctor for a wellness check. This can include a blood test for vitamin deficiencies, so you can see what foods you need to consume more to improve your health.
As our bodies get older, we need to take extra care of them to ensure that we remain fit and healthy and are still able to do many of the activities that we enjoy. Eating well, cutting bad habits, staying social, getting better sleep and staying active can help you to live a healthy lifestyle at an old age.