Staying Active and Healthy As You Age
No matter your age or stage of life, getting fit and staying active is never too late. Exercise can do wonders for your mood, reduce stress, manage symptoms of illness or pain, and boost overall sense of well-being.
Physical activity can help protect you against chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers. Plus it improves sleep quality and energy levels.
Exercising can make for a healthier and longer life. It keeps your muscles and bones strong, reduces pain, and enhances mobility.
Physical activity can help lift your mood, give you energy and reduce anxiety or depression symptoms. Studies have demonstrated that exercising is just as beneficial for older adults as it is for younger individuals.
Strengthening exercises such as weight training and resistance training can help combat age-related muscle loss and protect you against injuries.
Start slowly by building up to a regular exercise regimen by beginning with short bursts of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, dancing or gardening.
Make exercise enjoyable and exciting by seeking advice from a trainer, physical therapist, or occupational therapist. Additionally, having a workout partner can be beneficial.
Eating healthily can keep you energetic, reduce the risk of chronic (long-term) diseases and help keep you at a healthy weight. Furthermore, eating right can strengthen muscles and bones for increased strength and energy levels.
With age comes increased difficulty in getting enough nutrients from food sources. Malnutrition can weaken your body, raise your risk for illness and decrease quality of life.
With age comes an increased tendency to lose your appetite and difficulty digesting certain foods. If you are worried about your dietary intake, ask your doctor if taking a vitamin or mineral supplement would be beneficial.
Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein as your main sources. Limit fatty meats and saturated fats which may raise your cholesterol levels; instead opt for fish, low-fat dairy products and unsalted nuts or seeds instead.
Sleep is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing. A good night’s rest can make you feel energised, boost immunity levels and prevent chronic illnesses from developing.
Ideally, you should strive to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. However, sleep needs can vary throughout life; older individuals may require more or less shut-eye than their younger counterparts.
Sleep can be disrupted due to many factors, including work stress and family obligations. If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, take steps to reduce your overall stress level.
Create a bedtime routine that promotes relaxation and prepares you for sleep. This could include reading a book, listening to soothing music or taking a warm bath. Furthermore, avoid using electronic devices like televisions or computers in the bedroom.
Maintaining social connections as you age is an integral part of staying fit and healthy. Not only does this reduce the risk of developing health issues such as diabetes or heart disease, but socializing also has been known to enhance cognitive function.
Maintaining social engagement is especially crucial for older adults who may live alone or lack opportunities to connect with others. Maintaining meaningful friendships not only keeps your mind and body strong, but it may help prevent depression–which has been linked to dementia.
One of the best ways to become involved in your community is volunteering. Whether it’s working at a local animal shelter or joining a church committee, volunteering offers you an opportunity to form relationships with others and acquire new skillsets.