Growing old is often associated with getting physically and mentally weaker. Many people fear growing old, as they believe it will reduce the fun in living. Of course, this is not true. Aging is inevitable, yes, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Aging is not a negative experience, and by cultivating good habits, you can make the natural transition to old age a graceful one, filled with great experiences.
On the other hand, for older people, the physical changes associated with aging are something they have to contend with daily. Whether one needs senior home care or is still independently capable, there are many ways to encourage good health and overall well-being. Below are some ideas to help you stay fit and healthy.
Eat a Diverse and Well-balanced Diet
Among the most important aspects of keeping healthy are good nutrition and a diverse diet. However, a common misconception many people have with the idea of “eating healthy” is avoiding all kinds of fats, sugars, and anything usually deemed ‘unhealthy.’
The key to proper nutrition is diversity. Make sure to eat all the colors of the rainbow, as many nutritionists have found out that it’s a convenient way to gauge whether your diet has a good mix of vitamins and nutrients. The secret is not in selectively eating healthy food but making sure you take in as many nutrients and vitamins as possible.
Get Some Exercise
Equally as important as eating well is moving and exercising. It helps the body keep its strength and nimbleness, helps stave off heart-related diseases, and improves mental health and fortitude. Through exercise, everyone can gain a better understanding of their own body. Many people think that once humans get past a certain age, their physical abilities diminish.
This isn’t exactly false, but the human body maintains homeostasis based on its use. By constantly exercising and maintaining an active lifestyle, you’re preventing further bone and muscle degradation, prolonging your body’s active state far beyond the commonly believed limits.
Read Books, all Kinds of Books
Keeping the brain sharp is just as important as keeping the body sharp. The brain is also a muscle, one that’s kept healthy through reading books. Making a habit of indulging in reading all kinds of books, from fantastical stories of fiction to nonfiction content, can help keep the brain sharp and active. Studies have shown that reading keeps decision-making abilities in good shape, maintains memory retention, and delays the onset of age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Not to mention, it’s simply a great and fun way to stay healthy without much physical involvement.
Enjoy Activities Normally Associated with Youth
There’s a popular saying that goes, “we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” While the statement is a metaphor for keeping playing regardless of age, it is still ultimately an excellent piece of advice. Age shouldn’t be a reason to stop anyone from enjoying what they usually enjoy. Video games, action figures, playing sports, these hobbies don’t have an age limit.
If it keeps someone happy, then that’s enough reason to keep doing them. Happiness is integral, and it helps prevent the feelings of depression and general sadness that often come as we grow older.
Have Adequate Sleep and Rest
In our youth, we can manage all-nighters and still manage to make the next day productive. But through age, we need more and more sleep. It becomes important in keeping oneself healthy, as a lack of sleep can increase the risks of physical and cognitive decline associated with aging. Memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s are among the diseases that good sleep prevents.
Make sure you don’t just get enough sleep, but good quality sleep as well. One that is consistent, deep, and undisturbed. Six or seven hours of deep, undisturbed sleep is better than eight hours of sleep filled with distractions. However, as much as possible, the eight hours of sleep required must be achieved.
Stress Management Is Key
Throughout our lives, we encounter overwhelming experiences, and there are times when these all pile up till we reach a breaking point. As we grow older (and wiser), we should find out how to manage stressful situations so that we don’t experience burnout. It can be a weekend getaway, learning how to meditate, or finding a hobby that relaxes us.
Whatever ways we find works for us, we have to sustain it, be always mindful not to reach our breaking point and do our best to exercise self-care. After all, health is tied to our emotions. With less stress, we can manage both our physical and mental health better.