Top Tips for Healthy Aging

Top Tips for Healthy Aging

By Aaliyah Gibson, The Active Times

Healthy Aging Tips You Need to Know

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Life gets better with age. With an empty nest and many of life’s most stressful events safely behind you, you’ve got some of your best years ahead. But there’s one part of aging that you’re probably less psyched about: the physical part.

You may need to ditch some of the unhealthy habits cultivated in your youth and mentally and physically reshape how you live your life. You should still enjoy life to the fullest, but maintaining a healthy diet, staying active and making time for yourself are some of the keys to healthy aging.

Keep up with friends and family

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Your social life is an important part of your health, both mentally and physically. According to the National Institute on Aging, as people get older, spending more time at home and spending more time alone can lead to depression. In fact, people who spend more time keeping up with family and friends have a longer lifespan, are happier and are less likely to develop diseases, like dementia. Video calls, virtual book clubs, cooking together and game nights are all great ways to stay in touch with family and friends.

Become active in your community

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Becoming active in your community can help you maintain your well-being as you age. According to the National Institute on Aging, people who volunteer or are active in their communities are happier, have a longer lifespan and are better prepared to cope with loss. Volunteering for a cause you care about can help you reignite your passion or find a new line of work if you’re interested in returning to the workforce.

Practice your hobbies

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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No matter your age, picking up fun, new hobbies is exciting. But it can also be good for your health. According to the National Institute on Aging, people who are involved in hobbies and meaningful activities live longer and may be at lower risk for health problems like dementia. Older adults who participate in a hobby have also reported feeling healthier and happier.

Keep your brain sharp

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Experiencing memory lapses is part of aging, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 million Americans are living with cognitive impairment, and age is the greatest risk factor.The Emory Healthy Aging Study recommends playing music, enjoying games with friends and family or completing puzzles to keep your brain sharp.

Focus on mental health

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental disorder, like depression. If feelings of sadness begin to interfere with daily life, the National Council on Aging recommends speaking with your doctor to determine if a screening is right for you. In addition to speaking with your doctor, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends taking “me” time to do something you find relaxing and satisfying.

Reduce stress

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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High blood pressure, a weakened immune system and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack are just some of the many ways stress can affect the body. And according to the Emory Healthy Aging Study, long-term stress can cause depression and memory loss in later years. Getting an adequate amount of sleep, meditation, yoga, exercising often and eating a balanced diet are some of the simple ways to deal with everyday stress.

Be aware of changes in brain health

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Your brain changes as you age, but Alzheimer’s and dementia are not a normal part of aging. According to the CDC, when it comes to memory and thinking, normal aging means slower processing speeds and more difficulty multitasking. It’s also normal to occasionally forget recent events like where you placed your keys or the name of the person you recently met. It’s not normal, however, to forget the function of items, repeat questions, misplace items frequently or to have difficulty naming items or close family members. Start a conversation with your doctor if you’ve been experiencing problems with memory loss or forgetfulness.

Get screened

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), health screenings are an essential key to healthy aging. Health screenings can help you recognize health problems — even before you show signs and symptoms.

Manage health conditions

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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If you have health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or osteoporosis, it’s crucial that you work with your healthcare provider to manage your health. Never ignore symptoms like chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizzy spells or anything that is new or unusual.

Avoid medication mistakes

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Prescribed medications can help treat problems and help you live a long, healthy life, but when used incorrectly, medicines can also cause serious health problems. It’s important to never keep secrets from your doctor and ask your doctor or pharmacist to tell you facts about the medicine you take and changes to your prescription. Make a list of each medicine, vitamin and herb you take, and only use your medication as directed.

Maintain a balanced diet

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Maintaining a balanced diet is essential to healthy aging — and it’s not just about weight loss. According to the National Institute on Aging, a balanced diet can help protect you from health problems like skeletal muscle decline and back pain and keep your heart healthy. The Emory Healthy Aging Study recommends adding brightly colored foods to your diet that are high in antioxidants and eating plenty of whole grains and proteins. Adding healthy brain-boosting foods like avocado, salmon, eggs and watermelon to your diet is also beneficial..

Make sure to eat enough calcium

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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As you age, bones shrink in size and density, losing strength and endurance, and making you more susceptible to fractures. To promote strong bone health, it’s important to get a sufficient amount of calcium. The National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and the Mayo Clinic recommends at least 1,200 milligrams daily for women 51 and older and men 71 and older. If you’re not a fan of dairy, incorporating foods loaded with calcium, like kale, broccoli, salmon and tofu, can keep your bones healthy and strong.

Drink enough water

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Dry skin, headaches, dizziness and heart palpitations are signs you might not be drinking enough water. The Mayo Clinic and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends a daily water intake of 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women. From there, 20% of the daily fluid intake should come from food and 80% should come from what you drink.

Exercise regularly

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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According to the National Institute on Aging, people who exercise regularly not only live longer, they live better. From wall pushups to ankle stretches, there are plenty of safe and easy workouts perfect for seniors. Exercising regularly might also be an effective treatment for chronic issues, like arthritis, high blood pressure or diabetes.

Get enough sleep

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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According to the National Sleep Foundation, your sleep patterns naturally change as you age. Falling asleep is more difficult and staying asleep is just as challenging. But getting enough sleep is crucial to both your mental and physical health. What happens when you don’t get enough sleep? Well, you can suffer from increased anxiety, memory loss, lack of concentration, depression and more. According to Emory University’s Healthy Aging Study, getting a sufficient amount of sleep can boost your mood and improve your attention span and memory. Revamp your routine by following bedtime rituals for better sleep.

Manage dental hygiene

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Maintaining good dental hygiene is key to healthy aging. As you age, you’re at a higher risk of decreased sense of taste, dry mouth, gum disease, and root decay. To maintain good oral health, drink fluoridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste, brush teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque, and visit your dentist at least once a year. Just be sure to change your toothbrush every three months.

Quit smoking

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Smoking is a habit that can lead to cancer and increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by two to four times. However, studies have proven once you quit smoking, your health takes a turn for the better. One year after you quit smoking, your risk for a heart attack drops; after two years, your chance of stroke could fall to the same as a non-smoker’s; and within five years, your chance of mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder cancer is cut in half.

Limit alcohol

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Alcohol is an inflammatory food that should be avoided in large quantities as you age. According to the National Institute on Aging, drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time can lead to liver damage, immune system disorders, cancer and brain damage. For older adults, too much alcohol can lead to falls — which can result in fractures — and worsen health conditions like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, memory loss and mood disorders.

Spend time outside

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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Walks can keep you energized, reduce the risk of diabetes and help with digestion. According to the Emory Healthy Aging Study, basking in nature is a great stress-reliever and spending time outside can increase concentration. And if your diet lacks the best foods for vitamin D, time spent outdoors will help you absorb the vitamin essential for bone growth and immune function.

Accept your body’s changes

Top Tips for Healthy Aging
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An underrated part of healthy aging is acceptance. Change is going to happen, and some of these changes you might not like, but instead of resisting the natural changes that come with age, try adjusting your mindset. Think about how lucky you are to have a body that serves you and supports you every day. 


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