Living in the golden years can be challenging if you are not physically and mentally fit. Here are 10 essential tips on how you can live a healthy life as a senior.
You need to stop smoking to live longer and healthier. Smoking kills. It causes a wide range of diseases, including stroke, lung disease, heart failure and some types of cancer. You can also end up with complications such as erectile dysfunction, cognitive decline and intensive wrinkling. Quitting smoking might be difficult, but with some persistence, you can eventually overcome the challenges. We recommend you get a support group and surround yourself with people who don't smoke to avoid temptations.
You must always be active to stay healthy and independent. Being active strengthens your heart, burns fats and boosts your immune system. Not to mention, you relieve a lot of stress and improve cognitive function. However, not all exercises are effective. The National Institute of Health recommends four types of exercises for seniors. These include light strength exercise to build muscle and keep the body’s metabolism in check, balance exercises to prevent falls, stretching exercises to enhance movement and endurance exercises to strengthen the heart.
As we grow older, the calcium intake in the body reduces. Consequently, our bones become weaker and more fragile, increasing the risk of serious injuries in case of a fall. It is thus important to prevent falls as much as you can. Use walking aids to prevent falls or bathroom lifts and toilet safety rails to prevent you from tripping in a slippery bathroom. You could also use a wheelchair to help you move around safely. There are many low-quality wheelchairs out there, so be careful when choosing one. If possible, ship your wheelchair and other safety aids from a reputable company.
Old age is associated with a higher rate of morbidity. The risk of diseases may increase further if you make poor lifestyle choices. Common diseases include atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. You need to eat a healthy diet to prevent these diseases. Go for fiber-rich foods to maintain a healthy gut and eat fresh salmon fish to obtain the essential omega-3 fatty acids. Also, look for foods that naturally contain calcium, such as milk, beans and spinach.
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
This is the time you need to be close to your doctor. Schedule regular medical examinations to see if everything is okay. These may include an electrocardiogram to check your heart rate, x-rays to check your dental health, blood sugar test to check for diabetes and many others. Regular checkups will help you identify problems earlier.
Stress is very common in old age due to a number of reasons, such as financial issues and health problems. Finding ways to alleviate stress can help improve quality of life and increase your lifespan. You can apply stress management techniques such as spending time with a pet, engaging physical exercises, meditating, having enough sleep and practicing gratitude.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight increases the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Avoid foods that can make you gain weight, such as potato chips, French fries, ice cream, cakes, hot dogs and sausages. And when eating, make sure you eat smaller amounts of food at regular intervals, preferably after every two to three hours.
Take Care of Your Skin
As we get older, the skin becomes thinner, less elastic and dry. It becomes more susceptible to wrinkles and cuts, and bruises take longer to heal. It also becomes more prone to the damaging effects of the UV rays. Make sure you protect your skin to prevent it from wrinkles and diseases like skin cancer. Use sunscreens and drink a lot of water.
Have Sex Regularly
Just because you are aging doesn’t mean you stop having sex on a regular basis. Regular sex lowers anxiety, boosts immunity and improves mental health. Learn about the physical changes in your body and adjust to them for maximum sexual enjoyment.
You need to stay connected with people. These may include friends, former workmates and relatives. Call them on a regular basis or invite them over for dinners. Join clubs to make new friends and take part in charity events to strengthen your social bonds. Connecting with people will help you fight loneliness, depression, hardships and disabilities.
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