With the average age of our population growing older by the day, we find ourselves with a veritable sea of wise seniors surrounding us. In fact, recent studies point to at least 13 percent of the population now being at or over age 65, a statistic that is historically significant.
Thanks to modern innovations in medicine, effective pharmaceuticals, and creature conveniences, we are living longer than we have in years. The average life expectancy for males as of 2019 is 70, with women coming in at 75. With all of this extra time on our hands, we need to make the most of our health and improve the quality of our lives. How can we safeguard our health and ensure that our golden years are 24 carat ones? Follow these ten essential tips to keep you strong and healthy, no matter what your current age:
1. Stay active
Find activities to do daily that incorporate balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance. This may seem like a tall order, but you’d be surprised at what a simple game of catch with your grandchildren can do for your cardiovascular health as well as your coordination. Several online workout options now exist for those who would rather do exercise at home; take advantage of the affordable monthly subscription costs and see how fast you can get in shape.
2. Eat well
Regardless of how well you exercise and train, you simply cannot out-train your fork. Loading up on cheeseburgers and french fries will do little to safeguard your cardiovascular system; opt instead for fresh produce, quality protein and whole grains as the basis of your diet, and you’ll have the energy to fuel those sizzling senior workouts you’ve been performing. Simply make wise eating choices in the senior facility food service vendor or cafeteria that will benefit energy and healthy living.
- Give up some habits
Smoking and drinking are not only hazardous to your health, they can contribute to the development of several different diseases and conditions that can make it difficult to live the life you’ve dreamed of. Consider cutting out substances like tobacco and alcohol, and you’ll be taking a powerful step in the direction of good health.4. Maintain a healthy weight
Along with exercising and eating well, you’ll want to maintain a healthy weight to ensure that all systems of your body are working properly. Extra weight on your frame increases the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even certain cancers. Reducing your BMI, or body mass index, will help to stave off the development of these diseases that can reduce your quality of life.5. Stay up to date on screenings
Taking advantage of health screenings and opportunities for immunizations is the first line of defense against illness and disease. Ask your doctor and medical team to keep you in the loop with regard to what is available to you, and follow up to make sure you can get these tests and screenings performed to keep you healthy and strong.
6. Prevent falls
A fall is a surefire way to backslide into poor health. We tend to become more prone to falls and accidents as we age; keep your risk low by removing area rugs, keeping paths clear of furniture and electrical cords, and paying attention to where you are going. Keeping upright and fall-free will help protect bones and muscles that you need in top shape for good health.
7. Prevent skin cancer
Sure, you can have your gardening and your golf time in the sun, but be smart about it. Take precautions to prevent sun overexposure and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Find a moisturizing sunblock and apply liberally when you are out and about, and take care of cuts and scrapes promptly to avoid infection. Your skin is a vital organ that protects you against the elements; take care of it, and it will take care of you.
8. Head to your doctor, dentist, and optometrist
By age 50, many people notice a sharp decline in vision and hearing capabilities; getting regular checkups will make preventative care easy, as your medical team can give you valuable suggestions for staying healthy, preventing disease, and improving existing physical conditions. Follow their advice, and you’ll be way ahead of your contemporaries who don’t take advantage of regular preventative check ups.
9. Fan the flame
Seniors can have sex too! Fanning the flame, or keeping your love life alive, is one very god way to improve your health and wellness. A healthy sex life improves physical function, mental health, and feeds the soul in ways that few other activities can. Practice safety and good common sense when choosing who to share yourself with, and let the fireworks begin!
10. Manage your stress
Mental health challenges are a common problem that many seniors report. Many seniors find themselves more isolated and alone, and they struggle to find outlets for difficult feelings and emotions that they cannot process themselves. Finding ways to manage your stress—staying connected to friends and family, meditation, relaxation and deep breathing techniques–will all help to reduce stress and give you a sense of inner peace and calm that is so needed at this time.
It is possible to have vibrant health into your golden years-following these simple tips will put you on the path to ultimate health and wellness, no matter how far along the path you are.