Keys to Healthy Aging
The key to remaining healthy as you age, and aging healthily, should be somewhat familiar to you if you already lead a healthy lifestyle. Obviously, there’s a good deal of adaptation as you get older, but staying mindful of your health and your health needs is helpful at any age. Even if you don’t have a jump start on these general guidelines, they’re easy enough to pick up.
Mental Health / Dealing with Depression
People of any age can suffer from depression, and it is important for any of those people to seek treatment for it, as it is a legitimate concern. As we age, the effects of depression are shown to be connected to a dip in health, especially concerning diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Treatment of these conditions can be more difficult if you are suffering from depression, making it all the more important that you find a treatment that works for you.
You should keep an eye out for warning signs, a few of which are:
- Change in appetite
- Change in mood or energy level
- Difficulty feeling positive emotions, or “feeling flat”
- Sleeping too much
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased sense of worry
Exercise can often be misleading, especially in regards to finding the right exercise for you and your needs. Exercising in general, while it can be beneficial, is less so as you get older, when exercise should be tailored depending on your needs. Here are a few types of exercise that are intended to increase your flexibility, strength, endurance and balance.
- Back stretching exercises
- Leg stretching exercises
- Ankle stretching exercises
- Inner thigh stretching exercises
- Arm curls
- Weight lifting
- Carrying groceries
- Wall push-ups
- Gripping a tennis ball
- Resistance band exercises
- Brisk walking
- Heel-to-toe walk
- Tai Chi
- The balance walk
- Standing from a seated position
- Standing on one foot
Social health is incredibly important to one’s mental health, especially when socializing is done in a safe way. We need company, and finding someone to spend time with due to similar interests or other connections can only help. There are also government volunteer and employment programs that actively hire senior citizens and place a value on their contribution.
For people aged sixty and up, there are changing dietary needs in order to keep you healthy and safe. These needs usually reflect a need to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and hypertension. Here are a few of the many guidelines:
- Be sure to intake enough protein to maintain your body’s muscle mass
- Drink water often, as we often lose some of our sense of thirst as we get older
- Be sure to have square meals with enough nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin B12
As we change, so must our lifestyles. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean sacrificing quality of life. Exercise, a good diet, and keeping an eye on your mental health will help keep you moving and happy.