Taking care of your mind and body is essential at any age, but it becomes even more important when you get older. Maintaining good health will reduce your risk of developing chronic medical conditions and help you stay agile and active. Here are four simple ways to keep healthy as you get older:
1. Lead an active lifestyle
Exercise is a fundamental part of every healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity will help you maintain good fitness levels and avoid unwanted weight gain. Being in good physical health will lower your chances of developing health issues such as type two diabetes and high blood pressure. Various studies have also found that exercise can boost your immune system and help you fight off common viruses and infections. It is recommended that older people should do around 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week, e.g. a quick walk. Try to lead a more active lifestyle by incorporating exercise into your daily routine. For instance, walk to your local shop instead of driving or take up a new fitness hobby like swimming or pilates.
2. Take daily supplements
Taking supplements can boost your immune system and help you fight off viruses and illnesses. The National Institute on Aging recommends that seniors should consider taking the following supplements: calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. However, you should always speak with your doctor before you start taking any new supplements. Supplements should also not be substituted for a healthy diet. Make sure that you are eating a nutritious and balanced diet that includes all of the vitamins and minerals needed to support good health.
3. Move to an assisted living community
Moving to an assisted living community is an excellent way to help ensure that you stay healthy as you get older. Senior living communities offer dedicated support from care specialists, on-site security, and a fantastic variety of enrichment programs and senior-friendly activities.
Healthy choices and lifestyle options are important when choosing a senior living or assisted living community. According to Brightview Senior Living, questions you should ask include, “are there multiple menu options for each meal of the day?” and “Is there a calendar of events accessible to you?”
4. Take steps to prevent infections
Elderly people are more susceptible to infections like colds and the flu. Seniors are also more likely to develop complications from common viruses, so you must take steps to prevent infections. You can protect yourself from contracting the flu by having an annual flu vaccination. In many cases, seniors can get the flu jab for free or at a low cost. It can significantly reduce your risk of contracting flu, so it’s always worth getting. Other vaccines can protect you against the risk of additional viruses like pneumonia, so speak with your doctor to see what’s available. You can also help to prevent infections by maintaining good hygiene and washing your hands regularly, especially after you’ve been out, such as to the store.
Another tip to prevent infections is to get enough sleep every night. Sleep is essential to maintaining your physical and mental health. Poor sleep quality can also exacerbate preexisting medical conditions. Many older adults have sleep problems due to age, but lack of sleep can also be caused by health issues that are worth looking into.
If you’re having trouble sleeping every night, consult your healthcare provider and get checked for sleep disorders. Many older adults suffer from sleep apnea and other common sleep conditions. They may need a sleep aid device such as an automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) machine to sleep better at night.
Along with regular exercise, a healthy diet, proper stress management, mental stimulation, and fulfilling interpersonal relationships, good sleep every night is necessary to live a healthy, happy life and age gracefully.