January 24, 2019

Senior couple with little dog, Chihuahua
Healthy aging tips

We all want to stay healthy and feel our best, no matter our age. Luckily, when it comes to healthy aging, making small lifestyle changes can add up to big results  over time. Studies show that genetics account for just 25 percent of a person’s longevity. This means that adopting healthy lifestyle habits can have an even more significant impact on how long – and how well – we live. Try incorporating some of these simple habits into your daily routine to promote healthier, happier aging:

Eat well

Maintaining a nutritious diet is often easier said than done, but you don’t have to change your eating habits all at once. Try making just a few small healthy substitutions to your daily diet. For example, swap out processed foods for fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead of drinking sugary fruit juices or soda, drink more water. You should also avoid eating alone; research shows that eating in isolation can lead to unhealthy eating habits, especially as we get older. Eating with peers, friends, and family makes dining a more enjoyable, social experience, and may encourage you to make healthier choices.

Keep moving

Getting older involves many physical changes, but it doesn’t have to mean losing mobility or living in discomfort. Exercising just a few times each week can increase muscle mass and strength, reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, boost energy, and help prevent falls. Low impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga, are some of the best ways to stay fit. You can also try a group exercise class or sport such as Zumba or tennis. Remember to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is another major aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many older adults experience insomnia, a common senior health issue which may be caused by a variety of reasons including stress, anxiety, certain medications, and even other underlying health conditions. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but many older adults have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. Maintain a consistent bedtime and consider taking a short nap during the day to help make up for lost sleep at night. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about sleep problems.

Laugh more

Is laughter really the best medicine? Studies have found that laughing on a regular basis can have significant mental and physical health benefits for people of all ages, helping us live longer, happier lives. A good laugh is an excellent form of stress relief; it helps to release “feel-good” endorphins and can even provide temporary pain relief. Make some time for fun, social activities and you’re bound to add more laughter to your day.

It’s never too late to start building better habits to improve your health and wellbeing. After all, age is just a number! You might be surprised at the difference these small changes can make in your daily life.