6 Healthy Habits for Aging Well
The mission of Loudoun Senior Interest Network is to enhance the quality of life for seniors living in Loudoun County. Although many elements of aging are out of our control, there are some steps you can take to age well and enhance your quality of life. Staying healthy as you age means that you will not only be able to enjoy life better, but you will also have lower health expenses and a better financial picture.
So how can you achieve both physical, mental, and financial health as you age? Here are some tips! (List originally curated from U.S. News.)
1. Manage your stress
There’s no question that constant stress leads to all manner of health issues, from minor muscle tension to major cardiac issues. While there’s no one-size-fits-all cure, the best way to manage stress is to figure out the stressors in your life and address them. Try meditation or exercise to manage the day-to-day stress, and come up with a plan to handle the big stress points in your life, like finances.
2. Find an exercise regimen that works for you
Staying physically active can help manage (and sometimes prevent) chronic diseases like diabetes and arthritis. Your exercise regimen doesn’t have to be intense—even a gentle walk around your neighborhood will be beneficial. (For more exercise tips, check out Allegiance Home Care’s article, Encourage Exercise to Improve Senior Health.)
3. Eat healthy and nutritious foods
Nutrition is a critical component of your health. If you eat unhealthy food and don’t practice good portion control, it can cause a number of health problems, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and even some cancers. Easy healthy and nutritious foods in the proper portion will not only help you avoid a whole range of health issues, but it will also lead to more energy and an overall improved feeling of wellness. (For more nutrition tips, talk with your doctor and check out Comfort Keeper Herndon’s article, Your Diet: A Critical Part of Dementia Prevention.)
4. Break your unhealthy habits
Some seniors think there’s no reason to quit their unhealthy habits, like smoking and heavy drinking, because they haven’t hurt them yet. However, the risks of unhealthy habits don’t go away with age. Continual smoking and heavy drinking will not only further hurt your health, but it is a drain on your wallet. It’s never too late to quit and the sooner you do so, the more time you will have to enjoy your health and well-being.
5. Get involved with your community
Isolation is an issue that many elderly adults deal with and is a risk factor for ailments like depression and high blood pressure. Getting involved with your community and growing your social network not only helps prevent isolation, but also gives you a support structure for other healthy habits. Find a community garden to encourage eating better, or go on walks with a friend to help motivate both of you to exercise.
6. Keep your home safe
Falls are one of the top reasons for injuries in seniors, and the number one cause of injury-related deaths in people over 65. In addition to exercise that helps improve balance (like tai chi), you should make modifications to your home to help minimize the risk of injury. For more tips, check out our blog post, Maintaining Independence with Senior-Friendly Home Remodeling.