Although “healthy aging”, of course, entails maintaining one’s physical health, it also means that one should make sure to take the time to maintain his or her mental and emotional health as well. The more people age, the more that will change: people will begin retirement, bodies and their functions will begin to diminish and become less efficient, and loved ones will pass away.
The key to aging well and healthily lies in how well you handle these life changes as well as the daily stresses of life that are sure to come your way. While you can’t control everything that happens in your life, properly maintaining the aspects of your life that you do have control over can make dealing with life changes much easier.
Here are a few tips on how to age well so that you can continue to keep your health- your physical, mental, and emotional health- during your senior years:
As you age, it becomes increasingly crucial that you make sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet.
Not only will it provide you with essential nutrients, but it will also help you maintain optimal physical, mental, and emotional health. A well-balanced diet is one that:
- Includes about 2-2.5 cups of Fruits & Vegetables per day
- Rich in whole grains & fiber
- Low in saturated and trans fats as well as cholesterol
Make sure that you regularly participate in some form of physical activity or exercise such as walking or yoga.
- You should try to get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity/exercise each day.
- In order to help make your daily activity or exercise regimen more fun and likely to become a habit, try to have a friend participate with you for company, join a group- such as a basketball league, and most importantly, choose to participate in activities and exercises that you actually enjoy.
As much as it may feel like a chore or a hassle, make sure that you visit your physician as well as your dentist and optometrist regularly.
The purpose of keeping up with these regular visits is so that if there are any problems, they are caught early and when they are small.
Try to stay positive and not take things too seriously.
It may be hard to do at first, but don’t take things personally; chances are, any negative comments are projections of the sayers own personal failures onto you. You should remember to laugh and look for humor in life. Numerous studies have shown that positive attitudes lead to longer, healthier, and happier lives.
Spend as much time with family and friends as possible.
Stay close and connected to people in your life whose company you enjoy and who make you feel upbeat and good about yourself.
- Maintaining relationships can come from simply taking a walk with your friendly neighbor or going on a lunch date with friends.
- Even if maintaining proximal contact is hard, write or call frequently- or, take advantage of today’s technology and email, or even text!
While maintaining relationships with friend and family is incredibly crucial, you should still make an effort to create new relationships.
It is an unfortunate fact of life: as you get older, you will lose more of your loved ones. Don’t let your circle of relationships get smaller as you get older- reach out and foster new ones!
- If you can, you should try to befriend people younger than yourself- it can revitalize your energy levels as well as help you see life from different perspectives.
If you can, try to volunteer for various community events.
Volunteerism is a great way of giving back to your local community as well as developing and strengthening bonds with family, friends, and the people you meet at these events.
- Volunteering at events that pique your interests will help you meet people who also share your interests.
- Even if you cannot leave your house easily, you can still volunteer by making/taking phone calls or maintaining various online tasks.
Keep your brain active!
While the importance of maintaining physical activity is plainly obvious when it comes to aging in a healthy manner, people tend to neglect up keeping their cognitive activities in the same manner. Your brain is a muscle- it also needs regular “exercise” in order to remain at optimal levels.
- You should look for mentally stimulating activities, such as Sudoku and brain puzzles, to keep your mind sharp.
- Regularly exercising your brain can help prevent the memory and cognitive abilities from declining and developing problems.