Aging is an inevitable part of life we are all going to have to contend with at some point. With that being said, old age isn’t necessarily something you need to dread. We work hard all our lives, and these twilight years should be about seeing the fruits of your labors and leaving a legacy.
This should be the point in your life when you stop contending with that work-life balance and start to focus on spending quality time with your family and doing the hobbies you love.
Photo Credit : Matthew Bennet (Unsplash)
However, to truly enjoy these years, you need to ensure you are in relatively good health, both physically and mentally. In order to increase your chances of being a healthy senior, here are a few things you can take action on now:
When it comes to your health, regular exercise is one of the greatest gifts you can give your body, both in the physical and mental sense. Maintaining an active life will help you stay fit and allow you to enjoy your life more independently. Exercise also plays a role in preventing the onset of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
A healthy balanced diet is another key element in maintaining your faculties as you age. Try to reduce your salt intake, which can contribute to conditions like hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Choose to eat nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruit, vegetables and whole-grains. Everyone’s dietary requirements are different so speak to a doctor or nutritionist for specific advice.
Stay Mentally Stimulated
These days, Alzheimer’s and dementia are becoming increasingly common in elderly people. Thankfully, there are now more care homes for seniors with Alzheimers that are equipped to deal with these conditions. While some cognitive decline is a natural part of the aging process, studies show that people who stay mentally stimulated through active learning will slow their mental decline.
Try to keep yourself mentally active. Whether it’s learning new languages, attending lectures or playing sudoku, find something that exercises that grey matter.
Loneliness is a huge problem amongst the elderly. The loss of a spouse, retirement, and health issues can all contribute to social isolation. Make an effort to form solid friendships and keep family close if you possibly can, and try your best to get involved in group activities that help grow your social network. Keeping loneliness at bay helps alleviate conditions like anxiety and depression.
Although, we’d hope that our retirement years are fairly stress free, a person’s ability to cope with stress declines as we age. Long-term stress can lead to depression, memory loss, and fatigue – all of which also have implications on our physical health. So take care of yourself and try to incorporate relaxation techniques such as meditation into your life.
Maintaining a high level of physical fitness as well as cognitive aptitude are key factors to ward off the negative impact of aging. It’s important to manage your expectations because we won’t always be as sprightly as we once were. However, taking simple steps now will certainly play a significant role in allowing you to fully embrace old age.