Here’s a guide to teach you everything you need to know about living healthily at an old age.
Life expectancy may have gotten longer in general, but that doesn’t automatically mean that you are going to live healthily when you reach old age. To be able to remain fit and well deep into your twilight years, you’re still going to have to dedicate your time and efforts to live a wholesome lifestyle.
The restrictions of old age can make this a tough task — it’s certainly more difficult remaining healthy when you’re older as opposed to when you’re younger. It’s not impossible, though. It may take a bit more work and a fair few lifestyle tweaks, but there are ways to remain well as an older adult. Here’s what you need to consider doing to ensure that you remain as healthy as possible, for as long as possible:
Embrace your changes
In order to brace yourself for all the challenges that you are going to face when you are elderly, you have to embrace all of the changes that are likely to occur in your body. When you are aware of these changes, you’ll find nothing about your health at all surprising, meaning you’ll be able to manage your particular plights better.
The kinds of changes that you need to look out for include:
- Difficulty moving at a pace you are used to
- Tasks you found easy once now being far tougher to get to grips with
- People who you have known for a lifetime suddenly leaving you
- The quality of life you are used to being harder to attain
- Even the smallest of illnesses and injuries being more difficult to handle
By embracing these changes instead of fighting them, you’ll give yourself a better chance of remaining fit and healthy at an old age.
Find a way to stay active
After you’ve embraced your changes and accepted what you can and cannot do, you have to find a way to stay active that suits your new way of living. The importance of doing so can never be understated. By remaining active deep into your twilight years, you will:
- Go a long way in preventing memory loss and dementia
- Release endorphins around your body that will make you feel good
- Reduce any chronic pain that you are inflicted with
- Increase your muscle mass and, subsequently, boost your metabolism
- Improve your posture and balance
- Boost your immune system
It is for all of these reasons why finding a physical activity that you can take part in without hindrance is vital. This could entail you playing a slower sport — as the days where you could chase a football around a field for 90 minutes are now well and truly behind you, this could mean picking up some high-quality irons and giving golf a go. By taking this particular course of action you’ll find yourself doing a lot of walking and a lot of swinging, and at no point will you ever over-exert yourself.
Other sports that you could try include bowls, Nordic walking, squash, swimming (if you avoid going at Olympic pace), and even walking football. However, if you were fit throughout your life, you will find that you can withstand more hardy sports.
Remember, you are what you eat
When you were a child, your mom always said ‘you are what you eat,’ didn’t she? You may not have believed her then, but you sure need to start believing this life mantra when you’re an older adult. Simply, the worse your diet is, the worse you’re going to feel — on the other hand, the better you eat, the better your overall health will be.
When it comes to cleaning up your diet, you should stick to certain foods that have proven senior-specific health-boosting qualities. The top foods in this category are:
This fruit contains soluble fiber, and that can help to both lower cholesterol and slow down glucose.
Crabs, oysters, and scallops are all highly beneficial when it comes to maintaining healthy brain function.
Leafy green veg
The chances of cognitive decline are lowered when spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are consumed.
The choline found in eggs help older adults manage their stress far easier, and being able to do that instantly makes the heart healthier.
Heart health can also be impacted by dark chocolate, especially through the way this little treat helps to prevent heart attacks.
Being full of calcium, Greek yogurt works wonder for bone health.
Keep your brain exercised
To retain a squeaky clean bill of health for as long as you possibly can, it’s not just physical exercise that you have to embrace. It’s not just healthy eating that you have to give a go, either. To remain as well as you can, you also have to keep your brain exercised, too. This can be an especially difficult task in old age, what with the fact that you won’t have your career to help you keep your brain ticking over, but it can be done.
When it comes to finding brain challenges to replace those that you faced day in, day out while you were working, you should consider giving the following a real good go:
Found on the App Store and Google Play, this popular app will train your brain with fun, challenging games. Your memory will be put through its paces, you’ll be forced to pay vast amounts of attention, you’ll have to solve countless problems, and your processing speed will be tested. With more than 25 different games to choose from, you’ll never be bored when you give Lumosity a try.
Fit Brains Trainer
Another app (and an award-winning one, at that) that you can turn to in your big to exercise your brain is Fit Brains, Trainer. Offering 60 games and a staggering 500 different workout sessions, this app will target a number of all-important areas of your brain, some of which are your memory, your visual-spatial, and your speed of thinking. As you use this app, you’ll also be provided with in-depth reports that you give you an insight into your brain’s ongoing performance, meaning you can see what specific areas need improving.
It’s not all apps and screens. To keep your brain active in old age, you can turn to the traditional game of bingo. When you do, three of your most important senses will be stimulated: your hearing, your touch, and your sight. When the use of all three of these senses is demanded in a high-frequency environment such as bingo, your brain gets a thorough working out.
Another traditional game that you can play to test your brain is sudoku. When you give this kind of puzzle a go, especially if you do so on a daily basis, you’ll find your concentration powers going through the roof. The mental stimulation you will receive will also aid you in your day-to-day tasks, and it will carry them out at a far quicker pace. Also, as these puzzles can be quite difficult, you’ll also feel a sense of achievement every time you finish one, and getting an injection of that every now and again is never a bad thing.
By giving these brain training apps, games, and puzzles ago, you’ll benefit from a host of different ways. You’ll have a greater understanding of the reality that surrounds you, you’ll enhance your reaction and processing times, your motor skills will be improved, and you could even see an increase in your social skills.
As you grow older, you’ll face a number of challenges that you won’t be particularly accustomed to. You’ll begin to lose loved ones, your independence will decline, and, as stated, your task of remaining healthy will become far more difficult. With all of this going on, it will be incredibly tempting just to give up.
Letting negative thoughts creep in will sometimes feel like the only option you have, but, if you want to navigate old age in as healthy and as prosperous a fashion as possible, you can’t let this be. You have to fight back all the negative aspects of life that seek to drag you down with a healthy dose of positivity. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
Learn to let go of…
The aspects of life that you cannot control. Things will change and people will leave, and there’s nothing you can do to stop that. Worrying about trying to control everything will only worsen your situation and heighten your stress levels.
How lucky you are to have reached old age, as a lot of people aren’t afforded such a chance. Always remember how grateful you are for the family and friends that still surround you, and how fortunate you are to have so many great memories from a life well spent.
Reach out to others…
Who may be feeling the same way as you? Reaching your twilight years doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to make new friends. Head out to your local community center and speak to other people who may be going through the same issues that you are. Talking about your hardships in a social manner will help you to get some perspective on your situation, and that may even make you realize that you’ve actually got nothing to be down about.
Maintain a sense of…
Purpose and continue to set yourself some goals. No longer working does not equal no longer having a direction in life. There are still plenty of things to do, such as spending more time with the grandkids or writing down your memories, that will give you a real sense of achievement.
Get a good sleep every single night
If you want to remain well, you have to sleep well… every single night. The benefits for your health will be unparalleled. You’ll increase your cognitive score, you’ll improve emotional well-being, you’ll find yourself having fewer falls due to less fatigue, and your immune system will be strengthened. If you’re a particularly bad sleeper, you should try:
Keeping artificial light in your bedroom to an absolute minimum
Artificial light will impact and suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you get to sleep.
Getting into a strict bedtime routine
By making the times that you go to bed and wake up in the morning a ritual, your nightly sleep will give you all the rest you will need. You’ll be tired when you need to be at nighttime, and alert in the morning.
Turning your bedroom into a sleep-inducing space
You’re going to need a comfy mattress and a cool bedroom if you want to improve the way that you sleep.
Do all you can to keep illness and injury at bay
Always remember that prevention is better than cure. It’s better to fend off something that could be bad for your health than having to deal with as it impacts you.
There are a number of ways to prevent illness and injury and stop them from making your everyday life harder than it needs to be. These include:
- Maintaining contact with your doctor or nurse
- Getting screening for certain illnesses whenever an age milestone dictates that you do
- Paying attention to the way you feel
- Alerting everybody, from your children to your treating healthcare professionals, if anything ever feels wrong
- Keeping yourself protected against potential injury by making sure your home is as safe as can be (introduce handrails to keep you steady, make sure the floors are non-slip)
If you want to live healthily when you reach old age, then you need to put all of the above advice into practice. You must embrace your changes, find a suitable way to stay active, eat well, exercise your brain, remain positive, sleep as often and as well as you can, and do all you can to prevent illness and injury. Above all else, remember to enjoy your twilight years — there’s no doubt that you will definitely deserve to!