Life is good! And you’ll hardly find anyone who doesn’t want to live to a ripe old age.
But as we all look towards a long life, there’s also a major concern: staying healthy.
Aging comes with many health challenges, and many seniors face things like chronic pain, diabetes, arthritis, and weakened bones, to name a few. Thinking about these things can make one sad. But the truth is some of these challenges do not come instantaneously due to age. Some things like chronic pain and arthritis can be prevented by making lifestyle choices now that you’re young and vibrant.
Now’s the best time to prepare as you look towards aging because there’s so much you can do as a woman to age gracefully. Imagine bubbling with energy even at the age of 80! Yes, you can do it!
And the fortunate thing is that you’re reading this blog. It shows you’re ready to do what it takes to make your older years more smiles and less pain.
Below are some helpful steps for healthy, happy aging.
When it comes to staying healthy, physical exercises can never be disregarded. Regular exercise lowers body fat, leading to improved heart health. This consequently helps prevent diabetes and cardiovascular diseases often associated with aging.
Exercising also tends to make you feel youthful and strong.
The greatest mistake you can make is to stop fitness training as you age. This is the time you need it the most. The Department of Health & Human Services recommends 1.25 to 2.5 hours weekly of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise for adults and strength training at least two days a week.
Carrying weights can help improve your bone health and prevent joint pains as you age.
Checking in regularly with your doctor is a great way to identify problems early and treat them before they exacerbate. See the dentist and eye doctor.
If you already have an underlying condition and have been on medication, this is not the time to neglect it. Also, check with a neurologist and geriatrician (a health care provider specialized in treating older adults) to keep track of your physiological and mental health as you get older.
Reduce your alcohol intake
Who wouldn’t love a good glass of wine? But having it in excess is the problem. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends at most one drink a day for women. Studies show that mortality risk is associated with drinking more alcohol above this limit.
So, remember, no one is depriving you of your favorite beer or wine. Just keep it minimal for the sake of happier, healthier aging.
Your older years are when you want to stay away from refined sugar, snacks, and other processed foods the most. Use oils rather than solid fats when cooking. Below are some food choices for better health as you grow older:
- Lean protein, e.g., beans and fish
- Never miss fruits and vegetables for anything
- Consume fat-free diary containing a substantial amount of vitamin D
- Get about 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals daily.
- You also want to minimize your salt intake to avoid high blood pressure.
Women typically age differently from men, with several hormonal changes occurring once menopause hits. Finding some women’s supplements containing relevant nutrients can therefore help to ensure you get all you need as a woman for a more balanced diet, good-looking skin, improved sexual function, healthier bones, and even detoxification.
Stay physically active
Now, this isn’t about exercising twice a week. This is about walking, gardening, and doing all you can for an all-around, physically active lifestyle.
These seemingly little aerobic exercises you engage in have a great impact on your health. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly.
You can make it more fun by hiking, vacationing, and participating in group exercises.
Although some people say they smoke because of the cold, smoking is never a good idea. And now that you’re looking towards aging, you should quit smoking as a matter of urgency to reduce the risk of lung damage, cancer, and diabetes. SmokeFree.gov also claims that quitting smoking can help lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol level.
Notably, your body begins to heal 20 minutes after your last cigarette. It’s that fast. If you’ve gotten addicted, you may be tempted. Let the good health you’re looking towards in your old age be a greater temptation.
Care for your skin
The first thing you’ll notice changing as you grow older is your skin. So you want to care for it as it’s the first thing other people see. As a woman, you always desire to look younger than you are. It’s natural. Never feel bad about it.
But caring for your skin does more than make you look younger. The skin is the largest organ and, when healthy, helps to protect the body, regulate temperature, and improve sensation.
Keep your skin vibrant and young by:
- Wearing sunscreen and clothing that provides good coverage
- Making water your best friend
- Including effective anti-aging products in your skincare routine.
Get enough sleep
After a long active day of grocery shopping, gardening, and walking, a good night thing is the next big thing on your to-do list.
Typically, your body’s clock shifts as you age, and you’ll tend to feel sleepy earlier and wake up earlier as well. Do not fight it because that’s normal. Go with the flow, but ensure you’re getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep for older adults.
Stimulate your mind
As you get older, you look towards retirement. This is a time you wouldn’t get to rack your brain so much as there’s no longer a desk job. But just as your body needs regular exercise to maintain its proper functioning, so does the mind.
You can make this an enjoyable experience by playing mind-stimulating games like crossword puzzles and chess with your elderly friends and loved ones.
Stay socially active
Enjoying your later years doesn’t end with physical activity and dieting. You want to spend this time with those you love.
Visit those friends you’ve not seen for some time; play games and join a network of senior citizens in your community. You don’t have to feel lonely as you grow older. Embrace aging; it’s a part of life, and accepting it can mean all the difference.
Have fun even as you age. It boosts your mood, improves your outlook on life, and lowers stress and blood pressure.