6 Steps To Healthy, Happy Aging

During COVID-19 remaining healthy should be at the top of everyone’s list – particularly people 60 and over.  Older adults who want to add life to their years often follow this advice: I won’t let age change me. I’ll change the way I age. In other words, by taking good care of yourself and following your doctor’s orders you can ensure your golden years are just that.

Along with following COVID-19 guidelines to remain safe, older adults should exercise, eat right, and get regular health screenings.

Here are six recommendations for healthy, successful aging during this stressful time:

  1. Stay physically active – Exercise lowers blood pressure, helps your body metabolize drugs, strengthens your muscles, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Even something as simple as walking a half-hour, four days a week can have a profound effect on your physical and mental health.

Good muscle tone enables you to avoid injuries. By staying limber you protect your joints and reduce arthritis pain. It has been shown that exercise can lower a person’s risk of dementia. If you don’t move it – you lose it.

  1. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet – Skip the junk food in favor of fiber-rich, low-fat, and low-cholesterol foods. By eating a nutritious diet you’ll lower your risk of diabetes, reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and obesity, and improve your immune response.

  2. Stay current with preventative health screenings – Getting your yearly flu shot and being screened for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers should be an integral part of older adults’ regular health regimen. Also seeing your medical provider for check-ups, taking prescribed medications, and aggressively protecting your skin from sun exposure can add years to your life. 

  3. Drink less alcohol – Heavy drinking can affect blood pressure, cause heartburn and stomach problems, impaired thinking and memory, and increase the risk of certain cancers. Some seniors think that drinking alcohol at bedtime will help them sleep, but when the alcohol wears off they wake up and suffer from insomnia the rest of the night.

  4. Stop Smoking – “This is good advice for any age." Smoking makes arthritis problems progress more rapidly, cuts off the oxygen supply to bones, doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke and is the leading cause of lung cancer.

  5. Make your home safe –According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for people 65 years and older.

To find out more about healthy aging go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/healthy-aging.htm