Elder care

How to Stay Healthy As You Age


It's inevitable! We all get old. But, there is good news to this fact. Actually, it's great news! We don't have to end up feeble and absent-minded as once believed. We don't have to end up sitting on a porch swing, idly watching life pass by.

Long before Ponce de Leon went searching for the Fountain of Youth, we've been trying to find ways to turn back time. It may not be as simple as drinking from a fountain of youth or swimming in a spring, but we certainly have found ways to enhance our lives and even slow the process of aging, all while staying young and healthy.

A Little Effort On Your Part

In order to keep what you already have, you no longer have the privilege of spending your days lounging on the sofa. Staying healthy as you age means leading a healthy lifestyle which includes staying active, eating healthy, exercising your brain, socializing, and having a good mental attitude about life. You have the power to enhance life as you age. There is no magic pill. And though you can't actually stay young, you can, with a little effort, feel young and slow the aging process down, metaphorically turning back the hands of time.

Stay Active: Staying active does not mean running a marathon (though if you're able, great!). What it does mean is to get moving and stay moving. It is recommended that you exercise at least 30 minutes a day five to seven times a week. That means incorporating cardio and weight bearing exercises into your life. There are many different activities you can do to make this happen. Of course the obvious one is to join a gym, but if that isn't what you're looking for, you can take brisk walks in your neighborhood. A brisk walk is a great form of exercise; it elevates your heart rate yet is not terribly stressful on your joints.

The whole point is doing something you enjoy. It could be: walking, running, yoga, golfing (walking the course), circuit training, skiing, cross country skiing, swimming, or bowling… anything that gets you moving. And if you haven't time in the day, then doing 10-15 minutes of something is better than nothing. Stretching is also recommended.

Doing any form of physical activity is advantages to you. For example, aerobic exercise, weight training, and yoga all have physiological and psychological benefits. Regular exercise increases muscle strength, flexibility, and stamina; it improves balance, lowers respiratory and heart rates, improves posture, and improves bone density. Overall physical activity is a de-stressor and increases your energy. You feel better, even sexier. You stand taller, have a greater self-image, and have an improved mental attitude.

"We do not quit playing because we get old;

We grow old because we quit playing."

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Eat Healthy: We have all learned from childhood to eat our vegetables but would often pass on them. And as for fruit, the sugary snacks usually won out in the decision making. There is good news though: not all is lost to years of bad habits. It's not too late to start making healthier choices.

Ideally we should eat more fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and less carbohydrates than we typically do. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients; dark leafy greens are high in iron and berries of all kinds are loaded with antioxidants (anti-aging properties). Try to include a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet daily.

To eat healthy does not mean you must eliminate your favorite unhealthy foods from your diet; however, it does mean you needn't indulge in them often. You've heard the old adage, everything in moderation. There is an exception…red wine. One glass of red wine a day is found to be beneficial. Red wine is rich in anti-oxidants which help to prevent heart disease. The wine may also help prevent blood clots, lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, as well as decrease systemic inflammation.

If you find it is difficult to consume all that is recommended, take a dietary supplement. Speak with the pharmacy technician at your local pharmacy for recommendations from the pharmacist.

Never Too Late

It's never too late to incorporate a healthy lifestyle on that road to staying healthy as you age. Start slow and work up to more. Once you start exercising and eating healthy you will find you feel better internally and look better externally; you may find you even sleep better. You will be more alert and able to socialize as you meet others with your same interests.

If you have any questions, please ask below!