It's World Diabetes Day! 1...
Ageing is an inevitable part of life. Not only does it bring on changes to your physical appearance with more grey hairs sprouting up here and there and wrinkles becoming more refined, but it also affects other domains of life including your mental, sexual, social and emotional alongside many others.
Now, here’s the big question you must be awaiting - what is the secret to healthy and happy ageing?
The good news is that there are steps you can take to achieve it and listed below are some science-backed tips that may just be in your favour.
Don’t fall victim to the misconception that ageing always means you will automatically not feel as good anymore. Albeit the physical changes which do occur, being proactive can definitely help mitigate complications and boost vitality.
Keeping active helps to keep the blood flowing and the body strong. It helps to keep the heart healthy, boosts mental health and energy levels, improves balance and flexibility, deters effects of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease that causes memory loss as well as chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure, improves sleep quality and body posture too.
You could start off with an activity as simple as walking for a few minutes each day. Consult your healthcare provider to find out which exercises would best fit you. But to help you get started, here are some safe and easy exercises specifically suited to seniors ranging from wall pushups to back stretches.
It’s true that you are what you eat. With that being said, it’s good to load up your diet with whole foods like veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts and beans in place of processed and packaged foods with artificial ingredients. This would aid in keeping you healthy and away from health complications.
Additionally, you can incorporate foods rich in antioxidants to keep your body cells protected from cellular damage too. Some examples of such food are blueberries, strawberries, goji berries, and spinach. And for chocolate lovers that cannot resist the temptation of cocoa- dark chocolate is a great alternative as it is packed with antioxidants that can help promote levels of “good” cholesterol, HDL while preventing the “bad” form, LDL.
Another great step forward in terms of your diet is to incorporate more fibre into your daily consumption. This can aid in eliminating constipation issues- a common problem in senior adults. Try replacing white bread with brown or whole grain and eat more greens. This will also keep you full for longer which in turn helps promote weight loss too!
According to the National Institute on Ageing and CDC, there’s a link between ageing and depression. As people get older and spend more time at home and alone, the more depressed they get. Studies have shown that those people have higher levels of stress hormones linked to inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis and diabetes.
On the contrary, those that spend more time with family and friends tend to have longer lifespans and are happier. It also helps with stress, prevents diseases and reduces your chances of developing dementia.
So, keep in contact with your loved ones by scheduling meetups, through phone or video calls or by simply sharing a home-cooked meal together to catch-up on life. You could even try volunteering for a good cause which may help you feel good and content. In the end, little things like these play a significant role in the maintenance of your mental and physical wellbeing.
As we age, life tests us with more than just one curveball. Losing loved ones to death, health complications and other issues though dreaded would come up. What would help get through difficult times and even promotes longevity, as shown even through research studies, is cultivating a positive outlook on life.
Things you can do are, refrain yourself from spiralling into a hole of negative thoughts, practice gratitude by keeping a journal, generally expect good out of life, surround yourself with those that uplift you and give yourself self-affirmations.
Being optimistic is a decision you get to make. It can have a positive impact on both your mental and physical health.
Who says you cannot keep practising your old hobbies just because you’re getting older? You can even pick up something new! In fact, doing things like these helps to reduce health risks for problems like dementia and other matters.
Be it embroidery, cooking or baking, gardening, photography, collecting antiques, writing, drawing or reading- it can be a great way to spend your time and keep the mind and energy levels boosted.
You could even try learning a new language, solve puzzles or play board games like chess. It’s been found that such activities help to keep your brain sharp and hence, can deal with issues that are linked with memory loss. Nonetheless, it can fun and exciting to learn something new so why not?
With age, comes some health problems and a great example is forgetfulness.
However, according to the CDC, even with age, issues like Alzheimer’s and Dementia are not normal issues to have. For instance, it’s normal to occasionally forget something like where you placed your glasses, however, not normal to forget the name of a close family member, functions of items or misplace things too frequently. It’s important to speak with a doctor as this type of forgetfulness is a lot more serious.
Apart from that, detecting any other health problems as soon as possible can immensely help treat the underlying cause more effectively. Therefore, getting regular help check-ups can really be in your favour in the long-run.
Coming to terms with the changes that overcome us along with the waves of ageing can be a tough pill to swallow. Realising it happens to everyone is the first step to take.
In this situation, what we can do is be proactive in preventing any complications from worsening and mitigating existing issues. After all, being aware and accepting change is the first step forward to healthy and happy ageing and denial would get us nowhere!
Not only could these tips potentially help add years to your life but they would add life to your years. Remember, it’s never too late to get up and get going!
https://www.cdc.gov/ageing/publications/features/dementia-not-normal-ageing.html The Truth About Ageing and Dementia
https://www.cdc.gov/features/social-engagement-ageing/index.html Are you engaged?
https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-playing-chess#potential-downsides The 10 Best Benefits of Playing Chess
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-antioxidants 12 Healthy Foods High in Antioxidants
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190826150700.htm New evidence that optimists live longer
https://www.theactivetimes.com/healthy-living/safe-and-easy-workouts-for-seniors Safe and Easy Workouts Perfects for Seniors
https://www.theactivetimes.com/healthy-living/top-tips-healthy-ageing Healthy Ageing Tips You Need to Know
https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-a-whole-foods-diet-2241974 What Is a Whole Foods Diet?
https://www.webmd.com/healthy-ageing/healthy-ageing-secret#3 9 Scientific Secrets to Healthy Ageing
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