What is healthy aging?
Why is healthy aging important?
- Individuals are living longer
- Aging well ensures a better quality of life
- Chronic health conditions are costly
What are the components of physically healthy aging?
- Cardiovascular system
- Bones, joints, muscles
- Digestive system
- Bladder and urinary tract
- Memory/brain health
According to the Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.com.
How can you ensure healthy aging?
According to Webmd.com, the following suggestions are paramount to aging well:
- Be active—Exercise helps maintain a healthy body and mind.
- Stay social—Take a class, volunteer or visit with friends.
- Eat healthy—Beans and other high fiber foods help digestion and heart health; fresh fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which help ward off illness and disease.
- Stay balanced—Activities such as yoga and tai chi can improve agility and prevent falls, considerations as you age.
- Take a hike—Brisk walks bolster heart and lung health.
- Sleep well—It’s an important aspect of aging well. Visit this post for more information.
- Beat the blues—Depression isn’t anything to be ashamed of and it can be treated. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
- Have a plan—Setting and maintaining financial goals are important to aging well. Debt and the stress it can create might be detrimental to your overall health.
Tips to keeping your brain healthy:
- Exercise: It’s crucial to keeping your brain healthy. According to Christine Anderson, MS, wellness and fitness coordinator of the University of San Francisco, preliminary research suggests that exercise can actually promote new stem cell growth, which can be helpful for the brain. In addition, exercise helps you think more clearly and creates a sense of well being, benefits anyone can enjoy.
- Engage in new activities: There is evidence that any activity requiring manual dexterity as well as mental effort is beneficial to brain health. Try drawing, painting or crafts.
- Make lists, follow routines, slow down and organize. Don’t tax your brain with information you can write down or multi-tasking.
Visit www.health.harvard.edu for additional suggestions.
While family history, also known as your genes, play a role in the likeliness of developing certain diseases as you age, lifestyle plays a significant part in healthy again, too. It’s never too early to start implementing healthy changes for both you and your family members.
Other suggestions for healthy aging:
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Stop smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Know you numbers—cholesterol, blood pressure
- Have regular dental check-ups—poor oral health can lead to a host of health conditions
In celebration of Healthy Aging Month, health organizations on a variety of levels will be offering events and ideas to promote wellness. Visit www.healthyaging.net for more information or events in your area.