Guest Post by Peninsula Doctor
Getting older is inevitable. But how you feel as you age is largely based on the choices you make. Sure, family history will play a role in your health as you age, but you can make a big impact on your health and wellness by making healthy choices. A healthy lifestyle can slow down and even prevent many health problems. It’s never too early or too late to change bad habits and start good ones.
Here are the three most important ways to stay healthy, happy, and fit as you age.
Stay Physically Active
The CDC recommends that older adults engage in moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days per week. Aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercises (like crunches, push-ups, and other weight-bearing activities) should make up at least 2-3 of these days. Unfortunately, only about 65% of older adults meet this recommendation. Some of the best exercises for older adults are swimming, yoga, pilates, resistance band training, weight training, walking, cycling, and aerobics classes. To boost your fitness levels (and be one of the 65%), seek out a senior fitness or senior wellness class in your neighborhood.
Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet
Focus on Nutrient-Rich Foods: The best foods are whole, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. These foods will give you the vitamins and minerals your body needs without all the excess fat, sugar, and chemicals in processed foods. Some good examples of nutrient-dense foods are salmon, kale, blueberries, egg yolks, and dark chocolate (in moderation).
Eat Enough Fiber: Fiber has two primary benefits. First, it slows the rate at which sugar enters the bloodstream, so a diet that’s high in fiber can decrease your risk of developing insulin resistance. Also, fiber keeps you feeling fuller, longer, so you’re less likely to snack between meals on foods that lack nutritional value.
Consider Supplements: As you get older, it’s possible you’ll need a little extra help getting the nutrients you need. Talk to your doctor about any supplements you should be taking. Some of the most recommended supplements for older adults are Calcium, Fish Oil, and CoQ10.
Stay Hydrated: Water is essential for the proper functioning of every organ and system in your body. Aim to drink at least 64 oz. of water on a daily basis, and more if you work out often. If you have trouble drinking plain water, consider adding cucumber, lemon, lime, watermelon, raspberries, or anything else that suits you (as long as it’s not sugar).
Engage in Social Opportunities
Socializing, especially as you get older, has been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular problems, and even some cancers. Social seniors also have lower death rates than seniors who don’t have social outlets. Not to mention, older adults who socialize with others on a regular basis are happier than those who do not.
To get involved in social activities, consider joining a club, joining a senior sneakers program at your local gym, getting involved in your church (if you attend) or local community center, volunteering, spending time with family and friends, and even keeping in touch with your friends on social media.
This guest post is written by Peninsula Doctor. At Peninsula Doctor, we care about your well-being. Contact Dr.Kroes, Peninsula Doctor physician today to learn how you can stay healthy and fit as you get older.