Starting a new year with new goals can be exciting. Make “feeling your best “your number one goal in 2020. Being healthy and happy is important at any age and that doesn’t change just because you have more candles on your birthday cake.
Remember, Healthy aging means continually reinventing yourself as you pass through landmark ages such as 60, 70, 80 and beyond. And that means finding new things you enjoy, learning to adapt to change, staying physically and socially active, and feeling connected to your community and loved ones.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS:
1- STAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY AND YOUR LOVED ONES, GIVE YOUR BRAIN A GOOD WORKOUT
- Find a fun hobby. When you learn something new, it can help keep your brain engaged. As you age, you may notice yourself forgetting things more easily. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, and if it isn’t exercised properly, it’ll get weaker.
- Socializing also gives your brain a boost, so join a bridge club or a discussion group at your local library or senior center. Or take a course at your local community college — some offer free classes for adults 65 and older.
- Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, but it also benefits your own health. it provides a sense of accomplishment, increases self-confidence and brings fulfillment to life. It also connects you with like-minded individuals, which is great for your mental well-being.
2- STAY ACTIVE!
- Your muscles and joints will only hurt more if they aren’t exercised regularly.
- Physical activity can be safe and healthy for older adults — even if you have heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis! In fact, many of these conditions get better with mild to moderate physical activity.
- Taking a brief walk around the block or trying out a yoga class are both great, easy ways to keep moving.
- Staying physically active is key to healthy aging. That doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your free time exercising, but you should certainly dedicate a portion of your day to fitness. If you’re just getting started, commit 10 minutes of your day to exercise, with a gradual increase as it becomes a habit.
3- EAT FRUITS, VEGETABLES, WHOLE GRAINS, FISH, LOW-FAT DAIRY AND HEALTHY FATS
- In later life, you still need healthy foods, but fewer calories.
- Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Choose a variety with deep colors: dark green, bright yellow, and orange choices like spinach, collard greens, carrots, oranges, and cantaloupe are especially nutritious.
- Include nuts, beans, and/or legumes in your daily menu. Choose fiber-rich whole grain bread, brown rice, and whole grain pasta.
- Pick less fatty meats like chicken or turkey.Have heart-healthy fish, like tuna, salmon, or shrimp, twice a week.
- Include sources of calcium and Vitamin D to help keep your bones strong, Two daily servings of low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese are a good way to get these nutrients.
- Use healthier fats, such as olive and canola oils, instead of butter or lard.
- Use herbs and spices to add flavor when cooking, which reduces the need to add salt or fat
4- TOAST WITH A SMALLER GLASS!
- Excessive drinking can make you feel depressed, increase your chances of falling, cause trouble
- sleeping, interact with your medications, and can contribute to other health problems.
One drink = 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
It is recommended to reduce alcohol consumption to no more than 1-2 drinks per day for gentlemen and one drink per day for ladies.
Make sure you hydrate and drink enough water per day
5- BE SMOKE FREE!
- Did you know that cigarette smokers are twice as likely to develop heart disease as non-smokers? It is never too late to quit. You can still reduce your risk of many health problems, breathe easier, have more energy, and sleep better if you quit smoking.
- Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569 for Spanish speakers) for free resources, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live. Additionally, ask your healthcare provider for help.
- Don’t lose hope if you failed to quit in the past. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good.
6- SPEAK UP WHEN YOU FEEL DOWN OR ANXIOUS!
- Did you know that about 1 in 5 older adults suffers from depression or anxiety?
- Some possible signs of depression can be lingering sadness, tiredness, loss of appetite or pleasure in doing things you once enjoyed. You may also have difficulty sleeping, worry, irritability, and wanting to be alone.
- If you have any of these signs for more than two weeks, talk to your healthcare provider and reach out to friends and family.
7- GET ENOUGH SLEEP!
- Older adults need less sleep than younger people, right? Wrong! Older people need just as much — at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.
- Avoid daytime naps, which can keep you up in the evening. Visit the National Sleep Foundation’s website for more tips on how to sleep better.
8- GUARD AGAINST FALLS!
- One in every three older adults falls each year — and falls are a leading cause of injuries and complications among older adults.
- Exercises such as walking or working out with an elastic band can increase your strength, balance, and flexibility and help you avoid falls.
- Ask your healthcare provider to check that you’re not taking any pills that can make you more likely to fall.
- Eliminate items in your home that are easy to trip over, like throw rugs. Insert grab bars in your bathtub or shower, and install night lights so it’s easier to see at night.
9- SEE YOUR PROVIDER REGULARLY!
- Regular health exams and tests can help prevent problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better.
- You should schedule an annual wellness visit with your healthcare provider around your birthday month to discuss health screenings and any changes in your advance directives. Screening tests might include checking your vision, hearing, and for other conditions such as breast cancer, colon cancer, or osteoporosis.
- At each visit, talk to your provider about all the medications you’re taking, and whether or not you still need them. Find out if you should be getting any new or booster immunizations/shots.