Getting Older is Not the End: Tips for Healthy Aging

There is no way to prevent the process of getting older. The years go by, and you may find your body changing year after year in response to further wear and tear. Your bones and muscles ache, stairs or walking long distances is harder, and your memory isn’t what it used to be. The whole process can seem quite frightening. You might wonder how you can possibly be helpful to your family in the future or at least keep from being a burden. The good news is that there are quite a few tips and tricks to keep you healthy. No one can stop the years from passing by, but you can make them pass with progress in a healthy lifestyle.

Keep Moving

The biggest tip that any centurnarian or the 95-year-old fellow at the gym will tell you is to keep moving. Objects that are in motion tend to stay in motion. That applies to people too! As long as you take care not to overdo it, you can participate in most of the exercise that you used to do in your younger years- just for less time and with more rest periods. For example, it’s fine to take back up your weekly aerobics class. The key is to begin slowly. Maybe try staying for half the class for a couple weeks before you attempt the full length.

Stretch Daily

Before you begin your exercise, be sure to stretch. Or, stretch as your main workout. By keeping your body supple, you make it more flexible and less prone to breaking, tearing, or spraining. There are several resources for senior stretching online but the easiest of stretches remain self-explanatory. Touch your toes. Turn at the waist. Stretch your arms over your head. Perform all these exercises slowly and only to the point of becoming uncomfortable, not to the point of pain. It’s highly recommended to incorporate meditation into your stretching routine as well. Think of it as stretching your mind and your body at the same time.

Practice Safety

Pay attention to your safety. It’s funny to think that a simple fall in your bathroom could send you the hospital. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. The aging process causes bones to become more brittle and prone to breaking. The hip bones especially fracture and break easily as you grow older. Prevent this problem before it happens to you by using safety knowledge centered around falls.

To make your home safe, remove all throw rugs or loose carpet edges that you could trip over. Run electrical cords behind furniture, not across the floor. Install nightlights along the hallway from the bedroom to the bathroom so that it’s safer to walk there during the night. Speaking of the bathroom, many falls occur there. Have a family member help you to install grab bars next to the toilet and in the showers. They will help you keep your balance. It is also helpful to place a phone in each room (or carry a cell phone) in order to call for help if you need it.

Proper Nutrition

And of course, none of these tips help unless you are supporting your body with the vitamins and minerals that it needs. These stores become easily depleted as you age and need to be supplemented. Ask your doctor to recommend a vitamin based on your personal need requirements. It’s your job to remember to take it each and every day. As for your main diet, eat whole grains to help with digestion and healthy bowel movements, eat protein to help your energy level and muscle upkeep, and low fat to avoid clogging your arteries. What you put into your body will dictate what you get out of it.

The above information is based in both science, medicine, and good common sense. Your health is all that you really have as you age, and there’s no reason to throw it all away by refusing, or neglecting, to maintain your body. Take care of yourself and ensure that each year as you grow older is one that you can fully enjoy.

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