3 Habits for Healthy Aging
As we age, health becomes more important. It’s no use living a long life if the latter part of your life is a series of illnesses. Since our lives are longer now, thanks to improvements in medicine and public health, it’s even more important to develop healthy habits as we get older.
To celebrate Healthy Aging Month this September, we’ve put together a list of the top 3 habits for healthy aging in the hopes of inspiring you to get healthy!
Healthy Habit #1: We Are What We Eat
Healthy eating is a big part of staying healthy. The USDA emphasizes the need for more vegetables and fruits in the American diet – recommending five a day. As we age, our metabolism slows down and we need fewer calories. Boosting the amount of fresh vegetables in our diet is an easy way to feel full without a lot of calories. The USDA suggests an easy way to balance nutrition: your plate should have slightly less than one quarter proteins (lean meat, fish, poultry or legumes) and fruits, slightly more than one quarter grains and vegetables. This is rounded out with a side of dairy products. Don’t overlook healthy snack options like fresh fruit or veggie nibbles to dip instead of chips.
Your diet is especially important if your doctor has diagnosed you with a medical condition that is influenced by diet like diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Be sure to follow your doctor’s suggestions about what to eat and how often.
Start eating healthy today! Get inspired with these articles:
Healthy Habit #2: Get Out and Move
Use it or lose it. We hate to hear that, but it is true. Even mild exercise can help us stay healthy. If you are not accustomed to exercise, consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine and be sure to start slowly, giving yourself plenty of time to get used to each level of activity. If you can find a partner, it will make it easier to keep to your routine because you’ll enjoy chatting with your friend while you work out.
Exercise can be as simple as walking. Start slowly with just ten or fifteen minute walks three to four times a week. After a week gradually work up to thirty minute walks. Eventually you will find that you want to walk every day. If you still want more, you can make it two thirty minute walks each day. This can be incorporated into your lifestyle by walking after breakfast and/or after dinner. You need no special equipment except a pair of good walking shoes, which most of us have somewhere in our closets.
For those who are more active, try taking up tennis or handball. Join a club where you can swim or use the exercise equipment.
For those who are less active, there are exercises that can be done while sitting in a chair. Deep breathing exercises are also helpful. You can get a pretty good workout for your lungs by singing. Join a local choral group if you need the encouragement of regular rehearsals.
Start a new exercise routine today! Get inspired with these articles:
Healthy Habit #3: Get a Check up
Don’t neglect regular medical check ups. Even though you may have no particular ache or pain to have checked, it is important to see your healthcare professional regularly. This would include your eye doctor and dentist as well as your physician. Many diseases can be prevented when caught early. Follow the instructions of your doctors, too. They really do know what they are talking about.
Keep your mind alert with puzzles, crosswords and games. Take up a hobby. Attend a discussion group. In the twenty-first century we live longer and longer lives. We want to be healthy and enjoy them.
Start being healthy today! Get inspired with these articles:
- Ways to Exercise your Brain
- Questions to Ask your Doctor about Heart Health
- How to Maintain your Mental Health
What’s your favorite healthy habit? Please share in the comments!