I turned 50 last year. The importance of staying healthy and fit as we age is a topic that’s been on my mind more lately. I’m not sure if it’s the reality of my last birthday or just age catching up with me, but I know that I need to approach my health with a different mindset.
Staying healthy as we age can be a challenge. The pandemic has put a new focus on taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Here are some tips on aging well for people growing older:
It starts at the top – take care of your brain! Make sure that you’re challenging your brain by learning a new language (or practicing the languages you know, if you’re bilingual). You can also learn a musical instrument or take up a new hobby (and yes, wine tasting counts!). Practice mindfulness and meditation for 15 minutes a day, or work on word puzzles and other mental exercises.
Testing, 1 2 3. Check your hearing. It’s more than just making sure you can hear what’s going on. Hearing loss is associated with dementia, loss of balance, anxiety, social isolation, and diminished self-esteem. Get your hearing checked and do what’s necessary to get your ears the assistance needed.
Embrace fitness. Everyone’s body weakens somewhat as we age, but you don’t have to give up. Pay attention to strength training, flexibility, and balance. Strength training keeps your muscles in shape. Tai chi, yoga, and walking can improve balance. Stretching helps you stay flexible. All of this helps you stay safe from falling and serious injury.
Stay in touch with your doctor through virtual health. These days you don’t have to go to a doctor’s office for a checkup. Although some functions must take place in person, many visits can be replaced by Zoom or some other online option. Remote monitoring can keep track of your blood pressure, glucose levels and the like as well. Ask about what’s available to streamline your life and make taking care of your health easier.
Don’t focus on limits, focus on rewards. Don’t just think in terms of cutting things out of your life. Instead, reward yourself for positive activities and experiences like taking a walk or exercising. Getting up and moving around is good for you, especially as you get older, so save the other activities you enjoy like watching TV until you’re finished doing what’s good for you.
What are you doing to keep yourself healthy and fit as you age? Add your tips in the comments.