Vibrant & Healthy Aging
Maintaining your health as you get older allows you to continue your healthy lifestyle no matter your age. When you're feeling fit and happy, you will be motivated to remain active and continue pursuing hobbies you enjoy. Such healthy aging requires a multidimensional approach that factors in many different aspects, including physical, mental, and social. Check out these guidelines to discover what it takes to age healthfully.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A well-rounded diet gives you the nutrients you need to stay energized. According to these United States government dietary guidelines, a balanced meal consists of half a plate of fruits and vegetables, a quarter plate of grains, and a quarter plate of protein. This can be accompanied by a small serving of low-fat dairy. Also, avoid items high in fat and sodium, as they increase the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Sticking to this model helps ensure you get the balance of vitamins and minerals you need. Unfortunately, nearly 40 percent of Americans don't get the recommended amount of nutrients. If you are among those coming up short, add a multivitamin to your daily routine. There are multivitamins designed for all ages.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring. Find inspiration from these healthy aging recipes. The comprehensive selection includes everything from a noodle-free butternut squash lasagna to vegan Morrocan lettuce wraps. By varying your options, you make nutritious eating a joy instead of a burden — and you might even discover a love of cooking.
Exercise Every Day
Regular physical activity allows you to maintain aerobic capacity, which otherwise decreases with age. One study showed the rate of decline to be twice as much in sedentary individuals compared to those who exercised regularly. Movement also helps maintain muscle tone, coordination, and flexibility, which likewise decrease with age.
There are many possibilities for safe exercises. Stationary cycling and yoga are both easy on the joints, which weaken with age. As this Time article explains, swimming is also ideal because it exercises all muscle groups. Plus, the added buoyancy alleviates stress on joints even further. Review this list for more ideas, from tai chi to frisbee.
Embrace Preventative Care
Preventative care aims to stop problems before they start. It can involve everything from making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking to adding a multivitamin to your diet. A regular checkup allows your doctor to offer such tailor-made suggestions so make those doctor appointments and don't reschedule.
Heed Your Mental Health
Finally, don't forget to address your mental health. About 300 million adults are depressed. Staying socially engaged can help you avoid the isolation that often feeds loneliness and depression. Take time to meet up with friends and family. Look here for helpful tips on how to cope when you are feeling depressed, from deep breathing to mindfulness.
Article provided by Karen Elder, creator of Elder Wellness, a resource for those who wish to keep their minds, bodies, and spirits well.