While your body stops growing as you age, at least development-wise, it doesn’t stop changing completely. For example, your bladder becomes weaker and less elastic over time. This means it can hold less urine, which results in more frequent urination; in more serious cases, it can lead to urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control.
That said, there are many things you can do to ensure that you age gracefully and healthily. Take note of these tips so you can stay in great shape as you grow older:
The key thing to note about your body is that as you grow older, your caloric needs change but your nutrient needs don’t. Therefore, you need to focus on quality and not quantity. The phrase “eat the rainbow” applies even more as you advance in age.
Some of the foods that you should prioritize include fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk, seafood, lean meats, eggs, as well as whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice. The latter are particularly important for good digestion and nutrient absorption. You should also drink beverages fortified with vitamin D and calcium to ensure bone and dental health.
On the other hand, you should avoid processed foods, unhealthy fats, and refined sugars as much as possible. If you want to fry food, use oils instead of solid fats. Finally, make sure to minimize your salt intake to keep your blood pressure at normal levels. If you want to season your food, go for healthier alternatives like garlic, black pepper, and paprika.
Stock Up on Your Medicines and Supplements
If you need to take maintenance medication, it’s good to keep a ready stock that can last you for at least a month or two. This way, you don’t have to worry about running out in case of emergencies. Fortunately, you can now buy medicine online from your trusted drugstores. Just make sure to check the expiration dates of the medicines and store them properly to ensure maximum shelf life.
With regard to supplements, you likely won’t need them if you’re eating a balanced, nutritious diet. However, some older adults may need vitamin D, calcium supplements, vitamin B6, and/or vitamin B12 supplements. For your safety, consult your doctor before taking any health supplement.
As you get older, your bones and muscles become weaker. This can impair your mobility, not to mention cause a lot of discomfort. To counter this, you need to get regular exercise. On average, you need about 3 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise. Make sure to include aerobic exercises like walking, swimming or cycling, as well as balance training in your routine.
What’s great about exercise is that not only does it keep you fit, it also helps lower your risk of developing diseases like cancer, heart disease, and hypertension. In addition, exercise helps you sleep better and keeps your skin healthy.
Get a Regular Check-Ups
For young adults, the ideal schedule of health checkups is about once a year. However, as you grow older, you may need more frequent consultations and screenings; this is particularly important if you have an existing chronic condition or are at-risk for certain diseases.
Aside from the routine physical, certain tests or screenings should also be conducted regularly. These include a pap smear for women and a prostate exam for men. Getting a bone scan is also recommended, so that you can gauge how strong your bones are and if you need to take precautionary measures (or treatments) for osteoporosis.
Keep a Record of Your Medical History
Because of the changes your body undergoes as you age, you become more prone to developing or catching illnesses. The risks increase if you’ve been previously diagnosed with related conditions, or if you have family members with the same disease.
As such, you need to be as thorough as possible with your medical history. If you have family members, especially a parent or a grandparent, who had or have cancer or other conditions that are even the slightest bit hereditary, tell your doctor. Doing so will help you prevent or catch diseases early on.
Another helpful tip is to always request the transfer of your full medical records if, for any reason, you need to change doctors. This will make it easier for your new doctor to get a full picture of your current state of health.
Mind Your Mental Health
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to take care of your mental health. It affects a lot of aspects of your life, so make an effort to keep your stress down and do the things you love so you can age well. Some things you can do include:
- spending time with your loved ones and maintaining a strong social support system
- getting a pet, especially if you don’t have children or nearby family members
- taking up a new hobby
- going out and appreciating nature
- embracing your age and being positive about the changes in your life
You should also get enough sleep to lower your stress levels and give your body ample time to rejuvenate itself.
With these tips, you can stay happy and healthy even as you reach old age.