5 Tips For Healthy Aging

While becoming older can bring about some changes in your lifestyle and functionality, it should not limit you from still enjoying life to its fullest.

There are adults in their 70s and 80s who lead full lives, go on adventures and look and feel healthy and vital. Engage in a healthy dose of optimism and discover new ways to cope with stress as stress can easily lead to a decline in your health. Get enough sleep each night and do not be afraid to speak with your doctor about any health concerns that you may have. Refuse to take things slow. You are never too old to make a decision about your life, big or small. Strive to live life to the fullest with these 5 easy tips for healthy aging, discussed further within the sections below.

The Benefits of Optimism

Good health and a positive attitude tend to co-exist alongside one another. In fact, optimism has been linked to longer lifespans. The Mayo Clinic conducted studies over decades in order to determine whether participants were optimists or pessimists and how that outlook on life affected an individual’s health. The results were astounding. Pessimists had a 19 percent increased change of dying in any given year. The question is why? The answer may lie within your perception of yourself and the world around you. Studies show that if a person sees him or herself as smart, they often did better on memory tests and could handle stress better than an individual who saw him or herself as dumb or senile. Furthermore, a positive attitude may contribute to a desire to exercise more and eat better. Optimistic people will also generally remain hopeful, which can be incredibly helpful when stressful situations arise.

Researchers believe that the power of optimism is so strong, that it may actually have an effect on the immune system. There have been several studies that conclude that optimism can lower your chance of getting sick and can even be great to achieve a lower blood pressure, which improves heart health.

Not currently an optimist? You are in luck. Optimism can be learned, though it will take practice. Some of the things that you can do to become a more optimistic person include:

  • Review your negative thoughts and determine what is really bothering you and find a better way to look at the situation
  • Seek our laughter and humor
  • Make time for the things that you enjoy
  • Become friends with other positive people. Positivity tends to create more positivity

Learning to Cope with Stress

As we age, our ability to deal with stress may change. If you find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed often, you may need to learn new coping techniques in order to maintain a healthy mental state. Stress can take a toll on not only the body, but also the mind. In fact, long-term stress damages brain cells and can lead to depression. Stress can also cause many of the problems that you may assume are symptoms of aging such as fatigue, memory loss and a reduced ability to recover from illness. Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, regulating your breathing and meditation. Always try to keep things in perspective and strive to accept the things that you have no control over.

Take Charge of Your Health

By taking charge of your health by improving your lifestyle. Consider an exercise routine or a healthier diet. Visit your physician on a regular basis and speak with them about any concerns or symptoms that you may be experiencing. It is recommended that you be prepared for any appointments that you have with your doctor. Bring a list of your current medications, including over the counter medications and herbal supplements, and address any medical concerns that you may have with your doctor.

Many illnesses — both physical and mental — are preventable and curable. You can better your odds of fighting off an infection by getting a yearly flu vaccination and by washing your hands before handling food and after using the bathroom. Try to avoid touching your face unless you have washed your hands, as this is a common way that germs could get into your body. To prevent falls and injuries within your home, complete a home safety checklist. Use assistive devices, including in the shower or bathtub, if needed.

Avoid a Sedentary Life and Keep Your Mind Engaged

Stay active, even if it is going for a daily walk. Even short distances and small amounts of exercise will do wonders for your body and mind. By sitting around all day, you can actually contribute to the deterioration of your body and greatly reduce your functionality. This can lead you to have to depend on others for performing daily tasks. Keep your mind engaged. Read the daily newspaper, learn new things and stay connected with friends and family.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

There are a variety of health benefits from getting a good night’s sleep each night and engaging in a regular sleep routine. If your sleep is restless, your mental function may not be as sharp and you could experience a decline in focus, attentiveness and focus. Lack of sleep can also impact your mental health and worsen some health concerns. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, try these tips to achieve a better sleep:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and wake the same time each morning. Oversleeping can be just as bad as not sleeping enough and can leave you feeling tired.
  • Consider setting a sleep routine that will allow you to sleep through the night. Your body’s production of melatonin, a natural agent that helps you sleep, produces more in the evening hours than any other time of day
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks or alcohol within a few hours of bedtime
  • Avoid big meals before bed. In fact, it is recommended that you give your body at least four hours to digest food prior to bedtime
  • Avoid forms of nicotine, such as smoking

Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping and review your medications for side effects that may affect your ability to sleep or engage in restful sleep.

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