Aging brings with it a variety of health-related challenges, including chronic diseases and mobility issues. But with the right approach, people over 50 can stay active and healthy. Incorporating a few healthy habits can improve overall well-being and longevity. Here are some tips for people over 50, designed to help them stay healthy and active as they grow older.
Stay physically active
Exercise can help to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle and bone strength, and enhance balance and coordination. It can also improve mental and emotional well-being. Regular exercise can also help to reduce the risk or manage chronic conditions such as obesity.
Adults over 50 should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week, such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dance. However, elders with weak bones and joints should consult a doctor before indulging in such activities.
Practice breathing techniques
Breathing is an essential part of our daily lives, and proper breathing techniques can significantly impact our health. Older adults can perform various breathing exercises to increase oxygen intake, reduce stress, and relax. Incorporating these techniques can benefit elders with chronic coughing, respiratory problems, and lung diseases like COPD and lung cancer.
Visit the doctor regularly
People above 50 are more prone to developing chronic diseases like cancer than younger adults. This is especially true for people who’ve been exposed to carcinogens such as asbestos throughout their work life. This carcinogen is responsible for causing mesothelioma – a rare cancer that affects the lungs, abdomen, heart, and reproductive system. Survival statistics for such fatal diseases are grim, but an early diagnosis can help people get treatment on time and improve the remaining quality of their life.
Hence people above 50 should schedule a visit with their primary care provider at least once every few months. Early detection and prevention can significantly cut medical expenses when people are nearing retirement.
As you age, the body’s ability to conserve water decreases, making it even more important to ensure you get enough fluids. Here are some of the reasons why staying hydrated is so important for people over 50:
- Dehydration can cause fatigue, weakness, and dizziness, making it difficult for seniors to stay active and independent
- Proper hydration is also important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Dehydration can cause constipation, which can be uncomfortable and lead to other health problems.
- Staying hydrated can also help to reduce the risk of infections. The immune system is less effective at fighting off infections when the body is dehydrated.
So ensure to drink plenty of water and limit your intake of sugary drinks like soda. You can use apps to remind you when to drink water.
Eat a nutritious diet
Eating a balanced diet is essential for good health as people age. It is important to consume a variety of foods that provide essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health. For example, older adults may need more calcium and vitamin D to support bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
To maintain a nutritious diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Try to limit your intake of sugar, saturated and trans fats, and salt. You can also take supplements to meet dietary shortfalls. Consider talking to a registered dietitian or healthcare provider to learn more about maintaining a healthy diet as you age.
Get enough sleep
Adequate sleep can improve the immune system, reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, and boost overall well-being. However, sleep patterns may change as people age, and some may experience difficulty falling asleep.
People over 50 should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night by establishing a consistent sleep schedule. If you have trouble falling asleep, create a sleep-conducive environment, such as keeping the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol before bedtime. Talk to a sleep specialist if you’re struggling with insomnia.
Stay active mentally
Keeping your mind active and engaged can help maintain brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Engage in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, playing games, solving puzzles, or learning a new skill.
Stress can hurt both physical and mental health, so it is important to find healthy ways to manage stress as you age. Regular exercise, mindfulness practices, and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help to reduce stress and promote overall well-being.
Take medications as directed
Medications can be crucial in maintaining good health and managing chronic conditions. This is particularly true for seniors, who are more likely to take multiple medications for different conditions. If you take medication, make sure to take it as directed by your doctor. Keep a list of all medications you take and bring it to all medical appointments.
Seniors need to understand the options available to them and make informed decisions about their living arrangements. Changing your living situation can be difficult, but it’s important to consider your health and well-being. You can maintain vitality as you age by taking these steps. Remember to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.