One of the many things in life we cannot control is aging, but you can age healthily. While genetics play a large role in bodily changes associated with maturity, there are ways to support healthier aging.
Leading a healthy life can start small, such as incorporating a healthy diet plan and exercise into your daily routine. Simple gardening or dog walking can significantly reduce the risk of death by over 50%.
Moreover, taking care of your mental health and going to healthcare clinics regularly for consultations make a huge difference.
Explore fun and exciting ways to promote healthy aging with professional assistance from a reliable Dr office. An expert in primary care for elders knows exactly what your body needs. With years of experience in senior care and services, the road to a healthier lifestyle is bright.
Continue reading to learn more about the importance of healthy aging and how to achieve it.
What Is Healthy Aging?
Healthy aging is the process of maintaining good well-being in old age while remaining functional in society.
It comprises not only physical health but social, mental, and emotional aspects. Many factors influence it, including the following:
- Physical activity
- Social involvement
- Quality healthcare
- Healthy eating and smart food options
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “functional ability” in healthy aging reaps “social and economic returns.” Besides the health benefits, it allows active participation in society, even in old age.
Why Is It Important?
You can derive from the above statements that healthy aging benefits the overall quality of life in old age. This directly reflects in your lifestyle, productivity, and social function.
Healthy aging does not only focus on living longer but also on living better. While the functional abilities of elders vary, they bring benefits and importance to life just the same.
The earlier you live a healthy lifestyle, the higher the chance of achieving healthy aging. Here’s why you should stay active as you grow older.
- Healthy Aging Opens Doors for New Experiences
Getting older should not necessarily narrow your life experiences or close doors for new adventures. Life is supposed to be lived to the fullest while listening to what your body can handle.
When you stay active and socialize with peers, you’ll be able to adapt to societal changes. Consequently, you can enjoy many things, even unfamiliar ones.
Being physically active allows you to create new opportunities you missed out on earlier in life. Nothing is ever too late, whether it’s speaking a new language, joining a community event, or learning how to paint!
When aging healthily, you attract many chances for social connection and involvement. Hence, you can do the activities you enjoy and improve your social, emotional, and mental health.
- Healthy Aging Prevents or Delays Chronic Illnesses
Aging puts you at high risk of acquiring chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart failure, arthritis, stroke, or cancer.
Healthy aging reduces the risk of developing these diseases later in life. Moreover, it helps improve sleeping habits and restores appetite. Other benefits of healthy aging include bone strength, reduced risk of falls, and improved immune function.
However, it’s important to note that fitness levels are diverse and considers many factors. If unsure of your fitness program, visit the nearest medical facility or trusted health clinics!
- Healthy Aging Improves Overall Wellbeing
Broadly speaking, healthy aging focuses on improving the lives of older people. This is possible when elders engage in physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.
Other aspects that need focus to improve overall well-being in old age include:
- Proper and regular exercise
- Mental health education/awareness
- Psychological interventions
- Community engagement
- Cognitive activities
Furthermore, have prescribed medications or supplements from the nearest doctor or primary care office that knows your health status.
If there’s a list of the benefits of healthy aging, it would be endless. Start a conversation with a professional or find “clinics around me” for a comprehensive discussion on healthy aging.
How Can You Do It?
Many ways to achieve healthy aging involve being physically, mentally, and socially active. To get started, set a specific time for exercise just like you would in a regular routine.
It can range from more or less 30 minutes daily if you’re still building strength and endurance.
Try to distribute your time to exercises that improve heart and lung health to stability and balance. Find motivation in simple things like creating a reward system for every achievement.
You can try the following range of exercises every week:
- Walking, hiking, cycling
- Water exercises
- Lifting weights, squats, muscle workout
- Yoga and other stretching exercises
- Balance exercises
You can also enjoy a fun workout with a team or group. Light sports like golf or bowling help as well. A few minutes a day can go a long way when you do something happily.
One more thing you can do happily is to eat. The good thing about healthy eating is it doesn’t have to be sad and distasteful. You can eat good quality food while making smart choices.
Nothing beats physical activities combined with good nutrition when it comes to healthy aging. A balanced diet helps fight infection, improve strength, and increase energy levels while maintaining a healthy weight.
Diet experts recommend some of these healthy eating tips for older adults:
- Drink 6-8 cups of water or healthy fluids like tea.
- Eat three main meals a day.
- Consume protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and dairy products.
- Avoid too fatty, salty, or high-sugar foods.
If you have more concerns about the right food for you, talk to the nearest doctor who is knowledgeable about healthy food options.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the effect of physical activity on weight for older adults?
Research finds that the health benefits remain the same whether or not older people lose weight after physical activities. This means physical activities can make an older person live longer and better regardless of weight difference.
- What eating patterns can improve healthy aging?
Dietary coaches suggest incorporating a “Mediterranean-style eating pattern” than a traditional American diet.
This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and less dairy.
- How does the environment impact healthy aging?
Getting involved and having a sense of belongingness within the community positively impacts healthy aging.
It can be tricky to distinguish good from better when choosing the proper exercise or the right food for healthy aging. Not to mention the many other factors that affect health and well-being, living a quality life highly depends on your choices.
Ultimately, finding a purpose is the best driver in leading a healthy aging and meaningful life. The feeling of fulfillment is unmatched when you are able to connect with other people and the community.
It’s always best to consult a primary care office, especially in distinct and sensitive cases.