Many people fear growing older, wondering about changes in bodily functions and gray hair. However, the aging process brings positive changes and can be enjoyable if you understand the changes going on in your body and maintain total body wellness. To provide additional reassurances of a happier journey through aging, we have provided some tips to help you maintain your health no matter what your age.
Think it Through.
Engaging in stress-relieving or stress-management practices can boost your optimism and strengthen your satisfaction with the life you are living. You might find using yoga or meditation will give your brain a boost in happiness and strengthen your mind.
Act on Activity.
Although you might feel like your body is wearing down, there is still so much potential left inside! It doesn’t have to be as drastic as running a marathon, but doing aerobics, walking, or other blood-pumping activities several times a week can improve your circulation, maintain heart health, and strengthen and tone muscles. The YMCA is known for offering swimming and water aerobics, which can provide cardiovascular activity without putting stress on your joints.
Activity doesn’t just need to happen outdoors or in the gym. Sexual activity offers both physical and emotional support during the aging process. Many older couples find greater satisfaction in their sex lives than they did when they were younger, as they have more time, fewer distractions, and increased privacy.
Fuel up with Food.
As your body ages, your body’s balance in nutritional needs might shift. Aging is accompanied by a loss in muscle mass, but potassium-rich foods can put the brakes on the process. Eating potatoes, leafy greens and fruits such as bananas and papayas can fortify your muscle mass and reduce loss. Consciously remember five to nine servings a day is optimal, and try to include two types of potassium-rich foods at each meal.
Build up your Bones
As you age, subtle changes in your bone density may occur. When bones become brittle and thin, a fragile bone condition called osteoporosis occurs. Thinning bones can increase the risk of falls and other injuries. Calcium is a mineral that helps the bones stay strong, and eating a diet rich in dark leafy green vegetables as well as foods containing Vitamin D will help your body maintain good bone health.
Prioritize the Probiotics.
Throughout the aging process, the digestive system is prone to being a little sluggish. Keep your gut health working strong by consuming probiotics daily. Probiotic pills or foods (such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha or kimchi) contain helpful bacteria that have potential to strengthen your body’s immunity as well as the digestive tract.
Notice what’s not right.
While bodily changes are natural, take notice of things that aren’t quite right. For instance, increased issues with constipation, stomach pain and nausea could indicate digestive track struggles. The digestive tract does not contract as often during the aging process, turning it firm and rigid. Experiencing the above symptoms might indicate the need for a diet change.
Teeth and gums also experience change during aging, but it can provide discomfort. Other changes could include increased risk for gum disease or cavities. Maintaining proper dental hygiene is a key way to address these changes.
Over time, changes in heart function can also occur. With increased age, the wall of the heart may thicken and lower heart rates. If you ever experience pain, shortness of breath, or abnormal rhythms, check with your doctor as these could indicate a more serious condition.
Value the Vitamins.
Vitamins are an easy way to keep you feeling youthful and give your life vitality. For brain health, try B12 which is often found in seafood, just like omega-3s, which are necessary for heart health. Vitamin D- found in fish, eggs, fortified milk- may help protect against cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and some autoimmune disorders. While you can get a healthy dose of vitamins from an intentional selection of fruits and vegetables, talk to your doctor about a multi-vitamin or supplements that are specific to your body’s needs.
Find a friend.
Although aging is normal, you might find yourself feeling a bit lonely. Find support and encouragement as you understand your body changes by staying connected with friends and family or join a recreation or social club that shares your interest. Having someone to talk to or spend time with can help reduce stress, high blood pressure, and even depression.
Although it sounds like a no-brainer, be sure to keep all your regular doctor appointments and follow medicinal schedules. Be proactive in taking care of your health.
Be sure to get the sleep your body needs to remain healthy and active, and maintain a healthy diet. Avoid smoking and alcohol, and limit consumption of junk food. Healthy aging is a process and taking proactive steps now fuel a long-term journey.
The silver lining of aging doesn’t have to be found in the gray hairs becoming more apparent in your hairline. You can enjoy a smooth transition to aging when you decide to meet it head-on with a healthy diet, consistent activity, and a positive mentality. For the things that you can’t fix, check with your doctor for more ideas and advice on how to enjoy the golden years that lie ahead.d.