The effects of ageing can seep into every crevice of our lives, from the physical to the mental. While you may be enjoying the newfound freedom of retirement and the wisdom you’ve accumulated over the years, you’re also faced with an entirely new set of age-related problems.
And, truth be told, it’s a constant struggle for seniors to continue living liberally while simultaneously minimising the downsides of ageing.
If you want to maintain a high standard of living as you reach your 60s or 70s, you’ll need to be more proactive in keeping your body and mind in tip-top shape.
If you want to know what steps to take to age happily and healthily, we’ll cover that here for you. Without further ado, here are four useful tips to help you age more gracefully.
If you’re spending a couple of minutes a day lounging on the sofa and watching TV, that’s fine. Everyone deserves to decompress and relax after a long day.
That said, staying glued to the couch or bed every waking moment of your life will do nothing to benefit your health. In fact, it can even accelerate the progression of cardiovascular diseases caused by muscle inaction.
Instead of maintaining a sedentary lifestyle, try to incorporate a few exercise regimens sprinkled throughout your day. They don’t have to be too intense at the start—a few minutes of stretching, a few yoga poses, and light full-body exercises are enough to keep your heart and muscles working and healthy.
Once you’ve built a solid aerobic and muscular base, you can then turn to more rigorous exercises, such as running and maybe even a little strength training.
Before stepping foot into this new physically-taxing world, however, it’s best to consult with a physical therapist or medical practitioner to assess whether a jump in physical activities is safe for you.
Once they give you the clear, go ahead and exercise regularly! Seniors are recommended to partake in 150 minutes of moderately-challenging exercise each week, so working out for this duration consistently should be enough to keep you healthy.
Catch Up With Old Friends
No man is an island, the old saying goes. And the core principle can’t be any more true, especially for elderly folks.
As such, if you’re spending most of your day alone at home, consider picking up the phone and ringing up some old friends.
Catching up with old friends serves a dual purpose. One, it helps fill your heart due to social contentment. Secondly, it also engages your mind, which has been proven to be beneficial in preventing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.
If old friends are hard to reach, you can always find social belonging within your community. Start with your neighbours—even just a few hi’s and hello’s can light up your day.
If you currently live in facilities like aged care in Melbourne or other states, that’s even better. You can simply go to the community hall within the facility and socialise with fellow elderly folks and the caretakers.
Beyond that, if you have the energy, consider joining local volunteer groups to get both your social fill and a sense of purpose. This can be a fantastic way to meet new people and live life on your own terms.
Meet With Your Doctors Regularly
Despite proactively living a healthy lifestyle, not everyone is blessed with a smooth ageing experience. If you’re genetically predisposed to health conditions or find yourself low in energy from time to time, it’s vital to stay in touch with your doctor and have them perform check-ups on you once or twice a year.
When we age, our bodies start to weaken and become more susceptible to illnesses. Medical concerns like cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension can start to crop up if you’re not careful with what you intake.
Cancers like prostate cancer are also more common in seniors, and they’re often asymptomatic at the start. During the early phases, these cancers are highly curable, so it’s always best to catch them before they start becoming worse.
We can’t stress enough the importance of having regular conversations with your doctor regarding your health. Through these visits and constant monitoring, you can stay ahead of these age-related illnesses and ensure that your body stays healthy as you approach your 70s and even 80s.
Eat A Nutritious Diet
If your past self has been eating a lacklustre diet for the past few decades, your body may suffer the consequences later on in life.
From obesity to high blood pressure, it’s not uncommon for reckless seniors to be at risk of developing chronic conditions that can further chip away from their quality of life.
Fortunately, combating this is simple. You just need to replace your poor dietary habits with healthier ones.
So, for instance, if you typically eat a lot of refined sugar and processed meats, you’ll need to cut those out and replace them with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
If you’re deficient in a certain mineral, such as Vitamin D, you’ll need to put conscious effort into eating foods that are high in that mineral to compensate for your low body reserves.
Furthermore, it’s important to incorporate this into your lifestyle for the rest of your life. You can have cheat days every now and then, but eating consistently healthily is the best way to live a long, happy, and energetic life.