5 Tips for Staying Fit and Healthy as You Age

Most people’s activity level naturally declines as they get older. Researchers have found that by the time people reach 75, as many as one-third of men and one-half of women aren’t exercising at all.

When you consider all of the health benefits that exercise has to offer, it is definitely worth maintaining an exercise routine as you age. It is also important to look into health insurance, no waiting period.

The tips below will help you stay fit and active as you get older:

1 Exercise Is Important

Getting motivated to exercise is a lot easier when you know how it will benefit your body. When you get regular exercise, your risk of developing health conditions like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, certain types of cancer, type II diabetes, and obesity all decline. Staying physically active can also keep your muscles strong while at the same time improving your flexibility. This can decrease the chances of falling or sustaining injuries.

2. Get enough sleep

Humans can go longer without food than without sleep. Older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults – seven to nine hours per night – but often get much less. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems.

Develop a regular schedule with a bedtime routine. Keep your bedroom dark and noise-free— avoid watching television or surfing the internet while in bed. Stay away from caffeine late in the day.

3 Eat Healthy Foods

The majority of adults in the US consume more than double the recommended daily allowance of sodium, which can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease; most of this high sodium intake comes from pre-packaged foods and restaurants.

Eat nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. Avoid sweet, salty, and highly processed foods. Keep in mind that each person has different dietary needs – follow your doctor’s suggestions regarding dietary restrictions.

4 Join Activities That Are Fun

If you are having trouble getting motivated, why not try something new? Oftentimes, experimenting with new activities is the best way to get excited about exercise. You can also choose activities that you already enjoy such as going for hikes, taking walks, dancing, biking, doing yoga, performing tai chi, or participating in Pilates. For people over the age of 65, some of the best activities involve spending time outdoors. For instance, activities like working in the garden or going for walks are excellent choices. Lifting weights is also great for older adults since it helps build muscle mass. Researchers have found that people lose anywhere from about 3 to 5% of the total muscle mass in their body every decade after the age of 30. Men may lose as much as 30% of the muscle in their body as they age. Staying physically active not only can help you retain more of your muscle but it can also be a fun way to discover exciting hobbies.

5. Try to reduce stress

As we age, our stressors change and so does our ability to deal with stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression. Stress may also cause memory loss, fatigue, and decreased ability to fight off and recover from infection. In fact, it is estimated that more than 90% of illness is either caused or complicated by stress.

We cannot entirely avoid stressful situations but we can learn better techniques to cope with stress. Take care of yourself when you are stressed by getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating nutritious foods. Talk to a loved one or counselor about your stress, and try some relaxation techniques, such as circular breathing, yoga, or meditation. Remember to always keep things in perspective – try to accept and adapt to the things you cannot control.

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