Seniors are more vulnerable to diseases. The body produces fewer immune cells as people age, decreasing its ability to fight sickness. This is why university experts from Alabama emphasize the role of establishing healthy habits as you age. Doing so can result in healthier longevity, improved quality of life, and the prevention of chronic conditions.
If you or a senior you know is looking for healthy aging habits, here are a few to start with:
Exercising is a prominent component of staying healthy, no matter the age. For older adults, the CDC reports that physical activity prevents and delays the health issues that come with aging, such as arthritis and chronic pain. It also strengthens seniors’ muscles and improves their balance, preventing accidents.
Seniors aged 65 years and older should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, such as walking and aerobics. Seniors who prefer vigorous-intensity activities like jogging and biking need at least 75 minutes per week of their chosen exercise.
No two seniors have the same health. As such, they need to consult health and wellness aging experts to get medical advice that is best suited to their needs. Such advice is easily accessible: if you can't consult a primary care doctor or gerontologist amid the ongoing physician shortage, you can approach geriatric nurse practitioners trained in improving senior health.
Because of age, it is also difficult for seniors to go to care facilities and get consultations. Fortunately, they can do this with telehealth, especially since California also has a nurse practitioner shortage. Telehealth guarantees seniors access to nurse practitioners even if there are none in their area. Nurse practitioners working remotely in Iowa who offer health and wellness treatments for aging can connect with California seniors to assess their health conditions and advise them on dealing with issues like hair loss or a lack of sleep. This way, seniors can easily practice preventive medicine and reap good health benefits.
One risk of aging is dementia or general memory loss. While this is considered normal for seniors, it can also harm their health when they forget to take medication or get lost in public. Luckily, brain exercises prevent this.
A cognitive scientist from California notes that though brain exercises don't guarantee the complete prevention of dementia, they can delay its progression. Brain exercises can range from playing intellectual games like chess to doing activities that stimulate learning. This includes learning a new language, engaging in art activities, completing complex crossword puzzles, or playing against more experienced players in a game of your choice.
Keeping a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet keeps the body strong. Additionally, it helps manage chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes in older adults. Researchers from California discovered that diabetic patients who consulted a registered dietitian showed health improvements.
However, this doesn’t solely concern seniors with chronic conditions. Even healthy seniors should benefit from a diet that prevents diseases and keeps the body energized. They must include a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet, as well as healthy carbohydrate and protein sources like brown rice and lean fish.
Spending time with loved ones
Social interactions keep older adults active. A 2019 article from The Journal of Gerontology found that seniors with higher levels of social activity experienced increased positive moods and physical activity. This is crucial because seniors tend to feel lonely due to the loss of or isolation from family. Spending time with others prevents this, decreasing their risk of developing anxiety, depression, and even heart disease. Even simply sharing a meal or taking a walk with loved ones can significantly improve a senior's health.
These healthy aging practices encourage better life quality. Engage in these habits to decrease the risk of diseases and live an enjoyable life.
This article was written by Rosette June.