Aging is an unavoidable process of life. However, you do have control over how you age. With proper diet and exercise, you can continue to live a healthy and active life throughout old age. It is important to make healthy life choices no matter your age. It doesn’t matter how old you are; you can always take steps to improve and maintain your health.
Know What to Expect
People’s bodies change a lot during their lives. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare to take the best steps possible to age in a healthy manner.
As you get older, your arteries and blood vessels become stiffer, meaning your heart has to work harder to compensate, which can lead to high blood pressure and other heart problems. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your blood pressure normal. Engaging in cardiovascular activity on a regular basis can help keep your weight and blood pressure down.
Around age 40 to 50 your bones will begin to weaken and become more brittle. As your bones become less dense, your risk of fracture increases (this is especially true for post-menopausal women). As you get older, your ligaments become less elastic, your joints will likely feel stiffer, and you may even develop arthritis. To prevent bone and joint problems, make sure you are consuming plenty of calcium and vitamin D.
Your metabolism may slow down with age. If this is true for you, it is more important now than ever to pay attention to your caloric intake. Fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients while still being low in calories, making them a perfect go-to option. Aim to have a BMI between 18.5 to 24.9. While BMI doesn’t tell you how much muscle mass you have, it is a good place to start.
If you know exercise is important for your health, but you’ve never been physically active before, you may ask what the use is in starting now. It doesn’t matter what your fitness level was in the past; you can always take steps to be active in the present.
Try to incorporate aerobic, strengthening, balance, and flexibility exercises all into your exercise regimen. Consider partaking in activities such as water aerobics and yoga, which combine several types of exercise styles. The most important thing is to engage in physical activity that you find fun and enjoyable.
Don’t start off doing too much at the beginning, as this can cause injury. Instead, start off slowly and work your way up. Something as simple as a 15-minute walk a few times a week can make a big difference, especially if you are not used to this type of movement.
Check with your doctor to see what level of physical activity is appropriate for you. You might have a health condition that makes it risky to partake in certain types of exercise. Your doctor can let you know what you should and should not do in order to keep yourself safe and injury-free.
If you are cutting back on calories to try to avoid weight gain, you are going to want to make sure the foods that you do eat are nutrient dense. Include vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean proteins. Meanwhile, avoid foods such as sugary drinks and white carbs. The fresher the food, the better, so try to incorporate foods such as these wholesale fruit and vegetables in Melbourne, which can be found in many commercial restaurants.
In addition to what you eat, pay attention to how much you eat. Portion control is vital when it comes to maintaining your weight. One easy way to control your portions is by planning your meals ahead of time. You can even meal prep and freeze your meals at the beginning of each week. This will help reduce your chances of eating junk food and overly large portions.
There are several nutrients you are going to want to take special care to include in your diet. Two of these are vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Vitamin B12 is important for your brain, blood, and nervous system. You can find vitamin B12 in foods such as fortified cereals, or you can take a supplement. Vitamin D is important for bone health, and 800 IU of vitamin D is recommended for those over the age of 70. You can get vitamin D from sunlight, tuna, dairy, and orange juice.
Other Healthy Habits to Adopt
Stay in touch with your doctor. Have a physical every year after you turn 60. Regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol. Talk to your doctors and re-evaluate the medications you are taking. Make sure you need to be on all the medications you are on — you don’t want uncomfortable or even risky side-effects. Often, you can get off medications just by making lifestyle changes. Other times, you might be able to take a natural supplement to address your health issues. For example, if you need to take a painkiller on a regular basis, consider using Curamin, which is a natural soft gel pain relief product that results in far fewer side effects than standard pain medications. Of course, always consult your doctor first!
Spend time around others who have healthy habits. Their good eating and exercise habits are likely to rub off on you. Find someone to exercise with you, be it a gym buddy or a neighbor who goes with you on your morning walks.
Remember, good health involves more than just physical health — it involves mental health as well. Make sure you get enough sleep, stay in touch with those you love, and socialize with people that make you happy.