September is Healthy Aging Month. As we age, we become aware of the changes in our minds and bodies. Living a healthy lifestyle can help you deal with those changes. It may also prevent some health problems and help make the most of your life. You can celebrate Healthy Aging Month by practicing these five good health habits.
Do Something Fun
Seniors who are involved in hobbies, leisure activities, and social activities may be at lower risk for some health problems. Doing things that you enjoy may help you feel happier and help keep you mentally active. Keeping your mind active by focusing on hobbies, learning new tasks, reading, or playing games can improve your thinking abilities.
Eat a Healthy Diet
As you age, your dietary needs can change. You may need fewer calories, but you still need to get enough nutrients. A healthy diet plan includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein from lean meats, nuts, and seeds. Avoid foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, as well as foods that are processed, or have added sugar. Many conditions and illnesses including high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, can be controlled or even prevented with dietary changes and exercise.
Get a Check-up
There are many steps seniors can take to prevent healthcare issues including keeping up to date with preventative care screenings for cancer, cholesterol levels, heart problems, and more. Seniors also need to get vaccinations that can help prevent things like Covid-19, flu, and pneumonia. Protecting your skin from the sun can help prevent skin cancers.
In addition to regular physical examinations, getting regular hearing, vision, and dental checkups is important to maintaining good health for seniors. Hearing loss that may create a need for hearing aids occurs commonly with aging, as do vision changes that may necessitate wearing glasses. Glaucoma and cataracts are common eye problems that can impair vision. Your teeth and gums can last a lifetime if you properly care for them with regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. With many of these concerns getting treatment early may prevent long-term complications.
Visits with family and friends can help seniors feel connected, especially if they have mobility issues. Time spent with other people can greatly improve emotional well-being and diminish stress caused by loneliness. It’s important for seniors to make time for friends and social contacts and having fun.
Being physically active can help you stay at a healthy weight, control or prevent illness, reduce stress, promote better sleep, avoid falls, alleviate depression, and improve energy levels. A fitness plan approved by a physician doesn’t have to be strenuous. Engaging in even low-impact exercises can help to maintain strength, flexibility, and balance and promote heart health.
Practicing healthy habits can make a difference even to seniors who are prone to illness, managing chronic conditions, or haven’t made their health a priority in the past. You can’t prevent all illnesses, but taking a proactive approach to healthy living can strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, promote better sleep, prevent injury, alleviate depression, and improve energy levels. It’s never too late to start taking care of your health. If you have questions about healthy lifestyle choices or need help figuring out how to make them, ask your family practice provider.
If you’re a senior that’s interested in getting help with healthy aging, contact the caring professionals at River Bend Medical Associates for an appointment today. Our team is committed to delivering compassionate health care for seniors and families. As part of your medical team, we are here to provide you with the best care in all aspects of your healthcare needs. For more information on our medical practice, or to make an appointment contact River Bend Medical Associates, or call 916-392-4000.