Having an advanced age does not mean that your body is weaker and sickly. Actually, this is very far from the truth as a good number of elderly people are healthier than the younger generations. The only trick is understanding your body and coping with the changes that come upon with aging. As you add more years in life, a lot of things change and if you are not ready to cope with these changes, then, things may become very difficult and in the processes, your health may deteriorate.
Pursuing the longevity dividend is all about adding life to your advanced years and not really adding years to life. In order to add life to the years and passing the major milestones of 60, 70, 80years and above, you need to understand what healthy aging is. Healthy aging is the ability to keep on reinventing yourself with each new milestone that you achieve in life. The only sure way to get the most dividends out of longevity is by ensuring that you adhere to the three pillars which are lifestyle, exercise, and nutrition.
Your lifestyle, if not chosen carefully can be one of the greatest enemies to your health and this does not add to the longevity dividend. One key aspect of lifestyle is understanding your body as you age. You should be able to know the changing limits of your body and adjust to life accordingly.
Find and have a purpose in life
It is quite normal to get the feeling that you are losing purpose in life as the years advance. This is due to the changing life events such as retirement, children moving away from home, losing friends and loved ones and even sometimes loss of independence due to some disease or health condition. In order to fight this feeling, it is advisable to find a hobby or volunteer in any activity that you can do and this will give your life a new meaning.
It’s never too late to make friends
Making friends is a life-long process and one can never be too old to make new friends. Friends are the second-best things to family, and as some people say, some friends are like family. Finding new friends at every stage of your life will add value and joy to life. Friends will also be there for you and you will get that very important sense of belonging.
Stress can easily creep in at old age, especially if you don’t have much to do or you don’t have a family with you. Stress accelerates the aging process and this is not desirable. In order to avoid stress, focus on things that you are grateful for in life and don’t worry much about things that you can’t change. Make sure that you go out and interact, volunteer and even join social welfare clubs.
Exercises are the number one contributors to longevity. Physical exercises are not only beneficial to our muscles, bones, and skin, but they also help our brains. Physical exercises lead to better blood circulation and thus better functionality of the brain and other vital body organs such as the heart. The importance of physical exercises cannot be stressed more as it is common knowledge that exercises help strengthen our bodies, keeping us in tip-top condition no matter the age. So, how should you go about exercising with aging?
Talk to your doctor
When you were younger you might have been able to lift weights equivalent to your body’s weight but this cannot be the same as you age. Thus, to be on the safe side, it is prudent to first of all talk to your doctor and discuss with him/her on the types of exercises that you may want to indulge in. Some physical exercises might harm you may be due to underlying medical conditions.
Find your favorite activity and take it easy
Exercising should be more of a leisure activity rather than a task aimed towards a certain goal. Thus, find your favorite exercise and indulge in it. Remember, at an advanced age you might not be very competitive and so you should take it easy with the exercises and only do enough to make you happy and satisfied.
Take a walk and find a company
One great thing with aging is that even simple things like walking are enough. A walk a day is enough to keep the muscles and bones engaged and stronger. Also, don’t take the walk alone; find a company in the form of a relative, maybe a grandchild or a friend to walk with. This might also be a vital time to engage with your company and talk about the good things in life as well as sharing valuable life lessons. Your company will also be sufficient motivation for you to be looking forward to the walk every day.
Healthy eating leads to a healthy life. This is more so to the elderly people as the bodies have undergone some changes and might not be able to function well without vital food nutrients. When one gets older, they might experience difficulty in digesting some types of foods and thus the digestive process takes longer. In order to avoid such problems is always important to stay ahead of the problem by taking foods that help with digestion and most important taking foods that provide vital nutrients to the body.
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains, all have high-fiber content. Eating foods rich in fiber helps with digestion and so you will feel full and the digestive system will have an easier time digesting food consumed. This will subsequently reduce the digestion period. Apart from fiber, these foods are also rich in vitamins which are very vital at an advanced age. Vitamins help in the formation of white blood cells which form the body’s primary immune system to fight and keep diseases away.
The importance of pure clean water in the human body cannot be understated. Doctors recommend eight glasses of water a day and it would be safe to adhere to this as your body needs sufficient water to function properly. Each and every part of the human body needs water and hence make sure you take as much water as possible.
Don’t eat alone
With old age, you may start to lose appetite and the days when you looked forward to your favorite meal might be long gone. Often, this is one reason that leads to poor eating habits among the elderly. However, in order to curb this, make every mealtime a social event. Eat with friends and family and this would give you the motivation to look forward to the next meal.
About The Author:
Kristen is a passionate writer, teacher, and mother to a wonderful son. When free time presents itself, you can find her tackling her lifelong goal of learning the piano!