Aging is something that is not under our control. What is under our control is how we can age in a healthy manner. You must have seen people of different ages defying the general perception of aging. This is because they are able to take care of themselves and their body in a much better way. The routine you follow plays an important role in defining your health status. If you do not change your eating and physical habits with time then aging might not be a seamless change. Hence, it is necessary to take some measures to ensure a disease-free and stress-free ageing process. Listed below are some simple tips to follow to ensure that age is just a number for you.
What Changes When You Grow Old?
Getting older involves certain changes in your habitat and realms of life. It varies from mental, emotional, physical and sexual health changes. As we progress in age, it is inevitable to experience energy loss, lifestyle-related disorders including diabetes, hypertension, and more. The challenge here is to maximize the good aspect of aging with proactive steps to maintain your health by taking necessary measures for good physical and mental health.
Tips To Maintain Your Health After 50
Body reacts to situations and habits in a certain way after a defining age. It happens that you might not be that active as you used to be in your early days hence some steps need to be taken accordingly.
1. Stay Physically Active
Keeping yourself up to date with work and conditions is the foremost part of being active. It does not mean that you do activities with the same intensity as you used to do earlier. It requires regular exercises that improve your balance and improve your mood. Anxiety and depression should be reduced which contributes to issues in cognitive functioning. Exercising and staying up to date with regular activities will reduce the risk of blood pressure, heart diseases, cancer and osteoporosis. 30 minutes of daily exercise will be sufficient and the focus should be more on muscle strength.
2. Stay Connected
In many cases, people lose interest in interacting with their society members and family. This should not happen. Talking and keeping in touch with your loved ones is very important during this phase. People who are more socially active and connected tend to have a positive mindset which reduces the chances to having depression and mental disorders. Volunteer in social clubs and groups of your society to increase social interaction. In times like these when everyone is confined indoors due to COVID, it is a must for the older adults to be connected to their loved ones. These tips can come handy:
- Connect with your family and friends through video calls
- Ensure that you are practise mindfulness, and meditate when sudden anxiety strikes
- Progressing towards old age does not mean cutting of ties with your hobbies, stay connected to what you like doing.
- Stay connected to the latest trends
3. Balanced Diet
Follow a well-balanced diet to increase your productivity and longevity. Diet routine changes when you are above 50 years of age because your body will not be able to digest saturated fats and carbohydrates as before. Hence there should be regulation in your diet and choose a diet which includes omega 3 fatty acid, unsaturated fats, fibres and proteins. Following a diet plan could also work if the person is ready to take it. Having nuts, a seed, fruit, whole grains and vegetable becomes important for your health at this age.
Dr Upasana Sharma, Head Nutritionist, Max Hospital, Gurgaon says, "Proper nutrition and a balanced diet are essential for those over the age of 50. This is a major role in controlling the hazards of ageing. Hence, take all necessary nutrients including healthy fats, fibre, protein, carbohydrates, etc. Also, one should take a diet as per their existing health conditions. Those with a heart disease should stay away from heavy and fatty foods."
Some points to remember, as told by Dt Sharma:
- Take adequate amount of calcium, as bone-related health issues are extremely common in older adults
- Opt for oils including mustard, canola, olive oil, etc.
- Take fats in control, especially those who have a history of cholesterol, high BP, diabetes and heart conditions.
4. Go For Regular Checkups
Taking regular check-ups becomes even more crucial at older age. The risk of diseases increases hence keeping a regular check on your health issues is important. Check-ups tell that all your parameters are in place and save you from having bigger problems related to health. If you have more than one chronic illness then multiple check-ups are required to take follow up. You should always have your doctor’s contact on the speed dial and other emergency contacts to help you out in case on any need. Take all the medications prescribed to you and discuss the dosage with your doctor if you find any confusion. Do not neglect check-ups and medications at any cost.
Here is a list of health checkups that one must take when they approach their 50s:
5. Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
During aging, your health starts reducing and so do your body functions. Thus your liver cannot take consume alcohol as before and you need to limit your alcohol consumption. If a normal person drinks 2 drinks a day, then after 50 years of age he should at least reduce it to one or even less. Alcohol consumption is associated with increased health diseases and mortality levels in older age.
6. Quit Smoking
Smoking is injurious to health in general which may increase even more at later stages of life. Since the body functions have reduced efficiency, the consumption of tobacco could led to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, diabetes and cancer etc. It also weakens the bones which could have another set of problems in your body. Hence it is better to quit smoking as soon as possible. There are sessions available for therapy that can help you quit smoking.
7. Proper Sleep Cycle
For your body to function efficiently at an older age, it needs proper rest. As directed 8 hours of sleep is a must for elderly people over 50 years of age. Young people can do away with lesser sleep, but this habit has to change with age. How you sleep has a drastic effect on your overall health. Sleeping at odd hours, sleeping till late and waking up in between at night can lead to various health concerns including:
- Tension headaches
- Constant fatigue and weakness
Also, the proper schedule is necessary; sleeping at odd hours could result in health complications at old age. It could result in chronic or acute insomnia which is hard to cure at that age. Consult your doctor if you have trouble sleeping.
Health conditions change with time and age. Therefore aging person also needs to change some habits to keep him healthy and going. Some issues are common with increasing age such as weakening of bones, body ache and increased mental stress but by taking proper care you can reduce its probability and extend your life cycle. There are some activities which are important to remain healthy at an older age. This includes emotional health, health check-ups, social circle, hygiene, general habits and food nutrition. These activities might be a bit challenging in the initial phase but can become really beneficial for your health in the long term.
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