As we age, the list of health issues and preventative care measures we must keep track of gets longer and longer. This is a natural experience that can be embraced as part of a new day-to-day venture. There are many steps that can be taken to improve your health, including regular diet and exercise, getting the vitamins and minerals we need, and taking care of small health issues that can make a big difference once we take care of them.
Precautions to improve your health
While aging is unavoidable, practicing healthy habits and taking precautions to keep your health in top shape can go a long way to improve your health as you get older. It’s a lot of what you’ve heard your whole life; eat right, exercise if possible, and limit substance use. These go a long way as our bodies are unable to process unhealthy habits as easily the older we get.
Some precautions that will benefit your health are dropping bad habits that can age you, such as smoking or heavy drinking. These take a toll on your body each day and have potential long-term consequences, such as lung cancer or liver disease. The consequences of these long-term and serious illnesses can be seen in external factors such as skin and hair health.
Exercising regularly helps to improve posture by keeping muscles strong, which is important because we lose muscle mass and bone density as we age, which is what causes us to lose about a half-inch in height every ten years once we reach our peak height. Getting your daily recommended portions of calcium and vitamin D can also help improve bone density, which can keep your bones strong and less likely to break in case you suffer a fall.
Taking precautions to avoid slipping and falling is an extremely important part of staying healthy as we get older. This includes being aware of potential hazards both in public settings and at home. While getting the nutrients to maintain strong bones should be a priority, it’s also important to take preventative measures around your homes, such as removing clutter and using step stools to reach high areas, rather than chairs or other objects that aren’t meant for standing on. In public places, use a cane, if necessary, or hand railing to maintain your balance. Pay extra attention to weather conditions that may impact walking conditions, as well as slick floor types (including hardwoods or vinyl).
Another important precaution to avoiding falls is to take care of your eyes as you age. As we get older, our eyesight begins to falter due to cataracts, vision-altering diseases that cause macular degeneration, and a decreased ability to shift focus. Going to your optometrist regularly to catch macular degeneration as soon as possible can help prevent irreversible eye damage.
Cataracts can interfere with your ability to conduct day-to-day activities such as driving, especially at night, which can be dangerous if driving is unavoidable. They also increase your chances of falling as they impair and blur your vision. If you have cataracts, cataract surgery may be a good option to improve your eyesight and can even help fix simple vision problems you may have experienced your entire life.
Attention to Nutrition
Paying attention to basic nutrition is also a great way to improve your health as you age. The foods, beverages, and substances you put in your body are what fuel your body throughout the day, so eating vegetables and well-balanced meals is a great way to ensure your body is fueled on food that will give it the vitamins it needs to run at maximum efficiency.
Drinking lots of water is also incredibly beneficial for your overall health and especially your skin, which depends on water to be moisturized and vibrant. Being hydrated also helps keep your head clear, helps you sleep better, and keeps headaches away. These small but important factors of healthy living contribute to your overall well-being as raw materials for mental health.
Taking care of your mental health is also an extremely important factor to improve your health. Stress has a heavy impact on the body, affecting appetite and motivation to complete daily tasks. Taking time to meditate and relax can decrease your overall stress levels and improve your mental health by providing you with the energy to face busy days head-on.
There are a lot of factors to improving health as we get older but the most important thing is listening to your body and making sure you are giving it what it needs. Nutrition is an important part of living healthy, as is light exercise to keep your muscles strong and avoid bad habits. Taking care of your eyes will help decrease your chances of incurring avoidable accidents, which can be important as we become more fragile — take care of your body so it can take care of you.