Five Ways to Stay Healthy in Your Golden Years
As you embrace your golden years, it’s essential to acknowledge your body’s unique journey with aging. While it’s true that around 85% of older Americans face at least one chronic condition, and 60% encounter two or more, it’s important to remember that you have more control over your health than you think. With optimism and determination, you can stay healthy during the golden years of your life using the following strategies.
Regular medical checkup
Regular checkups provide awareness about your health. You can suffer from common conditions like arthritis, which affects 49.7% of adults over 65. On the other hand, you should also beware of dangerous diseases like mesothelioma. Though it is relatively rare, there are still 3,000 cases in the US yearly.
This condition can occur when you inhale harmful fibers called asbestos. If you’ve worked a job where you had been at risk of exposure, like mining, you should get a medical checkup as soon as possible. Some areas are more affected than others. Suppose you live in a state like Pennsylvania, which ranks 3rd with the highest number of Mesothelioma deaths. In that case, you may be more vulnerable to this condition. In this scenario, a medical checkup will ensure you get the necessary treatments timely.
However, high health costs are a significant concern. In that case, you can contact a lawyer for a settlement. When looking for a mesothelioma lawyer Pennsylvania offers some of the most reputable and experienced firms that can advocate for you.
You can take preventative measures to support your health by getting regular checkups. Furthermore, these checkups help you gather evidence that can support you in a mesothelioma lawsuit to gain the best health settlement.
Prioritize mental health
According to the CDC, mental health is just as important as physical health. It reports that chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease experience higher risk due to symptoms of depression. After retirement, it is common for older adults to feel lost and lonely. Up to 25% of US adults aged older than 65 are suffering from mental health issues like anxiety or depression, and one-third are socially isolated. With old age, you need more compassion and companionship than before.
You can prioritize your mental health by participating in activities you enjoy and inviting your loved ones to participate. Go on a fishing trip with your friends, take your grandchildren to the zoo, and go on a romantic getaway with your significant other. By surrounding yourself with your family and friends, you find purpose in them and feel important.
Around 70% of Americans are overweight, and 41.5% are older than 60. Research indicates that heavier weight contributes to weakening muscles and physical frailty. Obese older adults face more risks as their weight and age decrease their muscle strength. It may be harder to lose weight with reduced physical activity, but possible. The National Institute of Health recommends a BMI between 25 and 35 kg/m2, which you can maintain through the following exercises to keep you fit and active:
- Go on walks around the neighborhood, local park, or treadmill daily. You can get fresh air, stretch your legs, and quickly form a daily walk habit.
- Try swimming to get a full-body workout while being gentle on the joints. It’s especially beneficial for those with arthritis or joint pain.
- Consider signing up for morning Tai Chi or yoga classes to improve flexibility and mental focus.
- Try utilizing resistance bands or light weights during your exercise to build muscle and support bone health safely.
However, it would be best to contact your doctor before starting any exercise regime, especially if you have any existing health conditions. You should ensure you don’t over-strain your body and work out at least 150 minutes a week, as the CDC recommends.
The CDC reports that 28% of elderly adults in the US are prone to accidents that involve falling, amounting to 36 million falls and 32,000 deaths yearly. This data highlights that accidentally falling can be a significant concern as you age. However, you can minimize the risk using the following strategies:
- Securely fasten carpets and rugs to the floor
- Wear appropriate footwear with non-slip soles
- Install grab bars and Walk-in bathtubs in the bathroom
- Keep items that you frequently use within reach
You can also use mobility aids like a walking cane or walkers scooters to provide stability as you walk. You can even consider getting motorized scooters for traveling long distances to avoid driving, as drivers older than 65 are 16% likelier to get into a car accident than younger adults. These precautions, no matter how small, can prevent big medical emergencies from happening.
Sleep and rest
Research on aging suggests that sleep deprivation can increase the risks of chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Older adults should ideally get around 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. However, getting a whole night of uninterrupted sleep gets more difficult as you age. Due to physiological changes and chronic illnesses, up to 75% of seniors struggle with insomnia.
To develop a consistent sleep routine, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Avoid using your phone before bed, and try reading a book instead. You can create a calm bedroom environment by dimming the lights and putting on soothing music. As medical experts recommend, you should also limit your caffeine intake to around 400 milligrams a day.
You have already walked along most of your path. However, there is still a long journey ahead. Each day is a fresh opportunity to make small, positive changes. By taking charge of your health, you rise above the challenges and relish life’s magic. So, continue this journey with courage, grace, and a grateful heart.