Older Americans Month 2018: Be Well
Updated: Dec 17, 2018
Although people are living longer, there are more people are developing chronic illnesses. Many think that the older you get, the sicker you will be. However, this is not necessarily true. Aging does not automatically mean you will have chronic illness. There is much that seniors can do to be more active or have a healthier diet. Small changes can lead to huge differences in the way you feel and how well your body works. You should always consult your doctor before making major changes to your health, but these small steps can improve your overall wellness no matter how old you are.
About 80% of older Americans have at least one chronic health condition.
Having a healthier lifestyle can help you control weight, strengthen muscles, and improve balance. These changes can make falls and other injuries less likely to occur. Healthy living also decreases risk of depression and risks related to brain health. You can even have more opportunities to be social and have fun. Here are some small steps you can take to have a healthier lifestyle:
Pace yourself. Do not overwhelm yourself and begin training for a marathon if you are not accustomed to exercising. Instead, choose low-impact exercises that you can do a little at a time. For example, take a short walk in the morning or learn some gentle stretches.
Get a partner. Exercising is easier when you are able to enjoy it with others. You can gather a group of friends to exercise together or join a class. Exercising with others makes it more enjoyable and also keeps you accountable so you’re more likely to continue long-term.
Nourish your body. Nutrition is vital to your health. Try keeping a diary of what you eat so you can see how you are doing. Nutritionists can be a valuable resource to help you evaluate your diet. If you have any special dietary needs, consult your doctor before changing your diet.
Stimulate the mind. Healthy eating and exercise can reduce risks to your brain’s health, such as dementia. You can do more to exercise your mind by learning new things, reading, playing games, and being social.
Taking these small steps can lead to longer, healthier, and happier lives. Stay motivated to continue in your healthy lifestyle by picking goals that bring you joy. Regardless of your age, we can all improve our wellness.