Adopting a positive attitude can go far in dealing with the changes associated with aging. In fact, according to Kaiser Health News, those who have a positive outlook on aging live 7.5 years longer. Studies show that older adults who hold negative stereotypes about aging tend to walk more slowly, experience memory problems, and recover less fully from a fall or fracture.
We may not be able to stop the aging process, but we can all do things to help us to age better. Many people fear aging, but there are things you can do now to help you feel better and to continue to live independently:
Tips for Better Aging
According to the American Psychological Association, here are some tips to optimize aging:
- Stay physically active –Try for 30 minutes a day. Aerobic exercise is good for brain function as well as the heart. Strength training can keep your bones and muscles strong, making everyday activities easier.
- Exercise your brain – Engage your mind by trying a challenging activity and continue to learn new things.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle – Strive to maintain healthy body weight, eat healthy foods in small portions, avoid tobacco and alcohol, and get enough sleep each night.
- Stay connected to other people - Relationships with your spouse or partner, friends, family, and neighbors need to be nourished. Stay involved with your community. It’s amazing what you can learn from young people!
- Create positive feelings for yourself – Experiencing positive emotions is beneficial for your body and mental health.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – Don’t waste your time with useless worry. Focus on what matters.
- Set goals for yourself and take control – Being in control of your actions provides a sense of mastery and leads to accomplishments that make you proud.
- Minimize life stress – Learn to unwind and find pleasure in everyday things!
- Schedule regular medical check-ups – Take advantage of screenings and engage in preventive health behaviors. You can help to successfully manage many illnesses if you take charge and partner with your healthcare providers.
- It’s never too late to change your routine or adopt new habits.
Today’s baby boomers aren’t afraid to face the challenges of aging. They are prepared to take steps to enjoy their lives as they age. Research strongly suggests a positive relationship between healthy nutrition and a healthy aging process.
Simple changes to your diet can make you feel and look better. It doesn’t have to be complicated! Here are some tips:
- Drink more water – Eliminate useless calories in sodas and juices. As we age, we might not feel as thirsty as we once did. As a result, dehydration can occur. Stay hydrated!
- Fill up on fruits and vegetables – Studies show eating fruits and vegetables will help you to live longer. Grabbing fresh fruit over sugary snacks will make a big difference in the long run.
- Choose whole grains - Whole grains are a significant source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whole wheat bread, pasta, and brown rice can reduce the risk of disease.
- Low-fat dairy foods – Are a rich source of calcium and Vitamin D, which is primarily crucial to women over 50.
Healthy Eating After an Illness
An illness or hospitalization can quickly derail the best eating habits. After returning home from the hospital, it may be difficult to prepare meals. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer a home-delivered meal benefit.
These meals can help to provide a faster, smoother recovery. Check with your health plan to see if you have a home-delivered meal benefit.
For tips on how to chose a home-delivery meal provider, down our eBook for more information.