An aging body has changing requirements to stay in good health. Sudden pains, high blood pressure, heart disease – all of these can show up as a person gets older. But how do you prevent or fix these issues, especially when you’re aging? The good news is that it is possible to experience healthy aging, but you need to know a few key things. Here are a few scientific tips on healthy aging.
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Factors of Healthy Aging
As a person ages, there are a few factors they need to keep in mind if health is a top priority. Here are three things that are scientifically shown to be significant parts of healthy aging.
While an older person may not be running many marathons, getting some physical activity is crucial for overall health. Exercise improves muscle strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility, and the more you have of each of these, the more comfortable and free you’ll be as you age.
Some studies have shown that regular exercise helps with diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Endurance exercises like walking, biking, or swimming are great for improving stamina and lung capacity.
Diet is just as important as you age as it is when you are young and growing. One goal of a healthy diet is to prevent too much weight gain, which happens quickly as you age. Obesity in older age can lead to heart problems, bone weakness, and joint pain.
Another goal of eating right is to give the body the specific nutrients it needs to function. For instance, vitamin D is necessary for physical function, and not enough could lead to back pain and overall sluggishness. As you age, you need to focus on getting the proper nutrients for brain, organ, muscle, and bone function.
Hobbies and Interests
One part of healthy aging many people forget is the personal aspect. Having an interest, a hobby, or a community helps as they age. First, it offers good motivation to stay healthy. If gardening is a favorite activity, a person will likely do all they can to remain in good enough shape to keep doing it, while the activity itself provides some exercise. Hobbies and interests also offer access to a community of like-minded people. Socializing and interacting with others helps with cognition and energy.
Areas to Improve or Maintain
Though our physical needs change as we age, there are a couple of things that should be maintained throughout life, regardless of age.
Keeping the brain healthy is of utmost importance as you age. Maintaining cognition, attention, and executive functions requires a bit of “brain workout.” Activities like crossword puzzles, riddles, Sudoku, and more can help maintain brain health and memory.
It has recently been found that BMI may not be as important in old age as in earlier years. In fact, people who lose weight as they age are at a higher mortality rate than those that do not.
However, weight still needs to be maintained in a healthy range for better physical health. Any significant losses or gains in weight may indicate an underlying condition, so talk with your doctor if you have any concerns.