17 Tips For Longer Healthier Lives
These 17 Tips For Longer Healthier Lives will teach you to increase your life span by living a healthier lifestyle. Most people want to live as long as possible and to do that you really need to be healthy. You’ll learn all the tips in this article.
As we age, our bodies gradually lose some of the features we had in our twenties; we become less active, our muscles start to atrophy, and we are no longer mentally sharp as we once were.
All of these changes are physiological and everyone is bound to go through them at some point; however, there are a lot of things that we can do to slow down this age-related deterioration and achieve a healthy lifestyle.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the health tips you can follow to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Note that the tips listed below are not restricted to one particular age group, but is especially important for seniors to stay healthy. The tips will help to improve their health and prevent chronic diseases.
Get enough sleep every night
Getting sufficient sleep every night is absolutely crucial to a senior’s overall well-being; it is one of the first steps to take if you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Your sleep cycle is controlled by the circadian rhythm, which is the biological clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus inside your brain.
This small structure is responsible for the stimulation and inhibition of melatonin secretion, which is the major sleep hormone that controls when we fall asleep and for how long.
The primary factor that controls this hormone is light. Therefore, getting exposed to a powerful source of light near your bedtime can suppress melatonin secretion, making it difficult to fall asleep.
Many seniors have erratic sleeping habits so the following tips will be of special interest to them.
For this reason, you should prepare an appropriate sleeping environment and avoid any activity that may alert you.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid using your phone or laptop before sleeping
- Dim the lights of your room a few hours before your bedtime
- Avoid exercising near your bedtime
- Limit your intake of stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine to the morning period
- Limit your naps to 30 minutes during the day
For more information about ways to improve your sleep hygiene, check out this article from the National Sleep Foundation.
Schedule a yearly checkup with your physician
Unfortunately, this step is overlooked by a lot of people, although seniors probably follow this tip better than younger people or at least they should try to.
For most individuals, if you don’t have any signs or symptoms, then you are probably fine and there is no need to visit your doctor.
However, this could be a big mistake! Getting a regular checkup every year has multiple health benefits and may help prevent some debilitating diseases like cancer, especially in the elderly.
Your physician will check your medical history, ask you a few questions, measure your vitals, and conduct a thorough physical examination.
All of these steps will help manage the already existing medical conditions, prevent their complications, and help prevent new, potentially life-threatening diseases. So seniors can stay healthy by making sure they follow this tip.
A big senior health tip is to get moving and stay fit!
Staying in shape as we age is primordial to our health. Because we tend to move less and stop exercising when we get older, our risk of developing many diseases will be multiplied many times.
Just because you may be a seniors doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some sort of exercise program. Age is no excuse as I’m 84 and workout every other day and walk 3 times every day.
Moreover, implementing strength training as part of our routine is important since it increases lean muscle mass and lowers fat deposition in adipose tissues.
This type of training is aimed at increasing your heart rate and muscle contractions at a rhythmic pattern, which will significantly improve your endurance and promote cardiac health.
This normally doesn’t require using weights so seniors should do it on a regular basis
In a 2012 study, researchers found that one of the best ways to prevent cardiovascular disease (e.g. coronary artery disease) is by exercising on a regular basis.
You may have noticed that older people have more fat and their muscles shrink with time. This process is physiological and is due to the decreased physical activity and the slowdown of our basal metabolic rate (BMR).
The best way to counter this process is by integrating strength training into your exercise routine to build up more muscles, which increases your BMR and helps you stay in shape.
The previous two exercise routines might be too much for elderly individuals, so you might want to try something lighter, such as Nordic walking.
When it comes to exercising, the most important thing is consistency! Regardless of the type of exercise you are performing, your ultimate goal should be to do it on a regular basis.
For this reason, you should perform a sport that you enjoy. Whether it’s tennis, jogging, stretching, or even walking in the park, moving your body the way you see fit is what matters here. And don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it.
If you are thinking about getting some exercise equipment to help you get fit and stay in shape take a look at what Amazon has to offer.
Be stricter with your diet:
Keep your calories in check
The BMR is the number of calories your body needs to maintain the functionality of your internal organs and to keep you awake.
This rate is affected by many factors, including age, body type, weight, gender, and lean muscle mass.
Unfortunately, BMR slows down as we get older and the process of gaining weight becomes much easier since we are not burning as many calories as before.
To prevent weight gain, we need to work on our muscles by lifting weights at the gym or Nordic walking if you can do weight training. Of course, we need to watch the number of calories we consume per day.
Eat a healthy breakfast
I know you are tired of hearing about how beneficial breakfast is for your health, but it is true. In fact, eating a healthy breakfast can prevent many mental health issues, as cited by a 2018 study. Eating oatmeal or other high fiber cereal for breakfast is a great way to start your day. This is one of the more important tips for longer healthier lives.
Eat more protein, healthy fat, calcium, and fiber
The choices of your food are as important as the amounts you eat.
Some of the health decline issues related to age include muscle atrophy, osteoporosis, digestive problems, and cardiovascular disease.
Eating a diet rich in healthy fats such as omega-3, protein, calcium, and fiber may help prevent all the diseases listed above.
For instance, vitamin D and calcium supplements are recommended in post-menopausal women because of the increased risk of osteoporosis.
Eat whole foods instead of processed food
Everyone should favor whole foods over processed food since the latter can be detrimental to your health.
Cook your own food
This is an important one. Fast food is like the perfect recipe for slow death! It causes obesity, heart disease, and even cancer.
For this reason, you should start making your own meals at home. By doing this, you will start to enjoy the process and learn to appreciate the food you are eating. Many seniors are living alone and have a hard time cooking for one but it is something you need to practice.
Drink water instead of sugary and caffeinated drinks
When it comes to drinks, always choose water over any other beverage. 100% juice drinks have a relatively high amount of calories so I mix mine with 50% water. I don’t miss out on the juice flavor and health benefits but have 50% fewer calories.
If you hear about a magical drink with amazing health benefits, you should be careful and activate your scam-radar.
Use supplements if needed
This tip is especially helpful for people with dietary deficiencies who need to supplement their bodies to accelerate the healing process. Seniors should check with their doctor to see what they require.
Consider using a sunscreen
The incidence of melanoma is on the rise for the past few decades. This is partially due to the extended time we expose our skin to sunlight without any protection. Because seniors have thin skin it probably advisable to wear a hat and keep your skin cover is you’re going to be in the sun very long.
Using a sunscreen reduces your risk of developing benign and malignant dermatological conditions, and it keeps your skin healthy.
Find a way to manage stress
Chronic stress is destructive to our bodies; it will keep us in the “fight or flight” mode for longer than physiological periods, which damages our physical and mental health.
For this reason, seniors stay healthy by doing some stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing techniques, listening to music, and any other activity that you find relaxing. This should be done on a regular basis.
It’s been proven that owning a dog or any type of pet can help relieve stress. A dog can have a calming affect on a person with types of stress.
Stay active but know your limitation
We’ve discussed the benefits of quality sleep, a healthy diet, and physical activity. However, you should avoid pushing your limits.
While our bodies are quite resilient, this resiliency is gradually reduced as we age, and we should be more careful not to push ourselves.
In any kind of physical activity, seniors should start slow and slowly work their way up to a heavier or more vigorous exercise routine.
Avoid Smoking and Drinking
Smoking and drinking are extremely harmful to your body, but you already know that.
So, instead of telling you how smoking can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer, and how drinking can cause cirrhosis and liver carcinoma, I’ll just advise you to avoid smoking and drinking if you want to keep two of your most important organs healthy.
Although a glass of red wine is reported to be healthy for you don’t think that if 1 glass is good for you then more will be better. It won’t and will likely prove harmful.
The most important thing after learning about these 17 tips for longer healthier lives is to apply them. You might even want to print this article out and hang on your refrigerator or someplace you can see it every day. It is utterly useless to keep all the information in mind and don’t live by it, so I highly encourage you to do so.