Healthy AgingGrowing older does not mean you have to be ill or unhealthy. Although it’s just a myth, it’s still widely accepted nonetheless.  Don’t have to wait until you are elderly to start living healthy. Starting early will give you a head start and makes maintaining your level of fitness easier. During the aging process, your body goes through some changes. Your bone mass density will decrease, making your bones more vulnerable to fractures. Your heart rate can decrease as your cardiac cells become hypertrophic. However, these changes are not irreversible. A healthy lifestyle in old age can lead to a well maintained cognitive, psychological and physical health.

Let’s go through some simple ways you can stay fit in your golden years.

1.    Exercise to stay active

If you have never managed to find time to exercise, it is time you start now that you have all the time in the world after your retirement. The National Institute for Aging says that exercise can improve physical strength significantly which could help you stay independent. Seniors often don’t feel energetic enough to get up and do the things they want to do.

Exercise can keep your energy levels high throughout the day. Additionally, exercise can significantly improve your equilibrium so you will be less likely to fall down and break your hip. Studies suggest that exercise stimulates the release of endorphins which makes one feel happy. Therefore, those who exercise regularly are less likely to get depressed.

2.    Cut down on your caloric intake

With age, your digestive system becomes firmer and more rigid. The muscles that are used in digestion don’t contract as hard as they used to. Therefore, you must provide it with a quantity of food that it can handle to prevent overloading your digestive system.

Even though calorie rich foods can release a lot of energy,  it takes a toll on the weakening digestive system and may cause digestive problems like constipation. So, reducing your caloric intake as you age takes the load off the digestive system as well as the heart.

3.    Keep the mind engaged

Neurons do not regenerate as quickly as other body cells, you can elongate their life by working them out. Don’t let your mind go idle, it is a recipe for disaster. Reading a book a month is a great way to keep your mind engaged and make you think. You might come across new, amazing ideas that you might not have been exposed to before.

Reading has also shown to alleviate stress. You can take this time to read about things you find interesting and make this learning experience fun for yourself. Besides reading, there are plenty of other ways to keep the mind engaged including crossword puzzles, chess and Sudoku.

4.    It’s never too late to give up unhealthy habits

You might think by the time you have reached old age, that there is no need to give up your smoking or reduce your drinking habit. Smoking and drinking is counterproductive to staying active. You will start gaining benefits as soon as you give up smoking and reduce drinking. Your liver’s function will eventually start to improve and your lung capacity will improve so you can do a lot more. Studies infer that those who quit at an old age tend to stay away from their addiction than those who quit earlier in their lives.

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