Tips for Staying Fit and Healthy Into Old Age
We may not like it, but as we age, our bodies change, sometimes dramatically. Our bones, joints, skin, heart, and brain all whether the aging process differently, depending on our overall health, diet and exercise regime, and genetics. But we don’t have to just live with the changes; we can take action to counter the challenges we face.
Challenges for Your Mind and Body
Regardless of how well you live your life, your body will experience a few challenges as you age.
Bones thin and become more brittle
Joints may be affected by osteoarthritis
Skin loses elasticity; varicose veins may develop
Your heart may experience various changes, including enlargement, lowered heart rate, and thickening walls
Brain-related issues such as dementia or Alzheimer’s may develop
Senses become less sharp; vision, hearing, smell, and touch weaken as you age
Making the Best of Your Diet and Fitness
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you age (and in your early years) will certainly help stave off some of the challenges listed above. However, every person is different, and what may work for a friend or relative may not work for you. You may want to check with your doctor before implementing some of the strategies below.
Exercise regularly. Work with a trainer (and your doctor) to develop a consistent exercise regime that fits your body and needs.
Take up new hobbies that require you to be physically active, such as biking, walking, swimming, or gardening.
Consider taking a yoga class at least once weekly. Yoga strengthens your bones and may even help you lose weight.
If you’re not into traditional exercise, try adding some entertainment. Go to the mall and walk laps while you window shop; take photographs on a hike at a local park; or watch a movie while walking on your treadmill.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Work with a nutritionist (and your doctor) to determine the best diet for your body and nutrition goals.
Try new foods. Dust off those old cookbooks or search the internet for healthy, interesting dishes you haven’t tried before.
The final tip for making the best of your diet and fitness in your later years is to maintain a healthy weight. This goes hand-in-hand with eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Keeping your weight in check will inevitably help you overcome many of the challenges we all face as we age.