Regardless of your age, your health should be a top-most priority. Your health is wealth, and you will continue to realize the truth of this overused phrase as you grow older. The only way to live a satisfying and fulfilling life is to be healthy in your body, mind, and soul.
For those who have hit the mark of 50, you may find your body and outlook on life shifting. These changes are expected, if not necessary. To make the best of your older age, you should take care of your health to the best of your abilities. Improving your health encompasses doing all you can to strengthen your body and mind to be and feel like the best version of yourself. To get you started on your quest for a healthy life, here are some ways you can improve your health as you get older.
1. Quit Smoking
It is hardly a secret that smoking regularly can expose you to numerous diseases. Through increased risks of heart disease and cancer, smoking can gravely damage your health. The threats of smoking are so evident that even the companies that sell it are not allowed to promote their product lest it encourages more consumption. However, despite the frequent warnings and campaigns to spread awareness, the statistics suggest that nearly 13 of every 100 U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, while 1 in 5 Americans die due to smoking every year.
Smoking injures health at any age, but smoking after hitting 50 can be worse. If you are addicted to nicotine, recovery can seem impossible. However, with the right amount of support and help from your support group and health professionals, you can overcome it. It is high time you consider your health and actively work towards quitting this habit.
Addiction to any substance or unhealthy habit can set you back on your health goals, and it is best to seek treatment as soon as possible. Check out https://delphihealthgroup.com/ for more information on addiction treatment.
2. Take up regular exercise
Before you groan at the prospect of working your body, no- you don’t have to pick up a strenuous, high-intensity workout to stay healthy after your 50s. Nobody expects you to break a sweat hour or two at the gym if you don’t want to. Twenty to thirty minutes of regular low-impact exercises and stretching can work just as well to strengthen your immune system and help you fight diseases.
Keeping yourself physically active is a huge favor you can do to your body as you age. As you age, you become more susceptible to sarcopenia, the gradual loss of muscle mass, strength, and function. Regular workout sessions and strength training can help you retain your muscle strength to a great extent. Alongside aerobics or cardio, try taking up another fun physical activity, such as swimming or biking.
3. Make greens a necessary component of your diet
If you have spent most of your life avoiding fruits and vegetables in favor of processed and fatty foods, it is time to reconsider your eating habits. From reducing the risks of many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, to providing you with the necessary vitamins and minerals for good health, the advantages of eating more greens are endless. Including fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet can help keep your health in check.
The adverse effects of unhealthy foods will ultimately offset the benefits of plant-based diets. However, continuing to take large amounts of junk or unhealthy food, even while regularly consuming greens, will not be as effective. Therefore, cut down on foods containing high cholesterol and fats to maintain good health.
4. Cut down on salt
An average adult should take no more than 2300 milligrams of salt daily. However, considering the health effects of too much sodium, your recommended intake gets lower as you age. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends a daily salt intake of 1300 milligrams or less for individuals above 50, a level you should not ignore.
Salt contains forty percent sodium, too much consumption of which can adversely affect your health. Too much sodium in your everyday diet can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, stomach cancer, and high blood pressure. Therefore, it is best to stick to the recommended intake and not risk your health.
5. Prioritize sleep
A messed up sleep schedule is not healthy for any individual, but those above 50 should take extra care of how much they sleep. Getting proper sleep will improve your health by positively affecting your lungs, kidneys, metabolism, memory, and concentration as you get older. It will also help reduce stress and improve your overall mood. Nothing makes one feel as fresh as a well-rested night.
If sleeping for less than seven to nine hours has become a regular habit, it is time to make efforts to fix it. Your body needs sufficient rest, so stop robbing it of it.
6. Take supplements
Take supplements for necessary vitamins and minerals to improve your immune system. Vitamin D, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 are a few of the vitamins that support healthy aging among older individuals. Consult your doctor to discuss what supplements or multivitamins you may need.
7. Take care of your mental health
A healthy body alone does not make you a healthy individual- improving your mental health should be just as important. Many people find themselves stressed as they get older, for the idea of losing so much as you age is daunting. From physical changes to other adjustments in life, you may feel sorrow over the life that once was.
Getting older is a reality for all, and while the gradual changes may continue to feel overwhelming, it is nothing you can’t overcome by developing a positive outlook on life. Instead of being an end to an era, leaving your younger years behind is the beginning of another- one you should learn to embrace.
If you feel disoriented, anxious, or depressed, never hesitate to ask for help. Talk to your loved ones to feel less lonely in your struggle. If the stress and low mood persist, seek a therapist to make sense of your feelings and adopt ways to improve your mental health.
There is never enough you can do to care for yourself- looking after your body and mind should never stop becoming a priority throughout the stages of your life. Consider consulting a healthcare professional to set health goals and get recommendations on the best ways to achieve them. Also, remember to take things slow. Making abrupt changes to your lifestyle all at once may leave you feeling overwhelmed and take its toll on your mental health- something you should look after at any age.