Growing older comes with a lot of changes for everyone. Some of those changes are good and some are bad, but when it comes to health and fitness, it can feel that all the changes are bad. You will tire out more easily and begin to notice a drop in your strength and overall fitness. Those changes are entirely normal, but they are not entirely out of your control. With the right life choices, you can make adjustments that will help you stay healthier even as you grow very old.
There are many benefits to actively working to remain healthy over the long term. The first, obviously is that you will be likely to live longer. The second is that your life will be much more comfortable since being fit means you will be less likely to have certain medical ailments that are associated with being an older person. In addition, there are financial considerations as well when you consider that your insurance premiums are set taking your age and health situation into consideration. While you cannot stop yourself from growing older, you can certainly become healthier and get all those benefits. Here are a few ways to do just that:
- Eat a Whole Foods Diet – Of all the lifestyle changes that you can make to increase your health and fitness, changing your diet is likely going to be the simplest but also the most effective. We all know that a diet of greasy fast food is unhealthy but as you grow older, the effect of such food on your body increases rapidly. First, your organs are likely to be at a lower capacity than when you were younger and secondly, adding those meals to what may already be in your system (e.g. clogged arteries) would make this worse much more rapidly, especially since you’re likely to be getting less physical activity.
Concentrate on eating vegetables, whole grains, nuts and other healthy food options, and avoid sugar, salt, packaged food and fatty meats. There are some that you can and should eliminate from your diet, like sugar, but others just need to be taken in moderation, such as salt. Be sure to get a nutritionist’s advice to craft the perfect diet for your needs.
- Get Regular Exercise – As we mentioned earlier, your level of physical activity is likely to begin to drop off as you grow older, first because you might not need to exert yourself physically in your job anymore and as you grow much older, because you simply cannot sustain the same levels of activity. Regardless, you must ensure you incorporate regular exercise into your schedule. The benefits are myriad, but generally, it’ll help you keep your weight under control, strengthen your bones and muscles and reduce the likelihood of getting heart disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes.
While you feel strong enough, you can engage in any kind of exercise, but it’s advisable to begin transitioning to lower-impact exercises as you begin to grow older, to reduce the stress on your bones and body generally. For instance, you may want to begin cycling or taking walks instead of running. The key things to keep in mind are that any exercise is better than no exercise and that you should choose an exercise (or exercises) which you truly enjoy so you can be consistent with them without the added stress of feeling like you’re doing a chore.
- Stop Smoking and Reduce Drinking Alcohol – Cigarettes are bad for your health. That’s certainly a well-known fact, but it’s understandable that it can be difficult to stop especially if you’ve been a smoker from while you were young. If you really want to be healthy and fit though, you will need to stop or at least bring your consumption to the barest minimum. The same goes for alcohol, which although some benefits have been seen to moderate consumption, must be strictly controlled to avoid serious harm to your body.
Those habits are also some of the focal considerations when doctors are evaluating your health on behalf of insurance companies so bring them under control could even be saving you significant sums of money directly, apart from the health benefits. Get in touch with a doctor to get advice and help on stopping your smoking habit and bringing alcohol consumption down too. There are several methods that can be prescribed which will help you quit effectively and keep the withdrawal effects down, as opposed to just going cold turkey on your own.
- Sleep Well – As a young person living the fast life and trying to hustle your way to success, sleep is often pushed to be the background in favor of staying awake to work or even to party it up and enjoy late nights out. A young person’s body may be able to cope with that for a while (even though there will be some unavoidable harmful effects) but as you grow older, maintaining that kind of schedule will be much more harmful to your health. Sleep is important for helping your organs rest and recover after each day, which means that they will stay at healthy levels for longer.
There are several things you can do to help you sleep better, including avoiding caffeine, alcohol or other similar substances late in the day, keeping your bedroom dark and free from electronics which might distract and keep you awake, as well as maintaining a strict schedule for sleeping and waking so your body gets used to the timing. If you have tried all these methods and are still having difficulty sleeping, you might have insomnia, which is common in older adults. Visit your doctor for a diagnosis and follow their directions strictly.
- Stay Socially Active – Apart from physical fitness, mental health will become increasingly important to your overall health as you grow older. The mind naturally begins to lose its strength just like the body, but just like the body too, you can take steps to control the process. Staying socially active by interacting with friends and family will help keep you sharp and happy, especially if you make it a point to participate in activities that exercise your mind as you socialize. Something as simple as regular board games can be a great help.
Participating in activities you enjoy and deriving joy and laughter from them have been proven to be a major factor in reducing stress levels. It can even help to strengthen the heart by improving blood flow and increasing the number of antibodies in your body which helps to fight infections. Emotionally too, you will be more optimistic about each new day, which will serve you well as you take on all the other steps outlined in this article.
Health Insurance and Life Insurance premiums are often determined by your lifestyle. Staying in healthy shape helps to reduce the costs associated with your insurance premiums.
If you’re exploring health insurance or looking for alternative healthcare plans, Life Insurance, or supplemental insurance plans feel free to reach out to our professional agents and see what program or programs might be right for you, that can help you through this time. Call Vivna, Inc. today to learn more here: 866.793.2301