Managing your health is more than just attending your regularly scheduled doctor visits. It’s what you do outside of those visits that can make a significant impact on your overall health. Simple changes to your routine can make a positive difference. As you prioritize self-care, you will find ways to stay healthy as you age.
Here are Seven Tips for Healthy Aging:
Muscle mass is reduced by 30-50 percent with aging, leading to slow recovery of any injured muscle. It’s recommended to perform a variation of exercises to work out many of your muscle groups. Performing aerobic exercises, muscle strengthening, flexibility or balance training for at least 15-30 minutes three days a week are great ways to keep your body active.
Give your brain a workout by:
- Learning something new. To strengthen the brain, you need to keep learning and developing new skills by doing something that’s unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone.
- Challenging yourself. The best brain-boosting activities demand your full attention and require mental effort, such as learning to play a challenging new piece of music.
- Skill-building activities. Look for activities that allow you to start at an easy level and work your way up to improve your skills and capabilities. When a previously difficult level starts to feel comfortable, it’s time to tackle the next level.
- Rewarding activities. Rewards support the brain’s learning process. Choose activities that while challenging, are still enjoyable and satisfying.
A healthy diet is a great start to preventing illnesses and to helping manage chronic conditions. Focus on portion control and the following:
- Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low fat or fat free dairy products.
- Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
- Limit saturated and trans-fat, sodium and sugar.
- Drink a lot of water, at least 25-35 ml a day.
Monitor your health by:
- Avoiding tobacco use.
- Limiting alcohol intake to no more than seven drinks per week.
- Getting the following screenings:
- Hepatitis C screening: Recommended for adults born between 1945 to 1965.
- Prostate cancer screening: Checkups stop at age 69 or earlier, when comorbidities limit life expectancy to less than 10 years.
- Colorectal cancer screening: Begins at age 50 to 75 years of age and optional after that.
- Breast cancer screening: Begins at age 40, stop screening if life expectancy is less than 10 years.
- Bone density screening: Begins at age 50 and then every two years. Men’s screenings depend on risk factors.
- Pap smear screening: Begins at age 21, stops at 65 years, screen every three years (for routine) if it is normal. If HPV is included, then every five years.
A lot people think vaccines are only for children but adults should get regularly vaccinated to protect themselves and loved ones from serious diseases. Below is a list of vaccines every adult is recommended to receive:
- Influenza Vaccine: Seasonal (October to May) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated annually against influenza particularly in high risk populations.
- Td or Tdap vaccine: Recommended to get every 10 years.
- Shingles vaccine: (50 years or older) two doses two-six months a part.
- Pneumococcal vaccine: Pneumovax 23 at 65 years and a booster shot five years afterwards.
Advance Care Planning
Continue to plan for your future. Ask your primary care provider for more information and involve all pertinent family members/caregivers in the planning process of a living will or Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA).
Be transparent with your provider and continue to:
- Take your medications as prescribed.
- Let your provider know what medications you’re taking.
- Consult with your provider before taking new medications, as they are prescribed based on specific health conditions.
It’s important to focus on maintaining your overall wellness, not just treating an illness or chronic condition. Schedule an annual comprehensive visit to determine your wellness baseline. During the visit, you will have uninterrupted time with your provider to set wellness goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
For more information and to ensure you are receiving the care you deserve contact us here.