Updated on November 26th, 2018
Older adults can enjoy a healthy lifestyle no matter their age. According to a survey, the percentage of elders within the society is increasing with many of them living much longer than before — the main reason behind living longer and better is because the majority are doing their best to remain healthy and active. It is now common to find older people living a full life well into their nineties and beyond.
Typical changes in the body of older adults
It is a fact that as one gets older, their body begins to function differently and in most cases results into them slowing down their lifestyle. Although the body changes vary from one person to another, there are some that seem to cut across the board. Some of the things that happen to the body as it ages include:
Wrinkled skin – As one grows older, their skin begins to be less elastic, and wrinkles appear in areas that were once smooth. The skin may also start to sag in areas such as the face, arms and even hands depending on your age. If your skin was damaged by the sun when younger, it will be more evident as you get older.
Weak bones- Aging also affects your bones making them brittle and thinner which puts you at risk of falling. The reduction of bone mass in women often leads to medical conditions such as osteoporosis, which means fragile bones. In most cases, a simple fall for an older person may result in broken bones.
Slower nervous system – Changes in the reflexes as well as senses of elders is common as they age resulting in slower reactions in their body. Older adults may experience forgetfulness which can lead to dementia in severe cases. In some cases, dementia may be partial or full-blown depending on the person.
Poor oral health – Enamel that offers protection to the teeth often wears out over the years leaving elders susceptible to cavities. The cavities can be very uncomfortable and make it hard for them to eat well. Also, bad teeth can result in gum disease which is common among older adults.
Slow digestion – As one age, their digestive tract becomes rigid making it hard for it to contract as usual. The reduced contractions also affect the digestive process result in regular bouts of constipation, nausea and even stomach pain. Most times, the foods that were a regular part of their diet begin to be problematic to digest.
Weakened senses – The senses that get affected first when people get older is their hearing and eyesight. It is common for elders to find their senses less sharp making it harder for them to react as before. Stimulation of the senses may also take more time than before for both men and women.
How elders can stay healthy
Growing old is no excuse to stop living a healthy lifestyle. Many elders have managed to lead active lifestyles and enjoy life as they desire even as they age. So, how do you stay healthy in your old age?
1. Exercise should be part of your routine
Elders should engage in activity every day to keep fit and maintain proper weight. Regular exercise helps keep you flexible and assists in maintaining balance in the body. The physical activity does not have to be very strenuous but should leave you feeling better and help maintain a healthy weight throughout your old age. Fortunately, there are many activities that you can engage in like brisk walking, swimming, cycling and even dancing depending on your preference.
2. Drop harmful health habits
Letting go of unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking are essential for older adults that want to be healthy. Smoking is the leading contributor to heart failure, cancer and even strokes in aging people. Alcohol can also make it hard to take care of yourself and can even result in a fall that could land you in the hospital with broken bones. Aging people that give up these habits often reduce their chances of diseases associated with cigarettes and alcohol. If unable to give up these habits on your own, seek help from a qualified medical professional.
3. Keep a healthy diet
Dietary changes play a significant role in keeping away diseases that are common with old people. Ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease can be prevented by eating healthy. Consider having a meal plan that contains nutritional meals throughout the day. If unable to prepare healthy meals, you can sign up with meal delivery companies that can bring food to your home throughout the week. In some cases, you may need to take supplements to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis that is common in older women.
4. Honor medical appointments
Regular checkups are part of life for those aging to ensure that any medical problem is addressed in good time. Dentist appointments are vital as they make it possible for elders to maintain excellent dental hygiene that will protect your teeth and mouth for many years to come. It is crucial for you to keep appointments with your doctor to increase your chances of living a healthier lifestyle. Also, consider signing up for Medical Alerts to ensure that you are eligible for emergency assistance in case of any accidents. The alerts are available for all budget ranges making it possible for any older adult to register.
5. Avoid stress
To avoid stress, consider starting a hobby that will keep you busy and allow you to meet other seniors. It is common to become stressed when you spend the entire day in the house with no external interaction. Get involved in meditation and learn relaxation techniques that you can do on your own or with friends. Also, do your best to think positively at all times no matter the situations you are facing as an individual or as a family.
Overall, seniors can still enjoy a life that is successful and fulfilling no matter their age if they learn to take care of their health.