As a child, your parents told you to get outside and play, they made you eat your vegetables, and they introduced you to all the elements of healthy living so that you could grow up healthy and strong. As you got older, ideally you continued to eat right, exercise, and visit your primary care doctor on a regular basis, because you knew the importance of staying fit and maintaining wellness. There’s a good chance that if you were raised with healthy habits, and you’ve practiced a healthy lifestyle into adulthood that you will continue to be mindful of your health into old age — but it’s never too late to make improvements.
People sometimes like to compare health to a vehicle. It’s not that these two are so closely similar that one can’t help but draw a comparison, but a person’s health and a vehicle do have one thing in common: they must be maintained. If you drive your car into the dirt, never checking the tire pressure or changing the oil, it’s going to be in bad condition, and it won’t last long. If you fill your belly with junk food and sit around watching television, you’re going to have health problems. The biggest difference between the two is that you can replace a vehicle, but you can’t buy a replacement for your health.
This means that by striving for wellness, you have a better chance of a healthier and happier life. Neglect your health and fitness and you will be sputtering in your old age. Eat right, exercise, and go in for regular check-ups, and you will keep humming along. Ideally, your parents taught you good healthy habits that you’ve been maintaining your whole life, but that’s not always the case. The longer that you’re mindful of your health, the better, but it’s never too late to start thinking about your health.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to senior health and fitness.
The benefits of a healthy diet are indisputable. Of course your dietary needs change from when you’re 7, to when you’re 27, to when you’re 77. Eating well can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, and it promotes good health in general. It also provides us with the energy that we need to get through the day.
Staying active is also vital to our health. As you get older, you should change focus from building muscle or bone density, to making efforts to maintain muscle and bone health. Regular exercise and physical activity can help keep your muscles and bones strong and reduce your risk of injury. Regular cardiovascular exercise can also help keep your mind clear.
In the same way that nutritional needs change over time, the types of physical activities that are beneficial change as you age. For example, burpees and deadlifts are probably not the best choice of activities when you’re 70 years old. Focus on low impact exercises with a low risk of injury, such as walking, swimming, and yoga.
Mental health is important too. It’s estimated that 20% of people over the age of 55 have some type of mental health concern. Understanding mental health and knowing when to get help are a part of staying healthy as you age.
The decisions that you make have a direct impact on your health. This includes making the decision to visit a primary care doctor for a wellness visit and scheduling recommended health screenings.