14 golden tips to enjoy life as you get older

Aging is associated with many changes in all areas of life, from physical to mental, social, emotional and sexual. You may find some of these changes positive and some of them negative. However, the important thing is to maximize the good aspects of aging and at the same time take preventive measures to have a healthy aging and minimize the negative aspects.

Healthy aging does not mean looking like a 20-year-old. It means to have the best physical and mental condition as much as possible and to enjoy your life. Follow this article to the end to get acquainted with the best strategies you can do for healthy aging.

Age-related changes

If you want to have a healthier aging period, the first step is to be aware of the physical and mental changes associated with aging. The most common of these changes are:

bones

As you grow older, your bone density gradually decreases, making them thinner and more fragile, which can sometimes lead to osteoporosis. Although osteoporosis is more common in women, it can affect men as well. Bone fractures are often the first sign of osteoporosis.

Heart

In old age, the large arteries become stiffer, which in turn causes high blood pressure. Fatty deposits may also accumulate in the arteries and reduce the blood flow to the heart by hardening and narrowing the arteries. The occurrence of this problem in the arteries leading to the heart is called “coronary artery disease” and increases the risk of heart attack.

the brain

Many people experience mild amnesia as they get older, and their ability to process new information or do several things at the same time may decrease. However, confusion and severe memory problems are not normal and should be diagnosed by a doctor.

Gastrointestinal tract

As you grow older, your digestive system slows down and does not contract as it did when you were younger. This change can lead to constipation, stomach pain and nausea. Many medications also play a role in causing constipation. To prevent this problem, you should eat a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of fluids, do as much physical activity as possible, and control your stress.

five senses

In old age, the five senses (hearing, sight, taste, smell, and touch) are not the same as in the past. Changes in the structure of the ear reduce hearing and affect the sense of balance. Visual acuity decreases and you need reading glasses. Also, due to the decrease in taste buds, you will lose your sense of taste and you will feel the flavors differently.

The sense of smell may weaken with age due to decreased mucus production and loss of nerve endings in the nose. On the other hand, you may find that your sensitivity to touch, pain, pressure, and vibration has decreased. Of course, some people become more sensitive to touch due to the thinning of the skin.

Teeth and gums

The strong enamel that protects your teeth from decay gradually wears out, leaving you prone to decay. In addition the nerves in your teeth get smaller with age. Therefore, you may be less sensitive to pain, which delays the diagnosis of caries or cracks on the outer surface of the tooth. Statistics show that more than half of people over the age of 65 have moderate or severe gum disease.

Skin

As the skin ages, it loses its elasticity and begins to sag and wrinkle. However, if you protect your skin well from the damage caused by sunlight and smoking in your youth, your skin will look better as you age. Sunscreen and moisturizer are the most important anti-aging products. Wearing a brimmed hat also protects your scalp and face.

Sexual function

After menopause, when menstruation stops and estrogen levels drop, many women experience physical changes, including vaginal dryness. These changes can reduce sexual desire. In men, aging is often associated with erectile dysfunction. However, this condition is not a normal part of old age and may be a sign of an underlying disease or a complication of taking a medication.

Important points for having a healthy aging period

Ideally, you should start following a healthy lifestyle at an early age. But if you do not, it is never too late to take preventative measures and improve your health. Making small lifestyle changes can have a big impact, and even adopting some of the following healthy habits will be beneficial:

  1. Do physical activity to have a healthy body and mind

Physical activity helps maintain healthy aging by counteracting many of the effects of aging. Regular exercise improves your balance, reduces stress, anxiety and depression, and improves cognitive function. It also helps control chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, breast cancer, colon cancer and osteoporosis.

Current guidelines recommend that you do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week (such as swimming or brisk walking). You can divide this amount of physical activity into 5 times a week for 30 minutes each time. You should also do muscle strengthening and weight training twice a week.

2. Take care of your mental health

Being happy and reducing stress helps you to live well and grow old healthy. Do not forget to interact with family and friends to improve your mood. The results of a study of people over the age of 65 showed that social activities improve mood and reduce negative emotions.

If you do not have an active social life right now, look for opportunities to reconnect with old friends or make new ones. Find like-minded people by volunteering either at the gym or in any other group that suits your interests.

Taking time to participate in activities that you enjoy can also help maintain good mental health. You can spend time in nature, find new hobbies, volunteer or do anything else that makes you happy.

In addition, accept your age. Evidence shows that people who have a positive attitude toward aging live longer and are likely to recover better from illness. Aging is inevitable and acceptance can change everything.

Follow a healthy and balanced diet

Eat high-fiber, low-saturated fat foods as part of your diet to get the nutrients your body needs and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease. Following a healthy diet, such as a Mediterranean diet, can help you achieve this.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes the consumption of olive oil, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fish. This diet restricts the consumption of red meat, high-fat dairy products and processed foods.

Avoid using solid oils for cooking and use liquid vegetable oils instead. Also, keep your salt intake to a minimum to keep your blood pressure down.

Drink enough water

Drinking enough water prevents constipation and improves energy levels and brain function. It also helps maintain healthy skin and reduce the signs of aging. The amount of water the body needs depends on the severity of the thirst, the amount of physical activity, the number of times you urinate or defecate, the amount of sweating and the gender.

See your doctor regularly

Regular visits to doctors, dentists, ophthalmologists and other medical professionals provide a good opportunity for early diagnosis and treatment of problems. If you have one or more chronic illnesses, are taking different medications, have mobility problems or memory impairment, or have recently been hospitalized, it is best to consult a geriatrician. Elderly specialists specialize in the care and treatment of the elderly and after initial consultation can refer you to other specialists.

Take all medications as directed by your doctor

It may seem futile, but it is important to reiterate that you should always take any medication prescribed for you exactly as your doctor advised. It is also a good idea to check with your doctor from time to time to make sure you continue to take them. The more drugs you have, the harder it is to remember when and how to take them, and the more likely you are to have side effects as well as drug interactions.

Quit smoking to reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease

Cigarettes and alcohol both cause premature aging and increase the risk of disease. If you are already a smoker, you should quit immediately. Quitting smoking lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, it prevents cancer, diabetes and lung damage and helps you have stronger bones, muscles and immune systems.

Get enough sleep

Adequate sleep reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, stress and depression. It also reduces inflammation and improves concentration. In order to have a healthy aging period, it is recommended that people over 65 sleep between seven and eight hours every night.

As you grow older, your sleep patterns may change, so you wake up early in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. These changes are not uncommon and will not be a problem as long as you continue to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If you have chronic or acute insomnia, talk to your doctor to find out what causes it and how to treat it.

Maintain good oral hygiene

To protect your teeth and gums, you should brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush, floss daily, and clean them if you use dentures. Not only does this keep your teeth and gums healthy, it also helps control other chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and heart disease by preventing inflammation in the mouth.

Be kind to your skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body and if you treat it carefully, it can better protect you against various elements and regulate your body temperature. To maintain the appearance and function of the skin, you must:

  • When leaving the house, use sunscreen and appropriate clothing.
  • Perform annual skin cancer screening.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

Find new hobbies

Finding new hobbies will help you feel purposeful and have a good time. Evidence shows that people who engage in various social activities and hobbies are happier, experience less depression, and live longer.

Control your stress

Healthy aging is not possible without stress control. Stress has a profound effect on the body, ranging from premature aging and the appearance of wrinkles to an increased risk of heart disease. There are several proven ways to reduce stress, including:

  • Use relaxing techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises and yoga
  • Exercise
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Talking to a friend
Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness means focusing on the present and living in the moment. Practicing mindfulness through meditation, yoga and tai chi has many health benefits that can help maintain a healthy aging, including:

  • Improve concentration
  • Improve memory
  • Reducing stress
  • Improve emotional reactions
  • Increase relationship satisfaction
  • Strengthen immune function

Discuss sexual function changes with your doctor

Talk to your doctor if your libido or sexual function has changed and is having a negative impact on your life. These types of problems can be solved with various methods such as medication or finding new ways to increase intimacy with your spouse. Your doctor may refer you to a sex therapist to help you have a satisfying sex life.

Warning signs that should not be ignored

Mood swings or fatigue are often attributed to aging, but old age is often not the direct cause of these problems. It is not normal to feel constantly tired or depressed at any age. See your doctor for further examination if you have lost energy or desire to engage in activities that you once enjoyed. You may be depressed or have another illness that needs immediate attention. Each of the following can indicate an important problem that should be addressed by your doctor:

  • Sudden weakness or dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling of pressure in the chest area
  • Tingling or numbness, especially on one side of the body
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Difficulty talking or swallowing food
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision
  • Inflation
  • Fast weight loss
  • Existence of wounds that do not heal

The final word

Healthy aging is more than just preventing wrinkles. Healthy aging means having a good physical and mental condition. In order to get through old age well, you need to follow a healthy lifestyle, connect with your friends and family, and do things that make you happy. It is natural to worry about the challenges that aging can bring. Therefore, do not hesitate to consult your doctor or counselor about your concerns.

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