In a culture that places high value on youth, the very idea of growing older may be tough to accept. Experts say it’s why Americans spend a staggering amount---more than $100 billion a year---fighting the signs of aging. With so many products on the market claiming to make you look and feel younger—from beauty products to “miracle” foods—it’s difficult to know what to believe.
Health professionals from the American Federation for Aging Research agree. They say staying vibrant as you grow older isn’t about finding (or buying!) the fountain of youth. Instead, it’s about living a healthy, positive lifestyle.
In honor of Active Aging Week, celebrated annually the first week of October, we share seven tips for successful aging.
7 Tips to Help Older Adults Age Successfully
The experts at the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) say wellness is more than just physical health. It’s a philosophy that emphasizes each of the six dimensions of wellness: emotional, spiritual, physical, intellectual, occupational, and social.
From avoiding a sedentary lifestyle to managing stress, here are seven steps you can take to live a longer, healthier life.
1. Move more, sit less
Strong, toned muscles help you look younger. Physical activities like walking, swimming, and biking help you keep your weight down.
The benefits of moving more and sitting less, however, go beyond appearance. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to a variety of health conditions in older adults, ranging from heart disease to diabetes.
2. Learn to manage stress
Chronic stress can result in serious health problems like depression, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. It’s difficult to completely avoid stress, though, even during retirement. Learning how to manage it is the key to aging well.
Meditation, yoga, and Pilates can all help you be more mindful. They also teach better breathing techniques that promote relaxation and improved quality of sleep.
3. Catch your Zzzz’s
Getting a good night’s rest is more important than ever in your retirement years. Seniors often suffer from sleep problems, including insomnia. Sometimes the cause is a sedentary lifestyle, but at other times it may be a medication side effect.
Quality sleep lowers your risk for cardiac disease, stroke, and diabetes. It may also help you avoid accidents and falls. If you are having difficulty sleeping, seek advice from your primary care physician.
4. Build a relationship with your physician
It’s essential to have a strong relationship with a primary care physician, especially one accustomed to working with seniors. You are more likely to visit the doctor if you feel comfortable with and confident in them.
Fortunately, Medicare will pay for a yearly Wellness Visit. It is designed to give your doctor an opportunity to identify small problems and intervene before they become big ones.
5. Consume alcohol in moderation
Over-indulging in alcohol negatively impacts your heart, liver, and other vital organs. It can make your skin look dehydrated and older. The general recommendation is to limit alcohol consumption to no more than one 5-ounce glass per day for women, and two or fewer per day for men.
6. Stay hydrated
As you grow older, hydration also affects how well you look and feel. When you aren’t adequately hydrated, your energy can plummet, leaving you feeling lethargic.
Dehydration also makes your skin appear dry and flaky. Unless your physician has directed otherwise, 8 to 10 glasses of water a day is the standard recommendation.
7. Take care of your skin
Taking care of your skin doesn’t require spending a small fortune on beauty products. It does, however, require you to commit to a regime that protects and nourishes your skin.
Make it a practice to never to go to bed without washing your face and removing your makeup. Apply a high-quality moisturizer in the morning and at night. When you are outdoors or riding in a car, wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face.
Empowered Living at Clearwater
At Clearwater Living communities, we recognize the important role purposeful connections and shared experiences play in aging well. Through our Empowered Living program, residents are encouraged to adopt a lifestyle that cultivates the six dimensions of wellness.
We’d love to share our unique approach to creating an environment that nurtures the body, mind, and spirit. Please call the Clearwater Living community nearest you to schedule a private tour!