5 Important Secrets To Healthy Aging
Imagine being back in the 80s.
With all of its rock ‘n’ roll, glitz and glamor, the 80s were exhilarating. You probably spent those days out partying with your friends, dancing through the night, and living the time of your life. Though these times made for great memories, life is a little different now.
While you may have been able to easily dance the night away in your younger years, the thought of doing the same today is daunting. Your bones aren’t as strong, your back isn’t as stable, and your energy level is incomparable. As you age, you realize that the going gets tough. This is where the concept of healthy aging comes in.
What is healthy aging anyway?
When we say ‘healthy aging’, we don’t mean that you should immediately transition into a low-carb, plant-based diet.
In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines healthy aging as, “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age”.
Here, your functional ability is about having the capabilities that enable you to do what you value. This includes your ability to meet basic needs, be mobile, build and maintain relationships, among others.
You see, healthy aging is all about looking after your body. It’s about loving yourself - plain and simple.
Nevertheless, healthy aging is easier said than done. If you don’t know where to begin with your road to healthy aging, here are some of the important tips to help you:
Exercise - even if it’s the last thing you want to do. It helps to significantly lower your risk of heart diseases, and retain your mobility longer. It also lowers stress, and improves skin and bone health for healthy aging.
As a matter of fact, a study found that regular exercise can actually help with healthy aging. In essence, the study pointed out that exercise helps to build strong immunity, muscle mass, and maintain cholesterol levels similar to those of a young person.
You don’t necessarily have to dive into intense aerobic exercises at one go. If you want to gradually get into exercising, start with casual walks. Aim for 30 minutes every day, or break it up into shorter strolls. As you progress, you’ll begin to feel the difference in your body. When it comes to healthy aging, even short walks can help to stimulate your body, boost your mood, and keep your muscles strong.
Mind your diet
It’s true: “You are what you eat.”
For healthy aging, you’ll have to eat a healthy, balanced diet. That means no more sloppy burgers, stir-fried junk food, or spicy processed meat. Instead, focus more on eating whole foods, lean protein and food that’s high in fiber.
This is important because according to WHO, as you age, you become particularly prone to malnutrition. How? Firstly, your nutritional requirements are not well defined. Secondly, both your lean body mass and metabolic rate decline with age. This entails that with aging, your energy requirement per kilogram of body weight also reduces.
Thus, for healthy aging, it’s essential that you keep your diet in check. For starters, you can check out the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which primarily recommends you to eat:
- fruits and vegetables
- lean protein, such as fish and beans
- at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, rice, or pasta every day
- three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy, such as milk, yogurt or cheese that are fortified with vitamin D
- healthy fats
Get regular checkups
Imagine skipping out on minor tests and revision sessions during a school year, only to take the final exam. The pressure would be enormous - you’d have to cram a year’s worth of syllabus in a single session. Scary, right?
This is how your efforts towards healthy aging can backfire. Instead of getting yourself checked only when you have the flu or feel unwell, do it routinely. It’s crucial to get some routine tests done at the hospital to check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The medical test readings can warn you to stay in check. After all, monitoring your wellbeing is a key dynamic for healthy aging.
It’s essential to communicate this with the older generation - specifically people aged 50 and above. Why? Because they are reluctant to go to the doctor’s. Given the emergence of novel diseases like COVID-19, regular check-ups are of paramount importance for healthy aging.
Don’t worry: Hospitals like Norvic International Hospital provide a series of full body check-ups for your ease. If you have any trouble weaving your way through their health plans, then you can simply contact Embrace HealthNet to guide you.
Say ‘no’ to your bad habits!
Like Darth Vader, we often cave in to the dark side. Maybe the skeleton in your closet is your addiction to cigarettes, alcohol, or tobacco. Despite its severity, you’ll have to keep your addiction in check for healthy aging.
Why? For one, cigarettes essentially contain more than 4,000 chemical compounds that cause a list of health problems. Besides being an imminent risk factor for lung cancer, coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke, smoking can even lead to leukaemia and other organ cancers.
Don’t just take our word for it. One study found that smoking negatively affects healthy aging. Another study found that heavy drinking and smoking led to visible signs of physical aging. Moreover, a study found that the co-existence of regular smoking and drinking have a strong impact on cognitive impairment in old age.
Your body is like a machine - if you don’t leave it to rest every once in a while, it’ll break down. Sleep is especially important for healthy aging, since it can help to lower the risk of heart disease, strokes, stress and depression.
The thing is, as you age, you may find it difficult to fall asleep. This could be due to underlying health issues, anxiety, or medication. For healthy aging, it’s vital that you fight sleep deprivation. You can begin by cutting down on daytime naps and establishing a bedtime routine. You could also try a warm drink - like chamomile tea or hot milk - before you go to bed. In addition, a proven method is mindfulness meditation, a mind-calming practice that focuses on breathing and awareness of the present moment.
Where do you go for help?
Each individual is different in their own ways - and so are their healthcare needs. While this blog gives a brief overview of the important tips for healthy aging, your individual preferences or needs may be different. For a consistent, personalized healthcare service, we’re here to help!
At Embrace HealthNet, we provide complete coverage of health services based on your preferences. Each package includes a monthly home visit by our paramedics. Our partnership with Norvic International Hospital helps us arrange annual and quarterly check-ups for you and your loved ones. Moreover, we’re here 24/7 - you can simply contact us to schedule an appointment online.
We connect you to your healthcare needs for healthy aging. Click here to know more about our medical packages.