Growing older is no easy task. As you age, you may begin to feel tired, run-down, slower than before and even a little lonely and despondent. However, this is not the way to spend your golden years!
Taking care of yourself should become your top priority as you grow older, so that you can make the most of this restful time of your life. Here are a few important steps to take to keep yourself in good health, manage your energy levels and keep you fighting fit for many years to come.
Be Accepting and Prepared
When you reach a certain age, you will become more susceptible to illness, injuries and some other health problems. While this might be difficult to accept, you’ll need to make peace with it and prepare yourself in case of any emergencies.
If you choose to age in place and stay in your own home, you might need to take a little extra action to prepare yourself. Ask family members to help make your home more comfortable and accessible, and compare the best medical alert systems to see which might be a good option for you.
Address Illness, Aches and Pains Immediately
If you want to keep feeling your best, you need to address any pains and health issues that arise quickly, so that you can have them sorted out. You might need chronic medication, or you might have a sticky knee joint that needs stretching.
Being in denial about health issues will only harm you further. Speak up when you run into problems and have them addressed so you can live your most comfortable life.
Be Committed to Your Medicine
If you are on chronic medication for any type of health issue, it’s crucial that you remember to take them correctly and religiously.
If you have a tendency to forget your meds, try to set a reminder or alarm on your phone that helps you remember, or try ‘habit stacking’ where you combine your medication with a habit you do each day – such as eating breakfast or brushing your teeth. In this way, you’ll have a daily activity that will prompt you to take your pills.
Exercise is not just for the young and the fit. In fact, it’s a very important part of a healthy retired lifestyle. Your choice of exercise doesn’t need to be intense, and it should always align with what you feel comfortable and capable of.
You could look into any number of activities – lifting weights, water aerobics or jogging, or perhaps lighter and gentler activities such as riding a bike, walking, stretching or attending some senior classes at a local gym.
Having a weekly exercise routine is important, but it’s far less effective if you spend the rest of your day sitting on the couch or lying in bed. Keeping your body moving each and every day will keep you fit and strong and give you way more energy than watching TV all day.
Keep moving by going out to the store on errands, doing some gardening, cooking, or cleaning your house a little bit each day.
Your diet can be make or break when it comes to how you feel, both physically and mentally. Overloading on sugar, high-fat foods and processed meals might leave you feeling sluggish and unmotivated.
Focusing on a nutritious and balanced diet is the key to good health, weight management and a positive mindset too. There are plenty of ways to achieve this too – you could cook your own meals, ask family or friends to help you out with frozen meals, or find a local meal delivery service that offers healthy and fresh options.
While we’ve already spoken about the importance of movement and activity, resting and sleeping well are equally crucial for your health and wellness. When you’re sleeping, your body takes time to recover from exercise, illness, injuries and generate new energy for the following day.
Getting good sleep is paramount to feeling well, so if this is something you’re struggling with in your golden years, talk to a doctor about it.
Alongside your healthy diet should come 8 glasses of water per day. Your body needs a lot of water to be able to function optimally, and this will also aid you in movement, sleep, weight management, and other health-related aspects of your life.
If you struggle to take in enough water, try purchasing a large water bottle that you can refill and keep next to you, and fill your water bottle with different types of fruit to give a subtle flavour to your fresh water.
Find a Hobby
Keeping your mind active is just as important as keeping your body active. Finding something to do other than watching television. Finding a hobby is an important part of ageing, and can help loads with mental health.
Your hobby should align completely with your own interests. You could try out creative hobbies like painting or embroidery. You might be interested in something a little more active, such as gardening or baking and cake decorating.
Whatever you choose should bring you enjoyment and excitement throughout your day.
Working your social muscles is the final step to take to optimal health as you age. Getting older often means receding into your own world and isolating yourself from others who are younger and more active than yourself.
Schedule weekly coffees, lunches and dinners with those you care about, and consider joining clubs in order to meet new people. Even if getting out of the house isn’t something you can do regularly, you can take advantage of technology and enjoy regular video calls with your friends and family.
Getting older doesn’t have to be a painful and difficult process. If you make a real effort to take proper care of your physical and mental health, your golden years can be some of the best of your life.