There is no denying that life changes as we get older. While some of these changes are welcome - like enjoying the freedom of retirement - others can be challenging - like dealing with health problems. Many people tend to just accept these challenges as a natural part of aging, but you also have the choice to do something about them. There are more opportunities than ever to improve your quality of life as you age. By creating a few simple habits to take greater control of your physical and mental health, you can feel better and truly enjoy your golden years.
Never Stop Learning
Many of us have spent most of our adult lives working hard toward the goal of retirement. When that time comes, the joys are often dampened by a lost sense of purpose. As geriatrician Linda P. Fried explains in The Atlantic, “We are a species wired to feel needed, respected, and purposeful.” If you are feeling this loss, it may help to find new ways to fuel this part of yourself.
One way to find meaning in this stage of life is to keep learning. Whatever you choose to pursue, check with your local library, community center, or community college to find out how you can make it happen. Learning something new adds meaning to life and makes you feel accomplished. As an added bonus, studies have shown that doing something unfamiliar and challenging your brain helps strengthen cognitive function as you age.
Learning something new is also a great way to stay connected socially, which is crucial to caring for your mental health. When older adults lack social connection, they tend to report feelings of isolation and depression. Another way to find purpose and regain that sense of feeling needed, while also staying socially engaged, is to volunteer in your community.
Continually trying new things keeps your brain active, but it’s just as important to keep your body active too. Exercise is truly the best medicine because it helps you in so many different ways. You can’t escape the physical effects of aging altogether, but regular exercise helps you stay stronger, healthier, and feel better. Don’t worry if you can’t do everything you could when you were younger. All it takes is moderate exercise as you age to see enhanced mobility and balance and improved mood. According to Time, regular exercise can even lower your risk of injury and help you recover from injury or illness faster.
Many older adults enjoy getting together to walk around the block with neighbors or joining a gym that has special programs for seniors. However, if those options aren’t available to you, or you just prefer something more convenient, there are plenty of ways you can exercise indoors and even right at home, including stretching, strength training, and playing Nintendo Wii games. Don’t let potential obstacles stop you from taking charge of your health.
Boost Health With Nutrition
Exercise is only part of the picture when it comes to staying healthy and feeling your best. According to Real Simple, two of the greatest indicators of how you will age are blood pressure and cholesterol, and a balanced diet is the best way to keep those numbers in check. You don’t need to make dramatic changes to your diet. Start by making small changes little by little to reduce the amount of processed food you eat and add in more lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind some of the specific nutritional needs that become more important as we age, including getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D, vitamin B12, fiber, and potassium.
When making small changes to your diet, you should also focus on your gut health to improve your mood. Research indicates that there is a connection between your gut and your emotional state. The human body contains microbiome, which is responsible for sending feel-good hormones like serotonin to your brain. Because the majority of your microbiome lives in the gut, you should be eating foods that contain good bacteria, such as yogurt, to maintain optimal gut health. Taking a probiotic every day will also improve your digestive system as well as your gut.
Getting older is a mixed bag of changes, but with the high number of baby boomers aging, you certainly aren’t alone. Your quality of life is not set in stone! With the right balance of exercise and nutrition, along with staying socially active and trying new things, you can take charge of these changes to feel your best.
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Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.