Growing older affects nearly every part of your body—your hair, skin, heart, muscles and more. Exercise, diet and your state of mind can be as important as genetics when it comes to growing old gracefully. Taking care of your body’s physical, social and nutritional needs are three of the most important things you can do to maintain good health.
How do physical needs change with age?
The first rule of aging gracefully is: Move your body every day.
Regular exercise is key to physical and mental well-being. It helps you stay physically fit enough to maintain your independence, and helps you prevent (or provide relief from) chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression and arthritis. Everyone should participate in moderate physical activity like walking, cycling or swimming for 30 minutes each day.
How do social needs change with age?
The second rule of aging gracefully is: Have fun with people every day.
Twenty-eight percent of older adults live alone, which can lead to loneliness, depression and cognitive decline. That’s why it’s so important to make your social life a priority as you age. Not only will you be happier, but sharing time with other people can also boost your immune system, reduce physical pain, and lower blood pressure.
How do nutritional needs change with age?
You are what you eat. Your diet affects your physical and cognitive condition, bone and eye health, and your vascular and immune systems. Aging well may be as simple as adopting these easy everyday habits:
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and constipation.
- Eat mostly dark green leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats to get the nutrients your body needs.
- Eat fiber at every meal to promote proper digestion and protect yourself from many age-related illnesses.
- Talk to your doctor to find out how you can aid digestion, protect brain health and prevent bone loss with supplements.
- Keep your brain healthy with foods rich in omega-3s like salmon, trout, flaxseed and walnuts.
Feel like yourself again with help from Parkside Health and Rehabilitation Center. Our senior rehabilitation services are designed to help you achieve your highest level of independence and health. Our certified dietary managers are filled with the passion, purpose and skill necessary to surround you with compassionate, whole-person care.