In this fast-paced life, time is scarce. Many people hardly prioritize a healthy lifestyle when they are young and energetic. Unfortunately, youth is fleeting, and shortly after, you are in your forties and beyond!
While long life is a blessing, the golden years come with their fair share of problems like health challenges. Several studies prove that age-related diseases are on the rise, compromising the quality of life among many people in their forties and above.
Whether you were a fitness enthusiast or lived a carefree life, you will need to evaluate your lifestyle and prioritize a healthy living as you age. Read on to learn how to take charge of health as you prepare for your golden years.
Physical exercise has immense benefits for people of all age brackets. According to scientists, people that consistently exercise live better and longer lives. Research indicates that adults over 40 years have a lower risk of death by taking 8,000 steps every day.
Keep your body moving by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking the dog, gardening, or intentionally having the evening walk.
If you are new to fitness, start slowly as you gradually increase the intensity. Vigorous exercises at the beginning can discourage newbies and cause you to ditch this helpful lifestyle.
Eat Smart and Healthy
A healthy diet is essential for general well-being. Like with exercise, the right food benefits your body beyond perfect weight. Generally, a diet rich in whole grains, fresh produce, healthy fats, more fish, and less dairy is advisable. Ensure you drink enough water.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), also known as a low-salt diet, has significant health benefits. Besides lowering blood pressure, the DASH diet helps in weight loss and reduces the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, common in old age.
Choosing the right diet for your age can be confusing as numerous diet advice is available. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend proven healthy diets for each stage of life.
Have a Good Night’s Sleep
Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to keep healthy, alert, and happy. People in their 50s and 60s who sleep for less than six hours are at a higher risk of developing dementia. Inadequate sleep also increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease due to the buildup of a beta-amyloid protein associated with the condition.
Getting adequate sleep as you age becomes a challenge as some medicines, pain, and feeling sick make it harder to enjoy a good night’s rest. You may need close medical attention and health checks to address any prevailing medical conditions.
As you age, a good night’s sleep is an important aspect that you can never compromise on.
Did you know that your bedroom plays a huge role in determining the quality of sleep you enjoy? Improving your sleeping space is another way to enhance sleep. Invest in a good mattress and beddings. Ensure your bedroom has free air circulation at the right temperature always. Also, make sure that you wear the right attire to bed.
There is so much information today on how to get quality sleep. Reach out to experts in the field if you have sleep disorders.
Avoid Substance and Alcohol Abuse
Aging comes with physical, social, geographical, or even financial changes. This shift from the norm may make adults in their forties and beyond more vulnerable and susceptible to substance abuse. Addicts may indulge more in substance and alcohol abuse at this stage.
Opioids for pain relief, sleeping pills, or medication to relieve anxiety are commonly prescribed for older adults. Because of the comfort and relaxation effect, patients may misuse the drugs.
To enjoy good health in your old age, you will need to stop substance abuse and limit alcohol intake. Avoid self-medication or over-the-counter medicine. It takes a lot of effort, strong will, dedication, and help, for this very reason it’s best to seek help from professionals such as Find Recovery who can provide you with the best resources.
Overcoming drug or alcohol addiction is one of the best things to gift yourself, family, and friends as you age.
Take Care of Your Mental and Cognitive Health
Depression, which adversely affects mental and physical health, is common in older adults. Some people may exhibit spells of sadness, lose interest in most activities, be unwilling to express their feelings, or feel numb, as symptoms of depression. Depressive tendencies may increase the risk of metabolic disorders and heart diseases.
Mental health is a crucial part of your overall well being. If you notice any signs of depression, see a health practitioner for proper evaluation.
There are many stressors at every stage of life, like positive or negative changes, which may threaten your mental and general health. Meditation techniques and engaging in activities you love are proven ways to keep stress at bay.
Consider keeping a journal to help identify and arrest unhelpful and negative thoughts early enough. Journaling is also crucial in improving your mood, identifying stress triggers, and learning how to control them. Some studies suggest that using a journal assists in unpacking trauma. Unresolved trauma is a significant setback in mental health.
Stay positive and join social groups. Physical interactions with friends and family are a great way to help you feel young and mentally fit. Engage in more social fun activities that you love. If there is a skill you want to learn on your bucket list, go for it! Learning a new skill will help improve your memory function.
As you advance in years, quality of life becomes more crucial. Life slows down, and you pay closer attention to things you may have missed. Forty is a good age to pay close attention to your lifestyle and take charge of your health.
Taking charge of your health after forty will require intentional efforts in many aspects. If you are looking for things to fill the gaps in your time, revisit your hobbies and leisure activities.
You may need to increase doctor’s visits and have frequent health checks to ensure any condition is promptly addressed.