Remember these 4 tips for healthy habits to maintain a high quality of life as you age

Getting older does not necessarily mean you will become unhealthy. Understanding your changing body, its needs and abilities can help you make the right choices and age gracefully. There is not just one behavior that contributes to happy and healthy aging, but rather a combination of several factors. This includes being physically and mentally active, embracing proper nutrition, remaining independent, and connecting with others—as well as having the proper health care providers.

4 Tips for Healthy Aging

1. Exercise for longevity.

Engage in physical activity. The benefits of exercising are vast—it can stabilize blood sugar levels, build muscle strength and bone mass, contribute to needed weight loss, improve balance, flexibility, and endurance, enhance mental acuity, cognitive function, and sleep patterns, as well as contribute to an overall sense of emotional well-being. Some helpful activities for seniors to stay healthy and fit include joining a local gym, playing tennis or pickleball, biking, and walking—a fantastic way to build leg muscle strength, elevate the heart rate, and increase stamina. Even taking a dance or yoga class can greatly improve one's flexibility, balance, and mood, resulting in a better quality of life.

Note: Always speak with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

2. Engage. Connect. Learn.

Genetics are only part of the story. According to the CDC, finding ways to keep your mind active can help slow down cognitive decline and increase mental acuity. How about learning a new hobby, or doing a daily crossword puzzle to keep your mind alert and in 'think' mode? Also, who doesn't love a great game of scrabble? Look for fun and entertaining ways to connect with others in a laid-back environment to ward off loneliness and depression and improve quality of life and well-being. Having something to do and maintaining a positive sense of independence not only helps seniors feel more in control, but it also sustains a healthy sense of purpose, dignity, and respect.

3.Get proper nutrition.

Eat, drink and be merry! Sure, it's fun, but making healthy food choices is one of the most important factors for healthy aging—this includes limiting alcohol and completely eliminating tobacco. Consuming a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables daily will help ensure that you are getting the necessary vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Adequate water intake, boosting your fiber, and limiting unhealthy fats by choosing foods like whole grains and lean meats also are important parts of a healthy diet. When your body is properly nourished, your energy level increases, giving you the drive to do the active, engaged things you love and want to do.

4. Get regular checkups.

Knowing your personal health risks, based on your current health condition and family history, is important for healthy aging. Be sure to schedule regular doctor's visits and share your medical records and health history with them—this will help you manage your day-to-day health and take the necessary and appropriate steps to prevent, recognize, or manage chronic disease. The better your preventive care, the less complications and hospitalizations you will experience.

BAYADA personal care and companionship services can help seniors of any age or ability to stay safe, healthy, and independent. Home Health Care Graphic

About the Author

Founded in 1975, BAYADA has become a trusted leader in providing a full range of clinical care and support services at home for children and adults of all ages. With more than 350 offices and 26,000 employees in 22 states and 7 international countries, BAYADA has remained true to its mission of client service by finding, training, and supporting employees who take pride and joy in healing and helping.

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