Healthy Aging: What Is In Your Control

For most people, there comes a time when the carefree invincibility of youth is replaced by a more pressing concern about your healthcare and mortality. It is no secret that we become more susceptible to disease and injury as we get older. Thanks to increased knowledge and medical advancements, however, it is easier to be more proactive about your health. While there will always be aspects out of your control, it is possible to remain healthy and vibrant at any age. Here are a few tips to consider in order to encourage healthy aging.

Eating Habits
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” One way to take control of your health is to commit to a better diet. This may seem impossible after years of eating whatever you want, but it can make a significant difference. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can strengthen the bones and help boost your immune system. Foods packed with protein, such as meats and eggs, also provide important nutrients that the body needs. Certain healthy foods can even help you get through a long day. Another part of improving your eating habits is to reduce or eliminate fast food and excess fats. These foods clog the arteries and contribute to diseases, such as diabetes. Talk to your doctor or consult a nutritionist for ideas about how to change your diet.

Regular Exercise
Exercise is another way to promote healthy aging. It is important to remain physically active as we get older. Regular activity helps with weight management, improves circulation, and prevents joint pain. It also releases endorphin, which, literally, makes you feel better. Besides the many health benefits, however, it is also something completely within your control. You can try something as vigorous as running or you can choose a more low-impact regimen, like yoga or swimming. The beauty of this strategy is that it can be adjusted to accommodate your personal needs. The key is to just keep moving. In time, you will be glad that you did.

Preventative Care
Preventative care refers to health services that are designed to protect people from disease or disability. Some examples of these services include annual physicals, immunizations, and cancer screenings. This is an important part of healthy aging because it allows you to remain aware of what’s going on with your body. Preventative care is also necessary for early detection. In most cases, there is a much more positive outcome if the problem is recognized in the early stages. Simply schedule regular check-ups and be sure to mention any symptoms or discomfort you may be having. Your doctor will advise you of any particular tests you may need when the time comes.

Knowing Your History
Another important topic to discuss with your doctor is your family medical history. Even if you are currently in excellent health, the doctor should know about any chronic conditions, serious diagnoses, or genetic abnormalities within your family. Whether it’s an aunt with hypertension or a cousin with bipolar disorder, you should share this information. It gives you a chance to prepare for any conditions that may develop later on in life. This is also associated with preventative healthcare because it affects the type of tests your doctor may want to order. When managing your health, knowledge is one of your most powerful tools at your disposal.

Safe Environment
While diet, exercise, and medical treatments are extremely important, maintaining a safe environment can also be invaluable. Accidents and mishaps are more likely to happen in places with which you are familiar. This applies to your home, car, workplace, and anywhere else you spend a significant amount of time. A fall or awkward step can have much more serious results when we get older. As unsettling as all this may seem, many of the methods for protecting yourself are already in place. It is just a matter of paying attention and being proactive. For example, remember to test your smoke detectors and replace the batteries when necessary. Another possible tip is to organize your home in order to remove clutter and safety hazards. Your personal space is another area of your life that is within your control. Therefore, it is your right and responsibility to keep it as safe as possible.

Healthy aging is about taking control and allowing space for some adjustments. Life is full of changes. Some changes are good and some are not. It is how we deal with these changes that really matters. Also, do not be afraid to reach out to someone for help. This is a natural phase of life, so you are not alone. Use the resources at your disposal. Share your concerns with friends, family, and medical professionals. They may have a perspective that you have not considered. No matter what methods you choose, be sure they are the best fit for you.