The Importance of Taking Care of Yourself as You Age
Let’s face it, growing old is inevitable. No magic pill is going to stop ageing. What you can control, however, is how you age – gracefully or otherwise.
Life as a senior will bring many challenges, from unforeseen health complications to the more obvious wrinkles and age spots. As the years roll on, your immune system will gradually weaken, making you more susceptible to common illnesses. A cold may flare up into pneumonia while an ankle twist could end up in a fracture if you are not careful. The key, as always, is to catch yourself before the fall. The good news is, slowing the effects of aging is not too hard!
The Deciding Factor
The choices you make as you grow older will heavily define your quality of life. Choosing to exercise at least three days in a week over relaxing on the couch all day can make a ton of difference! Physical exercise has all sorts of benefits – from lowering coronary heart disease and chances of cancer to improving your long-term memory.
On the other hand, research indicates that 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 12 men will fracture their hips in their lifetime. 86% of these individuals are usually above the age of 65. A regular exercise routine can cut your risk of a fall and subsequent fracture by 20-30%, according to an article in the John Hopkins Medicine website.
Healthy In = Health Out
It is also essential for you to pay close attention to your nutritional intake as you grow older. Your body will require different levels of micronutrients and vitamins to keep age-related diseases at bay.
Maintaining a proper diet can reduce your chances of diabetes, high blood pressure, and even other critical illnesses. Replace oily and salty food for one or two extra helpings of fresh vegetables and fruits to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by 30% (according to the World Health Organization).
Making healthier choices will not only keep you in better physical shape as you age, but also improve your mental health. Going out for regular physical exercise will help you socialize, break away from a routine indoors, and keep your mind agile. It will also increase your sense of independence.
Although it may sometimes feel like too much effort, a disciplined approach towards your health in your later years can be immensely rewarding.