Life expectancy in the United States across all races and cultures has increased tremendously. When Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) reach the age of 65, one in 5 people will be 65 or older. Normal age-related health decline is different for each individual and depends most significantly on genes, lifestyle and health history. Implementing healthy lifestyle activities and nutrition now can help prevent, slow down, or control many disease processes as we age. It also decreases the cost of health care and promotes independent living.
Here are some healthy lifestyle tips to consider now for health and wellness throughout your lifespan:
Get up and Move!
Research has shown that exercise is medicine and helps to counteract serious health problems. Moderate walking every day helps circulation, mood and physical well being. Walk to the mailbox, move around every 30 minutes or so if you’re spending time sitting and reading, crocheting, or watching TV. Consider light weight lifting to build muscle that is lost through the aging process. Muscle atrophy can lead to other chronic disease processes and falls in the elderly. ProMotion Fitness+ at FMH Crestwood is a medical fitness program designed for individuals with health concerns. The exercise experts there will be happy to help if you need some guidance.
Eat Healthy and Fresh
Foods rich in nutrients are vital for our bodies as we age. Fresh fish, vegetables, meats and fruit provide essential vitamins, minerals and protein. Enjoying a meal with others helps increase the appetite, provides stimulation and socialization which can be a challenge for older men and women, especially those who live alone.
Even if you have smoked for many years, quitting now will provide health benefits almost immediately and in the future. According to the American Cancer Society and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute after 15 years of smoking cessation, your risk for heart disease is the same as someone who has never smoked. FMH is proud to offer the Freedom From Smoking program developed by the American Lung Association. If you need help to quit smoking, please contact Shanna Figgins at 240-566-3622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay Connected with Others
Isolation and depression are challenges brought on by the aging process and the loss of family members and friends. Explore your options and consider volunteering, hobbies you enjoy, or special interest groups.
Looking for ways to stay connected and active? Check out FMH Select!, a growing group of 55+ members of the Frederick community who gather throughout the year for health and wellness programs as well as social events. The Frederick County Department of Aging is another great resource for seniors (60+) looking for socialization, planned activities, nutritious meals and volunteer opportunities.