People in the U.S. are living longer than ever, and many older adults are living very healthy and active lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy of adults in the U.S. is over 78 years of age. With the increased focus on community health initiatives, like smoking bans and preventive wellness, many adults can look forward to a healthy future. September is Healthy Aging month and here are some tips to help you stay healthy throughout the years.
Healthy habits are important throughout life and provide the foundation for a healthy future. Eating healthy, regular exercise, seeing your Network Provider for wellness visits and avoiding tobacco are the most effective ways you can manage your health during all stages of life. As you grow older, the effects of habits like poor eating and lack of exercise can take a toll on your health more quickly.
Eating a healthy diet can help increase mental clarity, give you more energy and a stronger immune system. It can also help you recover from illness or injury more quickly and can help you better manage any chronic health problems. Eating healthy can also give you a positive outlook and help manage your emotional well-being. Nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein promote optimal health and can ensure you get the right balance of important nutrients to meet your health needs. Daily calorie needs often decrease, so keep this in mind to avoid extra weight gain. Women over age 50 need between 1,600 and 2,000 calories each day depending on activity level. Men over age 50 need between 2,000 and 2,800 calories each day depending on activity level. These recommendations should be a guide, but always discuss any specific dietary concerns with a dietitian or your Network Provider.
Regular exercise can help prevent or treat many health conditions and help you remain mobile and less prone to injury. Exercise is beneficial to building, maintaining and preventing loss of muscle and bone tissue. Walking is a simple and effective form of exercise and can be done by most people, including seniors. Learn more about beginning a walking program, find places to walk and more from Let's Go Walkin' Mississippi.
Older adults are more likely to develop conditions like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and dementia and by the year 2030, more than 37 percent of this group of people will have at least one chronic health condition. Preventive health screenings and regular visits with your Network Provider can help manage or prevent any health conditions. Also, the risk of Alzheimer's disease and age-related memory loss increases as you age. Mentally stimulating activities like crossword puzzles, trivia games and other activities can help keep your mind sharp.
Take steps today to stay healthy throughout your golden years. To learn more about staying healthy as you age, visit the National Institute on Aging's website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Healthy Aging website, a national initiative developed to help individuals think more positively about growing older.