Eight Tips to Staying Healthy While Growing Older

Can you really turn back the clock? Science seems to support this concept – a 2015 study published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS) confirms that 65 may be the new 50. The results of the study showed that individuals who are 60, 65 – even 70, may be considered middle aged today. Instead of measuring age by how long we’ve lived, we should measure our age by how much more life we have to live.

There’s even better news! The study projected that longevity between 2015 and 2050 may increase an additional 1.5 years per decade. If we apply this to the average age people are now expected to live (86.6 for women who are 65 and 84.4 for men according to the Social Security Administration)hen most of us should plan on living to 90 – or longer.

This adjustment in thinking should also come with an adjustment in lifestyle – just because we are living longer, doesn’t necessarily mean the additional years will be good ones.

Take Control of Healthy Aging

staying-healthy-while-growing-older-in-copyAlong with confirming an expanding lifespan, the PLOS study identified several healthy aging factors that are completely within our control – diet and exercise.

The National Institutes of Health concurs, suggesting that easy senior health steps be incorporated into your everyday life, including exercise, limiting alcohol use and having regular blood pressure checks.

Read on to review eight more free or low cost healthy aging solutions that can help you stay healthy as you age:

1. Maintain Social Relationships

The relationships you’ve built with friends and family are important – and they’ve been shown to support you in living longer. If family members don’t live nearby, reach out to neighbors and friends in your neighborhood to spend time with. Many communities have senior centers and churches that offer social functions and provide daily meal service to members of the community for a small fee.

2. Plan Nutritious Meals

Take the time to plan your meals. Not only will you save money by creating a shopping list that will help you keep to your budget, you will be able to make healthier choices when you go to the grocery store armed with a completed list, and stick with it!

3. Work With Your Physician

Your physician is a great resource to assist you with healthy aging strategies. If you need a special diet, he or she can provide information on a diet that’s best suited to you.  Another important part of senior health is the annual wellness exam. Depending on your insurance plan, the cost of the exam may be covered by your insurer.

4. Stay Active

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on gym memberships to stay active. Walking can strengthen your muscles and provides the added benefit of stress relief. If you live in regions that present weather challenges, such as the Midwest in winter or Southwest during summer, look for multigenerational centers (such as the YMCA) that may offer free or discounted gym memberships.

Before shelling out a hefty fee for a monthly gym membership, check with Silver Sneakers, a gym discount membership program. This program is tied to many Medicare plans – check to see if your health insurance provider is a member and whether you can obtain a local gym membership at no additional cost.

5. Become a Volunteer

There is no better way to stay active and connected than as a volunteer. Your community, church or local hospital may be able to use your career or life expertise. When you volunteer as a healthy Senior, you remain part of the larger world and may have opportunities to make new friends, learn new skills and help out all at the same time!

6. Pursue a Hobby

Staying in touch with something that matters can help preserve health, and now is the time to start that hobby you could never find the time for when you were younger. There are hobby groups and clubs in almost every community in the United States. If you’re not sure where to start, check out Meetup.com to find people who want to pursue similar interests.

7. Take a Time Out

Taking time to relax, read a book or take a leisurely walk is a good investment in creating and maintaining peace of mind. Listen to relaxing music and meditate to lower your stress level, which can contribute to a relaxing environment and healthier life.

8. Update Your Home to Age in Place

Staying healthy may be dependent on updating your home to adjust for aging eyesight and slowing reaction times – like reducing your risk of falling in your home. Studies show one-in-four Seniors fall each year.

You can take steps to make your home safer on your own, such as ensuring hallways are clear and well-lit, but there are updates that a contractor or handyman should complete for you. If you’d like to know more about aging in place remodeling, here’s an article with helpful remodeling tips.

However, if mobility issues are impacting whether you can live independently in your multi-level home, a home elevator may be an affordable option.

As scientific research and medical advances provide you with the means to live longer, take the steps that are within your power to live healthier, so you can enjoy a happier and independent life even in your later years.

In addition to staying healthy, keeping your safe is essential to a long and happy life. To learn more about having a safe home, check out our free guide, Safe Home. Happy Home. Download it now!