Healthy Aging

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Group of senior adults doing physical exercise outdoors

Tips for Staying Healthy in Your 70s, 80s, 90s…

Aging can be defined as: “progressive changes related to the passing of time.” While physiological changes that occur with age may prevent life in your 70s, 80s and beyond from being what it was in your younger years, there’s a lot you can do to improve your health and longevity and reduce your risk for physical and mental disability as you get older.

Research shows that you’re likely to live an average of about 10 years longer than your parents—and not only that, but you’re likely to live healthier longer too. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 40.4 million Americans (about 13 percent) were 65 years of age or older in 2010 and by the year 2030, almost 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be 65+.

So how do you give yourself the best possible chance for a long, healthy life? Although you aren’t able to control every factor that affects health as you age, many are in your hands. Some keys to living a long, healthy life include:

  • Make healthful lifestyle choices—don’t smoke, eat right, practice good hygiene, and reduce stress in your life
  • Cultivate positive attitude
  • Laugh Often
  • Adopt a plan based diet
  • Get enough shut-eye
  • Stay close with family
  • Stay as active as possible—mentally and physically
  • Take safety precautions
  • See your health care provider regularly and follow his or her recommendations for screening and preventative measures

One of the most important things you can do to stay healthy in your golden years is to maintain your sense of purpose by staying connected to people and things that matter to you. However, this isn’t always easy—especially in a society that all-too-often views older people as a burden.

Visit your local senior center. Spend time with at least one person—a family member, friend or neighbor—every day. Volunteer in your community, attend a local event, join a club or take up a new hobby.

According to our sister publication REMEDY’s Healthy Living Fall 2014, walking may help prevent physical disability later in life. In a large study of older Americans, researchers focused on sedentary men and women between the ages of 70 and 89 who either met twice a week for a supervised walk around a track and received instruction to walk or do balance and flexibility exercises three to four times a week at home or attended weekly workshops on healthy aging.

After an average of 2.6 years, the walkers were 28 percent less likely to have become persistently physically disabled than the non-walkers, suggesting that it’s never too late to start.

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