Growing Old Gracefully- How to Stay Healthier For Longer
Getting older is inevitable but rapidly deteriorating health doesn’t have to be. It seems like every day we’re bombarded with information about how to live longer and get fitter. So is it really possible to grow old gracefully, and how can you make sure you stay healthier for longer?
How Does Our Health Change As We Get Older?
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The older we get the more changes we will see. They take place gradually without us realizing. These changes are both physical and mental. Firstly our metabolism slows down. The younger you are the quicker your body burns calories, the older we get the slower this process is. In effect, this means our bodies need less food energy than when we were younger. Sexual function can also start to become impaired. We may also find ourselves becoming more forgetful, slower, and less able to focus for long periods of time. This can be a by-product of dementia.
Obviously, as we age our bodies don’t function as well as they once did. Our vital organs become less efficient. Kidneys, for instance, are less able to keep water in our bodies. In addition, our hearts also start to show signs of deterioration.
What Can Be Done to Improve Our Health As We Age?
First, and most importantly, it’s never too early to start investing in our future health. The sooner we start looking after our bodies, the sooner we’ll reap the rewards.
Being physically active is a must. Exercise improves not just our overall fitness, but our mental health too. Those who chose to keep active are less likely to become depressed and will have more energy. For older people exercising is also a great way to be social and in touch with their community. Going to the gym, or interacting with other walkers, is a great way to socialize. It’s best to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regime. Start off small and try and have at least 20 minutes of walking every day.
In terms of our mental health, there are things we can do to improve our memory and focus. As we get older we must continue to keep our brains active. This could be as simple as doing some sudoku or crosswords. Anything that challenges you and forces you to concentrate and think. Card games are a fun way to keep sharp too.
Caring For The Elderly At Home
More elderly people than ever are choosing to live at home, even if they have chronic health problems. Instead of relying on care homes they rely on private caregivers and family. There are positives of caring for your relatives at home. You can be sure of the care level they receive and their safety. There are some unfortunate instances of nursing home assault that make some relatives fear for their loved one’s safety away from home. Caring for elderly people at home, however, means more pressure on the family to provide care and money. There are also limited resources available.
Staying healthy for as long as possible is the key to independent living. A balanced diet, regular exercise, of the body and brain, go a long way to help.