Aging well

Worldwide, the age group of sixty years and older is growing faster than any other age group. With this increase in population of older adults, promoting health and well-being becomes a priority. The state of well-being in the older population generally includes happiness and self-contentment, maintaining satisfying social relationships, and autonomy. Physical well-being and mental health are closely linked, and the link becomes more obvious in old age. It contributes to aging well in terms of life satisfaction, feelings of happiness, having sense of purpose, and meaning in life. September is “Healthy Aging Month” so today we’re discussing how to make sure you grow older as healthy and as happy as possible.
Factors That Contribute to Aging Well
Aside from physical health, older adults are strongly concerned about cognitive health in terms of keeping a good memory and preventing cognitive decline. Good cognitive health is linked to social connectedness, independence, and activities, and it may be preserved and enhanced by maintaining an intellectually engaged and physically active lifestyle. Furthermore, having positive mental attitudes towards aging and one’s capabilities may contribute to healthier mental health, higher level of satisfaction, and lower levels of anxiety and depression among older adults.
How to Ensure you Age Well

  1. Build your Social Network
    Aging successfully is best achieved with other people. Whether your social connections are with a spouse, offspring, siblings, bridge partners, and/or fellow churchgoers, they’re crucial to good health while growing older. Studies found that those with satisfying social relationships remained more mentally alert, with less age-related mental decline than people who were more isolated.
  2. Stay Mentally Active
    Curiosity and creativity help transform older people into seemingly younger ones, even if their joints ache and even after they retire. Individuals who are always learning something new about the world, maintaining a playful spirit, and finding younger friends are making the most of the aging process.
  3. Make Exercising a Habit
    The older we get, the easier it is to lose muscle and general fitness. Exercise is a great way to build muscle and increase strength and cardiovascular fitness. Keeping strong and fit has many benefits as we age, it prevents or eases joint aches and pains, gives you better balance and prevents falls and injuries, helps manage blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions, and more. Some people find staying active a challenge but it’s important to note that it doesn’t mean you have to involve the gym. You can go for a walk or take the stairs instead of the elevator, play with your children or grandchildren, or even attend yoga sessions as all of these are a form of physical activity These activities keep your heart rate up and keep you looking young and feeling healthy. Exercise routines should be done according to recommendations, keeping the physical and mental health in mind.
  4. Ensure a Healthy Sleep Routine
    Sleeping poorly will not only show visible signs of aging on your face, but it will also make you perceive yourself as being less attractive. The value of sleep is often overlooked in the current high-paced world we live in. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to decreased metabolism and weight gain, increased stress levels and high cortisol and glucose levels which in turn lead to hypertension and type II diabetes (this accelerates aging). The recommended amount of daily sleep is 7.5 to 8.5 hours. While asleep, the body releases a hormone that aids in growth which in turn restores collagen and elastin (These are the essential building blocks of young and glowing skin).
  5. Maintain a Good Diet
    Diet plays a huge part in our appearance, our health, and our mood. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low in sugar is highly advisable. According to studies done on bone loss, taking a certain prescribed amount of vitamin D and calcium daily for postmenopausal women helps reduce the bone loss rate by almost half. Therefore, it strengthens and straightens your posture. Also avoid smoking, studies have shown that significant smoking speeds up aging process by damaging the skin fibre and collagen and reduces the skin’s elasticity.

Need Help or Advice?

Changing your lifestyle is often challenging and stressful. So, if you need help, it’s normal and you should never be afraid or shy to ask. If you’re having concerns about the affects of aging, come in to PCA and see one of our specialists. If you need advice on choosing the right exercise or fitness program, pain management, or other health and wellness concerns, we can assist you or direct you to the right specialist for you. It’s never too late to take control of your health and fitness.

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