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Health becomes more important as we age.
With the improvements in medicine and health care, we live longer lives than previous generations. It is imperative to develop healthy habits as we get older.
September is Healthy Aging Month, and it makes us aware of our physical and mental wellbeing, diet, and social skills — factors contributing to the positive aspects of growing older. So, here are some tips to encourage better health.
Consult your doctor about slow introduction of a good exercise routine. Be proactive and have a positive outlook.
Dr. Mitra’s previous three columns:
Age is only a number. Living life and looking forward to activities that make you smile hep you forget about aging.
Getting older does not mean poor health. Many elderly individuals enjoy vigorous health, often better than many younger people.
Preventive measures like healthy eating and exercising can help reduce the risk of chronic disease later in life.
Everyone has various ways of experiencing meaning and joy, and the activities you enjoy may change over time.
As you grow older, you experience many major physical and health challenges, such as career transitions and retirement, loss of loved ones, or children leaving home.
How you cope with these changes is often the key to healthy aging. Balancing your sense of loss with positivity and resilience can make you stay healthy and continue to reinvent yourself. You may find more time to enjoy activities outside of work and immediate family.
If you’re unsure where and how to get started, try some of the following suggestions.
Exercise your mind. As you age, you may eventually notice the loss of memory. Learning new skills can reap the benefits of keeping your memory sharp.
Exercise your body. Walk for just 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times a week, or try playing tennis, or even joining a gym. Take a dance lesson or senior yoga classes, gardening, or even mowing the lawn are various ways to stay active.
Exercise good judgment. With aging, our metabolism slows down, and we need fewer calories. It is essential to control portions, consume fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid excessively processed foods, and drink eight glasses of water daily.
Have a social life. A sedentary lifestyle with minimum interaction with friends and family leads to different health issues and isolation, leading to depression. Inviting friends and family over, volunteering, engaging in a new hobby, learning a new language, taking a class, joining an activity such as cooking or book club, or even playing cards/ board games can open the door to socialization and making new friends. Traveling to explore new and beautiful places is also a great avenue to promote healthy aging.
Keep up with medical care. Regular medical check-ups, including an annual physical examination, eye, dental examination, and other healthcare age-appropriate screenings, can detect many diseases early on. Taking medications and vitamins/supplements ensure you feel your best.
Staying healthy and feeling your best is your goal at any age.
These tips can help you cope with the changes accompanying growing older — and live your life to the fullest.
Dr. Sue Mitra is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has been practicing in Brevard County since 2022. Dr. Mitra can be reached at 321-622-6222. You can visit her at www.suemitra.com and schedule an appointment. Call now to discuss the tips of healthy aging.
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