10 Steps for Healthy Aging
Living a healthy lifestyle becomes even more important for better aging. The things we do to keep body and heart healthy—nutritious diet, physical activity, and social connections – also can help promote brain health and wellness. Here are 10 steps for successful aging:
1. Eat Well
Adopt a low-fat diet high on fruits and veggies, like strawberries, blueberries and broccoli. Take daily vitamins. Limit intake of red meats, fried and processed foods, salt and sugar.
2. Stay Active
Brisk walking benefits brain health, while aerobics can boost your heart rate, and weight training builds strength and flexibility.
3. Learn New Things
Pick up a new hobby like playing tennis, learn to speak a foreign language, try a cooking class, or something you haven’t done before.
4. Get Enough Sleep
At least 7 to 9 hours is a good night’s rest. Insomnia or sleep apnea can have serious physical effects and negatively affect memory and thinking.
5. Mind Your Meds
Medication can affect everyone differently, especially as you age. A medication that didn’t trigger side effects in the past can suddenly cause an abnormal reaction. Talk to your doctor about all medications, whether over-the-counter or prescriptions.
6. Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol
Smoking can increase the risk of other serious illnesses, while too much alcohol can impair judgment and cause accidents, including falls, broken bones, and car crashes.
7. Stay Connected
Invite friends and family over for a meal, board games, or just to hang out. Maintaining an active social life is important for mental health and keeping a positive attitude.
8. Know Your Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is high, get it under control under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
9. See Your Doctor
Maintain checkups. Health screenings are key to managing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Speak with your physician about any concerns or questions you have about your health.
10. Get a Memory Screening
Our brains need regular checkups, just as other parts of our bodies do. A memory screening is a quick, easy, non-invasive exam for our brains. Talk to your doctor about getting a screening as part of your annual wellness exam or call the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at 866-232-8484.