4 Ways To Improve Your Health As You Grow Older

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Staying healthy is important at any age. It becomes even more important to cope with the changes that accompany growing older. This is because, as we grow older, we experience an increasing number of major life changes such as career transition and retirement, physical and mental health challenges such as low bone mass, fatty buildup in the arteries, cognitive decline, digestive tract slows down, decreased sharpness of senses, wrinkles, and so on.

Image source: The Guardian Nigeria

Meanwhile, getting older doesn't necessarily mean we'll have poor health or poor quality of life, but it's important to maximise the good part of getting older while taking proactive steps to maintain our health and minimise the negative aspects of growing older. Although these changes may be difficult to cope with at any age, we should learn to adapt to these changes by staying physically and socially active, finding new but healthy things to enjoy, adjusting diets, and staying connected.

1. Eat healthy diets

Image source: Behavioural Nutrition

Nutrition is one of the main sources of nutrients in the body. However, as we grow older, diets need changes. The consumption of processed foods and drinks, canned foods, high salt diets, sugary foods and drinks, and high saturated fat foods should be reduced the lower the risk of chronic disease. Meanwhile, these diets should be replaced with a variety of natural foods that contain vitamin D, calcium, dietary fibre, potassium, and some other important nutrients that are found in whole grain, nuts, leafy vegetables, fatty fish, legumes, and seeds.

2. Get enough sleep

Image source: Sleep Foundation

According to UCLA researchers, it was discovered that a single night of insufficient sleep can speed the ageing of cells in older adults. Although growing older don't automatically come with sleeping problems, many adults complain of sleep problems such as insomnia, frequent waking during the night sleep, and daytime sleepiness as they grow older. A good night's sleep helps both physical and emotional health by improving concentration and memory formation, refreshing the immune system, and supporting the repair of damaged body cells, which in turn improve overall health. We recommend at least 8 hours of daily sleep as you grow older.

3. Go for medical check-up at regular intervals

Image source: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Several studies show that one of the major causes of death in African countries is poor medical checkups, either due to the increasing cost or ignorance of the importance of medical checkups. Regular medical checkup with specialist healthcare providers can help you notice and treat some diseases before they become chronic. Due to the changes that come with increasing age, they can help to create a plan tailored to your needs and coordinate care and treatment for some common health problems like osteoporosis, wrinkles, slight memory loss, and slow metabolism. Thus, we highly recommend that you go for a medical checkup at least once a year and don't hesitate to visit a doctor when you notice any signs and symptoms of diseases.

4. Engage in activities

Image source: Aging.com

Recent Swedish studies found that regular exercise is the key contributor to longevity, especially as we grow older. Other scientific studies have also found out that engaging in regular physical and social activities helps to boost mental health, maintain your strength and agility, improve sleep, rid chronic pain, prevent cognitive decline, and increase vitality. Therefore, we recommend activities such as walking, connect with old friends, swimming, make new friends, and challenge your mind by playing games like chess and puzzles.

Image source: YourLifeChoices

Quick reminder: Water is also important in maintaining healthy ageing. We recommend that water should be consumed more than other fluids as it helps in the transport of nutrients, balancing electrolytes, aid kidney functioning, and keep blood levels at a healthy state, which in turn prevent mental confusion and reduce the risk of other health problems as you grow older.

Image source: Center for Aging and Population Health

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