Smart Lifestyle Choices Will Help You Live Longer, Be Healthier
Ever worry about getting older? It's a normal reaction for most people.
Go back about 100 years, and the average life expectancy in the United States was 36 years old for men, and 42 years old for women. That's practically middle age now. In 2018, life expectancy is 76 years old for men, and 81 years old for women.
But that doesn't mean growing older is any easier. If you're like most people, you probably worry about your health as you age. The most common health concerns that can impact your quality of life and longevity include:
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Heart Disease
- Influenza and Pneumonia
- Oral Health
- Respiratory Diseases
- Substance Abuse
Worried about dealing with any of these health concerns as you age? For some of these health conditions, your risk goes up as you get older. And you can't do a lot about that. But you can lower your risks by doing a couple of things consistently.
Eat a healthy diet
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, nuts and seeds, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. That's what you should be eating most of the time, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eating this way gives your body the calories, vitamins, and nutrients you need to feel good, be healthy, and strengthen your bones, muscles, and immune system.
Not sure how to cook healthy meals? Or just don't want to? No problem. Our Senior-Friendly menu includes lots of options made from fresh ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Be more active
You don't have to run a marathon or become a bodybuilder. But a little exercise can go a long way to protect your health, prevent disease, and improve your quality of life. Here's what the American College of Sports Medicine recommends for seniors:
- About 30 minutes a day of physical activity (or 150 minutes a week). Walk, jog, swim, ride a bike, dance. Pick an activity you enjoy, and make it a regular part of your life.
- Strength training or resistance training 2 days a week. Try bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, sit ups, and wall-sits. Or lift weights. This type of exercise can strengthen your bones and improve balance.
- Stretching or flexibility exercises at least 2 days a week. Try slow stretching to improve flexibility and range of motion. Or take a yoga class.
Go to the doctor
If you want to age well, it's a good idea to see your doctor at least once a year. It's a great way to identify and treat any health problems early, before they become a problem. Ask about flu vaccine options and the shingles vaccine.
If you eat a healthy diet, stay active, and see your doctor regularly, you won't have to worry as much about growing older.