Our situations change as we grow older, but one thing remains the same — healthy habits can ensure a longer, happier life. This is especially important for those in their golden years, when illness, injury, and disability are more likely to strike. Here are a few ways you can ensure you’re protecting your health and independence as you age.
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important step for anyone to take to help lower the risk of illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. The good news: you don’t need to adopt a rigorous workout routine. A daily walk can keep you fit and strengthen your joints and muscles. Simple stretches or yoga can also help you keep limber. And taking up a new hobby like dancing or water aerobics is a way to make a workout more enjoyable.
Watch what you eat
Minding what’s on your plate can also help you age gracefully. The advice across age groups is similar: ditch soda and sugary juices in favor of drinking water. Stock up on salads and fruits to get your daily dose of an essential food group. Keep your alcohol intake levels low. And one thing that’s especially important as we age — make sure you get enough fiber. A morning bowl of oatmeal is a great way to start the day while packing in this essential nutrient.
Stay motivated and purpose-driven
All of this fitness and food monitoring doesn’t mean much if you aren’t living with purpose. New research shows that purposeful living is linked to maintaining physical functioning and warding off disability. Want to set some late-in-life goals? Cultivating hobbies, tending to your relationships, and helping others are good areas to focus on.