Written by Amina (Molecular Biologist) and U.N Sampson (RM, Youth Educator/ Public Speaker) on 24th April, 2020.
One of the most important things in our life is the maintenance of health conditions. Good health is important and increases one’s life expectancy since it makes someone to be free from disease, stress and other harmful environments.
Most older people think that only young people are the ones who need care and support to maintain their health, and they pay less attention to their own health.
They believed that their life time will soon decline or fizzle away, so no need for them to be attractive and look good.
These negative thoughts should be removed in our minds. So,let’s look into the ways or how to stay healthier and younger at old age:
Life tests us in various ways. Beloved ones die, layoffs happen, and health problems can mount. But positive thinking can be a powerful safeguard against the odds of life. When you commit to be optimistic and grateful, your mind and body respond in kind. It is proven that people with a rosier outlook live longer and have fewer heart attacks and depression than more negative people. Positive emotions may even reduce virus counts in people with HIV. You can learn to be optimistic. It just takes time and practice. Things you can do are:
*Smile, even fake smiles, work. It can help reduce stress: Laughter is special medicine for both the body and the mind. It makes you stay balanced, energetic, joyful, and healthy at any age. A sense of humor invigorates you to get through tough times, look outside yourself, laugh at the absurdities of life, and transcend difficulties.
*Reframe. Spin your thoughts to the positive things instead of dwelling on the negative ones. Do focus on the things you’re grateful for. Know that the longer you live, the more you lose. But as you lose people and things, life even becomes more precious. When you quit taking things for granted, you appreciate and enjoy what you have even more
*Keep a gratitude diary — the good memories of the past life helps to stay healthier at old age and in turn boosting our strength in facing the present challenge. Don’t ever allow the child in you to die or allow emotions of others and opinions to affect you. Be optimistic and speak positive.
*Do good things for others; most healthier or happiest people are those who are out there helping others in need.
*Surround yourself with people who boost your spirits. Having people with a positive mindset around you always will boost your health. It is also the best anti-aging formula because the mind and body are working together — whatever affects any,destroys the other.
*Accept things you can’t change: some things in life are beyond our control. Instead of stressing out over them, focus on those ones you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems. Face your limitations with dignity and a healthy dose of humor, and your old age will glow!
2.Body exercise count
The biology of our body constitutes things which need to be activated by doing body exercises. Example: muscles which need relaxation and contractions. Simple exercise should be performed to make the body more energetic and remove some of toxins which accumulate especially during old age.
Walking is a better way to start exercising.
30 minutes walk every day is beneficial. If that’s too much for you, break it up into shorter strolls. Exercise doesn’t call for strenuous activity or time at the gym. In fact, walking is one of the best ways to stay fit or healthier. Best of all, it doesn’t require any equipment or experience and you can do it anywhere be it in your room.
Exercising with a friend or family member is good. You can help to keep each other inspired and you’ll not only benefit from the physical activity, but also from the social contact as well.
Exercise keeps brain cells healthy by delivering more blood and oxygen. Scientifically, it’s proven that aerobic exercise may delay or improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
It also helps:
* Control your weight
*Boost your mood/emotion.
*Keep bones and muscles strong
*Helps you sleep better
*Reduce the risks of getting heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Exercise tips for older adults
Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Find out from your doctor if any health conditions or medications you take affect the type of exercise you should choose.
Find an activity you like most and that motivates you to continue. Likely, you may want to exercise in a group, as in a sport or class, or prefer a more individual exercise like swimming.
Begin slow. If you have not been doing exercises, a few minutes a day puts you well on the way towards building a healthy habit. Increase the time slowly and intensity to avoid injury.
But being lazy or inactive creates a chance for some diseases of old age such as heart attack, diabetes and others which reduces the survival chance of an individual. Begin exercise today and let your health glow!
3.Select eating routine.
Care should be taken on the type of food to be eaten. Make sure you know the type of food which will be good for your health. And these may be done by asking your doctors to get advice on what kind of food based on your body demands. The most advisable foods are fruits and vegetables, these improve someone’s immunity. Avoiding too much salt, too much sugar, food with lots of fat and alcohol which are the source of many diseases in elders. Example, eating too much salt may cause hypertension resulting in heart attack.
Always consume a healthy(well-balanced) diet — dump the junk food in favor of fiber-rich, low-fat, and low-cholesterol eating.
It’s much better to get your nutrients from food, not a pill. And you usually don’t require special supplements aimed at seniors.
After age 50, your body requires more of some vitamins and minerals from foods or supplements than before. They include:
Calcium — this mineral is a basic constituent of bone and helps to keep bones strong.
Vitamin D —Helps in absorbing Calcium and most people get it from sunlight, but some seniors may not get out enough.
Vitamin B12 — This vitamin is called Cyanocobalamin helps in production of red blood cells, RBCs and older people may have trouble absorbing it from foods due to changes in their digestive system. You can get fortified cereals or a supplement for your health.
Vitamin B6 — This is also called pyridoxine and it keeps your red blood cells strong to carry oxygen throughout your body; prevents neural problems too.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements you take so you can avoid bad interactions with any medications or treatments.
4.Build a happy lifestyle.
One of the greatest problems of aging is maintaining your support network. Being in affinity with friends is not always easy as you get older—even for those who have always had an active social life. Your career changes, retirement, illness, and moving out of the local area can take away intimate friends and family members. And the more you get older, the more people you inevitably lose. Getting around in later life may become difficult for either you or members of your social network.
Loneliness is dangerous to your health. If you feel lonely —whether you live alone or with someone, have lots of friends or none —you are more prone to get dementia or depression. Older people who report feeling left out and isolated have more trouble with everyday tasks like bathing and climbing stairs. These lonely adults also die earlier than less-lonely folks do. Modern researchers found that lonely people have higher levels of stress hormones that cause inflammation, or swelling, linked to arthritis and diabetes. Similarly, another study found more antibodies to certain herpes viruses in lonely people, a sign of stress in their immune system.
Create a good friendship with the surrounding members including family, neighbors and community at large. Good communication will help to build a happy life and remove unnecessary stresses and depression. Staying socially active with friends and family helps to maintain your physical and mental health. People who are engaged in more social interaction are typically very healthier individuals. Social interactions trigger positive feelings and decrease stress. Also, seniors who are more socially active have lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease.
Make a routine of calling children in the community you are living, give them past stories which will make them laugh and get a lot of knowledge,instead of being away from them and feeling lonely.
It’s good to find means to reach out and connect to others, regardless of whether or not you live with a partner. Along with regular exercise, staying social can have great influence on your health as you age. Having an array of people you can always turn to for company and support as you age is an antidote for loneliness, depression, disability, hardship, and loss.
The good news is that there are various ways to be with other people. It doesn’t matter what you do, provided you possibly find ways to get out of the house and socialize:
Regularly connect with friends and family. Spend time with people you enjoy and who make you feel better. You may have a neighbor who you like to exercise with, a lunch date with an old friend, shopping with your children, or playing with your grandkids. When you are not close by, call or email frequently to keep relationships fresh.
Make an effort always to make new friends. As you lose people in your circle, it is of great importance to make new connections so your social life doesn’t decline. Commit to befriend people who are younger than you. Younger friends can revitalize you and help you see life from a fresh perspective.
Spend time with at least one person daily. No matter your living or work situation, you shouldn’t be alone day after day. Phone or email contact is never a replacement for spending time with other people. Regular meeting with people face-to-face helps you ward off depression and stay positive.
Volunteer. Extending help to the community is a wonderful way to strengthen social bonds and meet others interested in similar activities or who share similar values. Even if you can no longer move easily, you can get involved by volunteering on the phone.
Find or foster support groups in times of change. If you or a loved one is coping with a serious illness or recent loss, it can be very beneficial to participate in a support group with others undergoing the same challenges. Simply help someone in need. Just get connected with people.
5.Increase the prayers to your GOD.
Getting a chance of living upto an old age is a great gift from your GOD. And it’s a time for you to thank Him and ask for forgiveness from your GOD and surrounding people . Prayers increase faith, and this makes you to be healthy and look very good in the eyes of people and GOD. And the fear of GOD will make you stay away from sins which deteriorates your health. Example: Smoking and alcohol taking.
6. Avoid doing tough work.
If you are having the tendency of doing tough work during old age, stop doing them. As the human body gets older, the body also weakens. Doing hard work will break some organs and may no longer function again.
As you age, your stressors change, so does your stress ability. Long-term stress may damage the brain cells and cause depression. Also, stress can lead to loss of memory, fatigue and a reduced the ability to combat and recover from infection. Definitely, more than 90% of the disease is attributed to be caused by stress or complicated by stress.
7. Make division of your responsibility to your children
Even if you are the head of the family, at old age make your child take all of your responsibilities and be there as supervisor. At old age the memory capacity is no longer active. There are lots of risks of losses you will get in your business, if you continue taking the responsibility alone will lead to stresses which will make you unhealthy. Share responsibilities and do the ones you can.
8. Avoid getting unnecessary information to your heart
Allow your brain to be given only good information which will not affect you. Getting bad information directly may reduce health by causing disease like shocks or even death.
So, care must be taken on the type of information to be given.
9. Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene
One of the factors which contribute to good health is cleanness. Being old doesn’t mean you must look dirty. Cleaning the environment in which you live in order to remove risks of disease, accident and uncomfortability is very crucial.
Do take care of your house and clothes, and bath regularly. All the surroundings should be clean to stay in good health.
10. Don’t neglect yourself
Have the habits of medical checkup to be aware of your health status. Find a permanent doctor,dentist, and optometrist who will take care of your medical health at least monthly to know your health progress. This is because at old age a person becomes more prone to many diseases due to low body immunity. Always take all medications correctly as prescribed by your doctor.
11. Maintain your brain
One out of eight older adults (aged 65+) in the United States has Alzheimer’s disease, and some cognitive decline is a normal part of aging. Studies have proven that a lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning slows cognitive decline.
Tips: Never quit learning and challenging your mind! Take singing lessons, learn a new language, attend lectures at a local university, learn to play a musical instrument, or read a book. Get the sleep that your body needs: it also boosts the brain functions.
13. Stop Smoking
Tobacco smoking kills. It endangers almost every organ in your body. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other products with nicotine are the leading cause of heart disease, cancer, lung and gum disease, and many other health problems.
Using smoking as a means of coping with stress at old age is very dangerous as I have mentioned before. Instead of smoking, look for the silver lining. It is often said that “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Whenever facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own actions led to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.
It’s never too late to quit smoking. Know that your body starts to heal within 20 minutes of your last cigarette. Your chance of a heart attack declines right away. In a year, your odds of heart disease goes down by half. You’ll also live longer. Seek help from your doctor.
14. Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol intake is dangerous to your health. Cut down on its consumption.
Read more about it in how to care for manhood. Now is the right time to savor good health and happiness.
15. Enough sleep.
Sleeping is a key medicine of the body.
Get more time to rest at least 8hours per day. This improves your health and renews your brain capacity in doing things. Take a short time watching television and using phones because these things destroy eyes, and reduce vision capacity.
16. Maintain healthy weight
During old age, you become less mobile if you are overweight and this can affect your quality of life and health. Overweight also increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Being underweight is unhealthy and can be a sign that you are not eating well or that you are unhealthy.
Low weight also increases the risks for osteoporosis. Do everything in the right way.
Conclusively, taking care of your physical self is vital, but it’s important that you tend to your emotional health as well. Beloved, reap the rewards of your long life, and enjoy each and every day. Master these anti-aging formulas —ways of staying ever healthier and younger in old age.