Healthy Aging

Dr. Nelli Ban, PT, DPT

Being older doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of sadness and disease. Quite the opposite, in fact. You've probably heard reports on how living a healthy lifestyle can promote longevity in seniors, but what if there's more to it than that? Today, I want to explore several ways in which an active and self-aware retirement can improve your happiness and health.

1: Eat a healthy diet.

2: Consider physical therapy.

3: Stay mentally active.

4: Remain socially connected.

5: Get plenty of sleep.

Eat a healthy diet.

It's never too late to start eating better and exercising regularly! One of the best ways to promote healthy aging is by making sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day—they're packed with nutrients that help keep your body running smoothly! And don't forget about water: it's essential for keeping your body hydrated, which helps maintain healthy skin and bones as well as other organs like your heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. Eating healthy not only makes your body feel better, but it also keeps your mind sharp—which is key when aging gracefully!

Consider Physical Therapy.

Physical therapy is a great way to help seniors maintain their physical strength and mobility as they age. Physical therapy helps seniors stay active and engaged in their community, which can improve their mental health as well as their physical well-being.

Studies have repeatedly shown that people even in their 90s achieve strength, balance, coordination, and every other positive benefit associated with exercise and physical activity. Physical therapists can help seniors with the right set of exercises and ensure that they are performing them within a range that is both safe and effective for them. These exercises that include balance techniques can help seniors maintain their stability and prevent falls, which are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide.

Aside from the common injuries and mobility issues, Physical Therapy has been helping patients with the following symptoms & conditions: Post-Intensive Care Syndrome, Post-Covid Syndrome, Certain cancer-related problems, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Erectile Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Diabetes-Related Complications and control the pain of many age-related problems, such as arthritis and fatigue.

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Stay mentally active.

Did you know that engaging in regular physical activity can increase your ability to remember things, as well as your reasoning and response times? Research has revealed that maintaining a regular exercise routine is beneficial to brain health. The network connections in the brain of an older person can be preserved and new connections can be generated if they engage in physical activity. In addition, physical exercise increases the volume of brain areas that are associated with learning and memory.

Remain socially connected.

There are various programs and activities for seniors that will keep them active and socially engaged. Seniors may join fitness clubs, senior centers or community groups. They may also join volunteer groups that provide activities and events particularly geared for older adults. If one prefers to remain indoors due to mobility issues or safety concerns, reconnecting with old friends via social networks such as Facebook or meeting individuals with similar interests via online forums would do.

Get plenty of sleep.

Getting between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep nightly is advised for optimal performance. But as we age, our sleep patterns tend to change due to several factors, such as changes in the production of hormones, certain health conditions, reduced physical activity and lifestyle changes. Seniors may improve their sleep quality by maintaining a consistent sleep routine, waking and sleeping at the same times each day, and avoiding sleep-disrupting stimulants like caffeine, sugar, and alcohol.

If you are experiencing chronic or acute insomnia, talk to your primary care physician. Your doctor will be able to assist you in determining what is preventing you from sleeping and will also provide you with recommendations for possible treatments.

Takeaway:

Although you can't control everything that affects your health, there are some things you can do to stay healthy. You can do these things by yourself or with friends. Once you get started, you'll find that they're easier than they seem and will feel good once you've noticed the benefits of a happier, healthier, and more productive lifestyle. By learning to live a happy and healthy lifestyle, you'll avoid disease and enjoy your golden years.

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