With the rise of accessible and quality healthcare, the number of senior citizens in the general population is increasing. In 2019, there were about 1 billion people of the global population above the age of 60. With a larger senior population comes the question of how does one age healthily. Here are some active aging tips to keep your body and mind healthy and strong.
What is active aging?
Active aging refers to activities that help maintain an aging person’s physical, mental or emotional, and social health. This includes a mix of social and individual factors involving the individual, home, family, and communities. Race, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status also play a role in these factors.
One’s surroundings and environment greatly influence the development of healthy behaviors and habits. These behaviors and habits have an impact on how smoothly one transitions in age. Strength and cardio training and a balanced diet are useful in maintaining cognitive function and physical fitness as one ages.
Older people should also have an environment that encourages new hobbies and social interaction. Ideally, it should be a space where one can safely walk while having access to public transportation. This is one active aging tip that is often overlooked.
Active aging tips for everyone
There are many things one can do to smoothen the transition into old age, such as:
- Learning new skills
- Volunteering in the community or picking up new hobbies
- Eating healthy and exercising regularly
- Socializing with peers
It may also help to reminisce on past achievements and events, as this contributes to a feeling of self-actualization.
The physical benefits of regular exercise is quite important in older people. Those who engage in regular physical activity can prevent or slow down the development of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. It can also strengthen the immune system, which will in turn decreases their likelihood of contracting an infectious disease like the flu or pneumonia.
Exercise also lets you stay agile, thus preventing falls, which is a common source of injury. Regular physical activity can improve cognitive function and one’s emotional state. This is a result of the release of endorphins (a “happy hormone”) into the body. Additionally, group exercises can also be a source of socialization for elderly people.
Regular physical activity and exercise should always accompany a healthy diet. Remember to eat lots of fresh produce, lean meats, and whole grains. Consult your doctor before starting a new exercise and diet regimen.
Learning and doing new things and getting involved in the community
An important entry in the list of active aging tips is learning and doing new things and getting involved within the community. As you get older and find yourself unable to do physical things that you previously could, you may find adjusting to older age more difficult. Picking up new hobbies or skills (such as learning a new language or gardening), travelling to new places, and doing community work can benefit your emotional health, keep your mind active, and help you find new pleasures in life.
Socializing with peers, friends, and family
Similar to the previous active aging tips, staying in contact with the people you are close to as well as making new connections in life can positively affect your mental and emotional state. Having a support system that you enjoying spending time with is important and can help you cope with adjusting to a new lifestyle.
Getting older doesn’t have to be scary! You can smoothen the transition into old age with these active aging tips. Remember to exercise, maintain a healthy diet, establish and active social life, and keep your mind active by picking up new hobbies or learning new skills.
Learn more about Healthy Aging here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.