In today’s fast-paced world, many people aspire to maintain good health as they age. We all wish to enjoy our later years with vitality, happiness, and the ability to remain self-sufficient. This desire is shared by seniors residing in Lakeland, Georgia, where almost 18% of the population is elderly.
In this blog, we will discuss nine simple tips for maintaining health as you age. These tips are designed to support seniors in Lakeland, GA, and beyond in leading fulfilling lives as they grow older, whether they reside independently or with their families.
Schedule regular check-ups
Regularly visiting your doctor for health screenings is essential for maintaining good health as you age. These check-ups can help detect diseases early and minimize the associated risk factors. Lakeland boasts several hospitals and healthcare facilities that serve the medical needs of its residents. Whether you require comprehensive medical care, pharmaceutical services, or urgent care, the city offers a range of options for high-quality healthcare services.
Visit your doctor, dentist, eye doctor, and specialist healthcare providers so they can screen you for conditions that are specific to your age, gender, family history, and lifestyle choices, such as smoking or exercise.
Common health screenings include checking cholesterol levels, blood pressure, cervical cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, hearing loss, cataracts, prostate cancer, osteoporosis, depression, and dementia.
Take all medications as prescribed by your doctor
Regular medical checkups alone are not sufficient; it is crucial to also adhere to prescribed medication in order to effectively manage health conditions and diseases. It is also beneficial to regularly review your prescribed medications with your primary care doctor. This allows you to discuss whether all of your prescriptions are still necessary and determine if there are any medications that you should stop taking.
In a city with a wide range of pharmacies, it’s wise to choose one that stands out with positive reviews and a variety of services. Contacting a reputable Lakeland company that specializes in pharmaceutical services can assist you in effectively managing your prescriptions, ensuring you receive the best possible care and support for your health needs.
Stay physically active
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. As people age, muscle function can often decline. Older adults may experience a lack of energy to perform daily activities, which can result in a loss of their independence.
According to studies, regular exercise can improve your strength and balance, maintain your mobility, enhance your mood by reducing anxiety and depression, improve cognitive functioning, and prevent or treat diseases such as high blood pressure.
It is recommended to engage in a few hours of moderate-intensity exercise, vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, or a combination of both on a weekly basis. Additionally, engaging in muscle-strengthening exercises or activities of moderate intensity or higher is important. No matter how unappealing exercise may seem, it is essential for healthy aging.
Social isolation and loneliness can have a negative impact on your mental well-being. Increased social isolation is associated with higher risks for health problems, including depression, heart disease, and cognitive decline. It can also lead to a decrease in cognitive abilities, such as thinking, learning, and remembering.
For a more positive emotional outlook, make sure to spend quality time with your family, friends, and beloved pets. Schedule daily, weekly, or biweekly phone calls or video chats. Join groups that interest you, such as garden clubs, church groups, arts and crafts workshops, volunteer activities, gyms, alumni groups, or any other group that aligns with your interests.
Follow a healthy, well-balanced diet
Healthy eating is crucial for successful aging. A healthy diet can help maintain muscle mass and strengthen bones, enhance immunity, and reduce the risk of certain health issues.
Try to focus on consuming whole foods. Add more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy to your diet. And eat fewer fatty meats, butter, sugar, salt, and packaged foods. Add more fiber to your diet. Fiber helps alleviate constipation, a common problem among aging adults. A low-salt diet helps in controlling any hypertension or heart issues and helps people lose weight.
Practice good dental hygiene every day
Good oral hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, and it can also help you maintain healthy teeth as you get older. You should avoid consuming sugary drinks and snacks and quit smoking, as they can lead to gum disease and oral cancer. Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings at least twice a year.
It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Additionally, it is important to floss daily and schedule regular dental cleanings to remove plaque. This routine will not only help you achieve good oral hygiene but also aid in preventing inflammation and managing other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Quit Bad Habits
Smoking increases your risk of developing cancer and heart disease. Quitting smoking at any age will lower the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and lung disease, improve blood circulation, improve your sense of taste and smell, and increase your ability to be active and exercise.
Also, avoid or limit your alcohol consumption. Alcohol can harm your liver, lead to the development of chronic diseases, and increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Drinking weakens your body’s natural immune system. It’s important to be mindful of your alcohol consumption and the potential harm it can cause.
As you age, your nutritional requirements, including protein, calcium, vitamin D, iron, and B vitamins, may undergo changes. Your healthcare provider or dietitian may recommend specific vitamins or dietary supplements tailored to your needs.
These recommendations might include:
- Calcium: Essential for maintaining bone health.
- Vitamin D: Particularly important if you have limited sun exposure; may require supplementation.
- Collagen: Beneficial for enhancing skin hydration and elasticity, supporting healthy skin aging.
- Vitamin B12: Check levels, especially in older individuals who may have difficulty absorbing it from food; consider fortified cereals or supplementation if needed.
- Vitamin B6: Strengthens red blood cells, improving their ability to transport oxygen throughout your body.
Take Care of Your Mind
As we age, our cognitive abilities may shift, and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia can impact our thinking. While some of these conditions can’t be eliminated, there are simple steps we can take to keep them at bay, including maintaining a healthy diet, staying physically active, and engaging in social activities.
Living a healthy and active life can help you get older in a good way. It can lower the chances of getting sick or having problems with your cognitive abilities. It can also give you more freedom to do the things you like because you’ll be able to move around easily. So, follow the tips mentioned in this article for a happier, healthier (older) you!
There are 2,249 adults, (404 of whom are seniors) in Lakeland.