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As health needs change with age, one thing remains the same. Healthy living is the best way to avoid disease, prolong life, and live happier. Living a longer, healthier life can be made easier with these simple steps.
Processed foods are often full of:
Avoid the fake stuff and opt for:
Easy grocery shopping tip: Shop the perimeter of the store where the fresh foods are. Try to avoid the inside aisles where many of the boxed and processed foods reside.
You can get your vitamins with a daily multivitamin designed specifically for older adults, but eating vitamin-rich foods can serve extra benefits. Many foods full of vitamins also provide plenty of healthy fiber and minerals. Pack your meals with vitamin-rich foods, but keep taking the multivitamin for backup.
Physical activity is vital for developing the strong bones and muscles you need to help avoid falls or accidental injuries. Exercise is the best way to avoid obesity and many diseases in people of any age. If you haven't been physically active in recent years or have concerns about beginning exercise again, talk to your doctor before you start. They may suggest a structured or supervised exercise environment like a rehabilitation clinic. Many hospitals have this type of clinic for patients and those with health concerns. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity each day. You can break it up into three 10-minute sessions and get the same benefits.
Dump the cigarette habit. And stay away from those who do smoke. Second-hand smoke can be almost as dangerous. Once you stop, your risks for heart disease and some cancers will begin decreasing right away. The longer you go without smoking, the better. The risks continue to fall over time.
The risk for falls increases as we age. Morbidity and mortality rates connected to falls are also much higher in the older population. Older adults are more prone to injuries from falls or accidents, so it's important to anticipate potential hazards in your home. These may include, stairs, high bathtub walls, and slippery floors. Also, exercise can improve your strength and balance. If you were to fall or have an accident, the fact that you are physically active may make recovery easier.
Seeing your doctor on a regular basis for annual screenings or to discuss your general health will help you stay on top of any potential problems. As an older adult, you may need to take a number of different medications. It's helpful to review your prescriptions regularly so that your doctor can keep abreast of any changes or side effects.
Older drivers aren't always bad drivers. But things that come with aging like changes in vision and slower reaction times make driving trickier and may increase the chances of an accident. Don't ignore any new problems you notice. Talk to your doctor about your difficulties and see whether there are any solutions.
Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed on: Nov 25, 2014: Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, FACP
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