Staying healthy into your golden years
(NC) While many of us fear growing old — the achy knees, the spotty memory, the spectre of illness — we really don’t have to. With a few lifestyle precautions (and a dose of good luck) old age can be defined by thriving health.
Healthy-worker.ca, an initiative by Public Services Health & Safety Association, provides five tips for aging well into your golden years:
- Prevention. Certain diseases are hard-wired into us through genetics. But we tend to overlook the fact that many illnesses that occur later in life are preventable through minor lifestyle changes. For instance, heart disease, the top cause of death among seniors, is associated with lifestyle factors such as smoking, immobility and poor diet.
- Eat right. Nutrition is one of the most important components of aging well. A nutritious and balanced diet improves physical health, regulates stress and promotes social inclusion. And if you cook for yourself and your family into your later years, it keeps your body moving and your mind sharp.
- Keep moving. Never overlook physical activity. Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, dancing, yoga or cycling can reduce the risk of disorders like heart disease and type 2 diabetes by around 50 per cent. That’s in addition to the social and mental health benefits of staying active.
- Stay mentally strong. Probably the most overlooked factor on this list is mental health. Without a clear state of mind, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is next to impossible. Staying healthy as we age isn’t merely about the absence of sickness or disease, it’s about a holistic view of well-being that encompasses the physical, emotional, social and mental.
- Get connected. Age is just a number, and it’s certainly no excuse to stop learning, sharing, building relationships and making memories. So check out initiatives like the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, which empowers seniors to get connected with one another, have fun and stay healthy.
Get tips on finding balance and staying healthy and safe at healthy-worker.ca.