As we age, our bodies change inside and out—affecting how we look, feel, and function. To keep us in the best possible health, it’s important to adapt our routines and habits. But you don’t have to wait until you’re retired to get started. Here are eight things you can do now to set yourself up for healthier aging.
As you get older, you may need different kinds of nutrients. Try eating more nutrient-rich foods like lean proteins (chicken, fish, tofu), nuts, fruits, and vegetables—and make sure to include colorful and diverse options for a range of vitamins and minerals. It’s also best to avoid “empty” calories from foods like chips, candy, and soda.
Sleep is a huge part of your overall well-being. But sleep patterns can change with age, making it harder to get the sleep we need. Look at your daily and nightly routines, which can affect how well you sleep. And explore other things that could be affecting your sleep such as caffeine consumption, screen time, the environment in your bedroom, medications, and stress.
The right nutrition can help you deal with the normal wear-and-tear of aging. Try to eat foods high in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, and zinc. Many leafy-green vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins are great for bone health.1 If you have any medical conditions, be sure to ask a pharmacist or health care provider before making big changes to your diet.
Along with a balanced diet, exercise is an important part of keeping your bones strong—because as we age, we’re at greater risk for falls and fractures. For stronger bones, consider weight-bearing exercises, resistance exercises (where you push/pull), and aerobic activities like walking.
Like your body, your brain needs exercise and rest to work best. To help maintain thinking and memory, challenge your brain with complex problem solving such as puzzles or math games. Get enough sleep (aim for at least seven hours). Review medications to see if they’re affecting your ability to think clearly. And make sure to move your body—elevating your heart rate may improve attention and memory.2
Stress has a big impact on our overall health, and finding the right ways to cope with stress is important for healthy aging. To help deal with the stress in your life, try spending time in nature, practicing mindfulness, or focusing on breathing techniques.
Your kidneys affect your blood pressure, how your body gets rid of waste, and how your body stays balanced. Check with a pharmacist or health care provider to see if your medications are affecting your kidneys. Cutting back on alcohol and salt, eating whole foods, and drinking enough water are also good ways to help keep your kidneys working at their best.
As you age, the way your body reacts to medications will change, too. This includes prescription medications, supplements, vitamins, herbal remedies, and over-the-counter products. Work with your pharmacist or health care provider to regularly review all the medications you take to make sure they are still needed, safe, and effective.
Making changes for healthier aging may seem like a lot, but you don’t have to do it alone. A MOBE Guide can help you find ways to build healthier habits and improve your overall well-being. And a licensed MOBE Pharmacist can help you minimize risks and make sure your meds are working for you. Get started today.