More than 90% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and more than 75% have more than one. Plus, these figures are even higher for women than for men.
Natural changes like menopause and family medical history play a part, but healthy lifestyle choices can help you stay strong and healthy in the years ahead.
Here are some tips to help make aging healthily a breeze.
1. Manage stress. Stress can aggravate hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Regular exercise helps alleviate stress and boost our mood, as does journaling, practicing gratitude, prayer, and positive thinking.
2. Limit alcohol and caffeine which can trigger hot flashes and increase inflammation and the chance of other health concerns.
3. Move more and eat more mindfully to combat the dreaded middle-aged weight gain. Your metabolism slows down as you age. The distribution of your body fat changes too, so more of those pounds wind up around your waist, increasing your risk for heart conditions and diabetes.
4. Eat soy. Many women find relief from menopause symptoms with soy and supplements, even though studies give conflicting results. See if tofu and soymilk work for you.
5. Eat more fiber and less saturated and trans fats to keep your heart healthy. Most nuts and seeds are great sources of healthy fat.
6. Get your heart pumping. Aerobic exercise will help your heart stay strong and healthy while aiding with weight loss and reducing the risks of other diseases.
7. Build muscle. You can slow down muscle loss, and thicken your bones with strength training. Lift weights or use your own body weight for resistance, (think squats and pushups). Work hard enough to feel the challenge to build your strength and avoid osteoporosis. You don’t need to worry about ‘bulking up’.
8. Monitor your blood pressure. A vegetarian or low-fat diet has shown to reduce the risk of rising blood pressure and resting heart rate with aging. Losing weight, exercising, and limiting salt and high-fat foods may help you to avoid needing medication.
9. Screen for cancer. Age increases your risk for many forms of cancer. So do some foods, like red meat. Stay active, eat more vegetables, and reduce your red meat intake. Talk with your doctor about screening tests that spot cancers early when they're easier to treat and cure.
10. Ask a fitness professional for help. Would you like to move, look and feel better with the strength and energy to enjoy the best years of your life? Contact me to find out how I can help you do just that!