Today’s Wellness Wednesday has my strucken, by my own mom’s health. I had a conversation with her the other day and we got on the subject of taking care of our health after 60 after a big Soul Food Sunday Dinner :). I explained to her “mom you have to take better care of yourself, you can’t keep eating the way you’ve been eating when you were younger”, her response” child I’ve been eating like this as long as I can remember their is no sense of me changing now, for what? Besides you used to eat like this when I fixed it for you”..mmm slow sigh and side eye.
Older people are stuck in their ways, to most this can be a sensitive subject to our older parents. We want them to live longer by taking care of themselves, but what they did when you were not even thought about, can it hurt them now. I’m not 60+ yet, and I have no problem with getting older. I just want to be healthy now, so it will be more beneficial when I do become 60…mom take some notes :) it’s never to late to change your thought process on your healthy living!
Healthy Living After 60+
Here are some steps you can take to improve your health after the age of 50:
Eat healthy. Pay attention to good nutrition and cut back on sodium (salt) in your diet. Limit foods that are high in unhealthy fat and be sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats (omega 3s), whole grains, fiber, vitamins and minerals each day. Talk to your health care provider about your daily requirements and ask whether you should consider taking nutritional supplements.
Stay active—physically and mentally. Get at least 30 – 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week, including aerobic exercise for heart health and weight-bearing exercise to reduce your risk for osteoporosis. Walking, jogging, biking, swimming, hiking, dancing and weight lifting are good choices. Find a few activities you enjoy—you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Talk to your health care provider before you begin any exercise program.
Studies show that challenging your mind can improve brain function and overall health. Stay in touch with friends and family members who are important to you. Take up an interesting hobby you’ve always wanted to learn more about, play cards with friends, or join a book club.
Maintain a healthy weight. Our metabolism naturally slows down as we age, making it more difficult to keep our weight in check. You may notice changes in your body shape and find that you have less energy. For women, this is especially true after menopause.
In our 50s, we also have the tendency to replace lean body mass (muscle) with fat. Because fat burns fewer calories than muscle, the weight gain cycle often is difficult to break—but it can be done through a diet and exercise program. Keep an eye on your waist measurement-to-hip measurement ratio—a large waist size compared to hip size increase the risk for health problems like diabetes.
Do not smoke or use tobacco products. It’s not easy to quit smoking—especially if you’ve smoked for years. Talk to your health care provider. There are a number of programs and medications available to help you stop smoking for good. Quitting is the single best thing you can do to improve your health.
Get enough sleep. Sleeping patterns often change as we get older, but good sleep is important for good health—at any age. If you’re having difficulty sleeping or notice that you’re more tired than usual, talk to your health care provider. Getting too little sleep can increase your risk for certain health problems.
Reduce stress. Chronic stress—a common problem for people in their 50s—takes a heavy toll on mental and physical health. In fact, studies have shown that stress increases the risk for heart attack, stroke and other serious medical problems, and may even speed up the aging process! Take steps to reduce stress in your life, either on your own or through a stress management program. Talk to your health care provider if you’re feeling overwhelmed or think you may be suffering from anxiety or depression.
Drink alcohol only in moderation (no more than one drink per day for women, two for men), if at all. Be aware that the way your body handles alcohol can change as you get older. Never drink and drive or get into a vehicle with an impaired driver.