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6 Habits for Healthy Aging

Think aging means an inactive and unhealthy life? Think again.

Change is inevitable, and we experience a change in various ways throughout our lives. Just think—our ages change every second of every day—and so do the conditions of our bodies and minds. However, that doesn’t mean your health and active lifestyle must change for the worse.

Some of these habits can help you stay healthy and active as you grow older.

  • Eat a nutritious diet. Choosing a balanced diet boosts both health and energy. It may reduce your risk for common age-related health issues, such as anemia, bone loss, certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. It’s important to eat a variety of healthy foods and to avoid foods with many calories but few nutrients.


  • Exercise regularly. Making exercise a part of your routine today helps you stay active as you age and may prevent or delay the onset of certain diseases and disabilities. Experts suggest a minimum of 2 1/2 hours a week of moderately intense exercise.


  • Get enough sleep. The amount of sleep you need changes throughout your life. Adults ages 65 and older need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep is very important, as your body heals itself and restores energy levels while you’re sleeping.


  • Have regular checkups and screenings. The kind of screenings you need depends on various factors, such as your age, family history, risk factors and sex. Talk with your primary care provider about which screenings are necessary for you.


  • Talk with your doctor. It’s important to have a constructive conversation with your provider during each visit. Before you arrive for your doctor’s appointment, make a detailed list of your daily medication regimen and your medical history.


  • Understand your medications. The older you get, the more likely you are to take an increasing number of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Because drugs affect everyone differently—and are metabolized at different rates—it’s important to follow your provider’s guidelines for taking your medications and be alert to the effects they have on your body.


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