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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Seven Ways to Stay Healthy at Any Age

September 14, 2018

Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at every age. There will be some changes that take place with getting older, but it doesn't have to mean disability and it doesn't have to mean disease. Regardless of your age, you can take action to maintain good health as well as reduce your risk of developing chronic disease. It’s never too late!

The tips below can help you maintain or strengthen your physical and emotional health and live life to the fullest, whatever your age or circumstances:

 

Have a positive attitude about aging.

You are what you think you are when it comes to aging. Research shows that having a positive attitude about aging may help you from becoming sick, which in turn appears to keep your mind sharp. Those adults who think of age as a means to wisdom and overall satisfaction are more than 40 percent more likely to recover from a disability than those who see aging as synonymous with helplessness or uselessness.

 

Stay mentally active.

Keeping the brain healthy requires the maintaining and building of new neural pathways - the roads in our brains that carry information. Staying mentally fit may require working in an unfamiliar field that requires new knowledge; it could be learning a new language, learning to play an instrument for the first time, or all of the above. The trick is to keep your brain challenged. Be a lifelong learner.

 

Keep in touch with your friends and family.

Friends and relatives can help you live longer. Research shows that those of us with strong social ties have a 50 percent higher chance of living longer than those with poor or insufficient relationships.

 

Stay physically active.

Physical activity is required for healthy metabolism as well as maintenance of your lean body mass such as muscle and bone. Exercise, especially outdoors, has been shown to reduce stress levels and cut the risk of depressionmemory problemsheart disease and diabetes. Research shows that staying fit may also reduce age-related memory loss.

 

Eat healthy foods.

Nutrition plays a major role in how your body ages. A healthy diet should include a low-glycemic diet - high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein while avoiding refined and processed sugars.

 

Eat moderately.  

Research shows that overeating may lead to a shorter life span, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. To age well and live longer, it’s best to stick to a balanced diet that consists of about 2 ½ cups of vegetables, 1 ½ to two cups of fruit, six ounces of grains, three cups of dairy and five ounces of protein each day.

 

Get your shut-eye.

Sleep is your body’s repair cycle. Lack of sleep is associated with depression, heart disease and obesity. Our brains require adequate sleep (usually six to eight hours) to store memories, learn new information and reboot to be able to function properly the next day.

 

Go for regular check-ups

Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. 

 

September is Healthy Aging Month and the Florida Department of Health is encouraging all people, especially elders, to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle for an improved quality of life.