As you get older, there are many things you can do to prevent and even reverse age-related health problems. But sometimes, it can be hard to tell what those things are. You may feel like your body is just starting to fail on you when, actually, there’s a lot you can do — starting right now — to stop this downward spiral in its tracks. Read on to learn some of the top tips on how you can avoid common age 60 health problems.
Know and Manage Your Risk of Chronic Disease
As you age, you need to talk to your doctor about being scanned for common chronic diseases. In general, it’s best to know your risk factors and lifestyle choices and discuss them with your doctor at least once a year. If you are over the age of 65, consider scheduling regular screenings with a primary care provider or an age-appropriate screening clinic so you can avoid age 60 health problems.
Examples of some common chronic diseases that can be managed include:
- Diabetes: You will need to test your blood sugar levels regularly, adjust medications if needed, monitor diet and exercise habits to control weight gain or loss, manage stress levels in order not to exacerbate symptoms of depression, and keep vaccinations up-to-date so as not to contract illnesses such as flu or pneumonia (which may be serious).
- Hypertension (high blood pressure): High blood pressure needs closer monitoring than people think — it’s often called “the silent killer” because there are no obvious symptoms until it has done its damage! To avoid this outcome, examine all aspects of your health and lifestyle first, as these factors often contribute to hypertension. You can then begin to make adjustments that allow you to reach normal blood pressure levels again.
Maintain Mobility and Fitness to Stay Independent
The importance of maintaining mobility and fitness cannot be overstated, as they’re two vital elements in keeping you healthy and living independently. Staying fit will also help you avoid age 60 health problems. Keep active by walking, doing yoga or pilates, or taking part in other physical activities that you enjoy. Stay away from high-risk situations that could lead to an accident or injury (e.g. driving after drinking or taking drugs).
If you have a disability or chronic illness, try to maintain your mobility and fitness by getting help from others. You can also look into adaptive equipment or low-impact exercises that suit your needs. Sometimes, staying on track with your workout routine is a matter of having the right activities and the right people to exercise with. If you’re feeling unmotivated, find a workout buddy or join a class so you can collaborate on staying healthy while combating age 60 health problems.
Know the Right Types and Amounts of Exercise
Regular exercise is important for your health, but the type and amount of activity you need depends on your age. At age 60, you may have to spend less time exercising than you did when you were younger. As it turns out, this lack of activity could be accounting for many age 60 health problems you’re experiencing.
The best forms of exercise include walking, cycling, dancing, and swimming. If these aren’t options for you, try muscle-strengthening exercises such as weight lifting or resistance bands. You can also try aerobic exercise, which improves your heart and lung function. If you live alone, consider joining a senior center or fitness facility to meet people and get support for your exercise program from personal trainers and peers.
You should aim to do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity — such as brisk walking — and two sessions each week of strength training (about eight exercises total) that work for all major muscle groups. You can also combine some types of exercise into one session if it fits better into your schedule: For example, take a 30-minute walk and then lift weights for 30 minutes afterward.
Check Your Diet for Nutrient Deficiencies
There are two primary ways to ensure that you’re getting enough of the right nutrients. The first is to get a blood test and make sure your levels are within the normal range for your age group. The second is to follow a balanced diet made up of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t have time for a blood test, ask your doctor about the best diet for you. It’s also important to check with a nutritionist if you need help creating meal plans that fit into your lifestyle and on-the-go eating habits.
You can also improve your diet by avoiding processed foods — those containing trans fats and added sugar — as well as refined carbohydrates such as white bread and cereals which contain little nutritional value but often provide little satiation.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
The mental health of a person is just as important as their physical health. In fact, it can even be more important because if your mind isn’t healthy, neither will your body be. You can improve the way you feel by eating healthy foods that give you plenty of energy and also taking time out each day to relax.
When you’re feeling stressed, it can be difficult to make good choices about what you eat, giving age 60 health problems even more power over you. You may find yourself reaching for unhealthy snacks or skipping meals when you’re tired and hungry. This can lead to weight gain and poor blood sugar control over time, among other dangers.
Speaking to a psychiatrist or another mental health professional is a great way to reduce stress and get some of your problems off of your chest. Taking time to relax each day is also important. You can take a bath, read a book or listen to music. If you don’t have much time for yourself, try to squeeze in at least five minutes of relaxation wherever possible.
Take Care of Your Back
Back pain can be one of the most frustrating complications of aging because it often requires a lot of time and money to treat. You can minimize the risk of pain by keeping your blood sugar levels under control and exercising regularly. Exercise is especially important for people who have had a previous history of back problems or injuries. If you are facing more chronic back problems, then try seeing a chiropractor.
Know What Your Insurance Covers
If you have a mental health condition that requires medication, it’s important to know what your insurance covers. If you’re not sure, ask your doctor or pharmacist. You can also call your insurer directly and ask what medications they cover and at what cost (if any). This is especially important if you have a Medicare prescription plan such as Medicare Part D since some medications aren’t covered under this plan.
You can also check out the Prescription Drug Plan Finder, which will show you what medications are covered by Medicare Part D and at what cost. If your medication isn’t covered or costs too much, talk to your doctor about switching from brand-name to generic versions of your medication (if possible).
Add a Little Exercise to Your Day
If you can’t remember the last time you did any exercise, or if you’re not sure where to start, there’s no better time than now to get moving. You don’t have to join a gym or buy fancy equipment — just make the most of the space and equipment available in your home:
- Take a brisk walk around your neighborhood.
- Do simple stretches while watching TV or reading on your couch.
- Clean up around your house by doing squats while dusting and pushups while mopping.
Exercise is a major tool in battling age 60 health problems, so be sure to incorporate it into your lifestyle!
Avoid Alarmingly High Levels of Stress
Stress is a part of life — it’s just there. But too much stress can lead to a host of physical and emotional problems, including heart disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more. Staying on top of the stress of life is a key part of fighting age 60 health problems. Managing stress is a challenge, but it is one that will improve your health.
Take Time to Relax
Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep stress in check. Eliminate sources of stress in your life. This can mean anything from getting rid of toxic relationships to quitting a job that’s making you miserable. But managing stress isn’t just about subtracting bad parts of your life, it’s also about adding new ones that benefit you.
For example, make time for fun activities like reading, watching movies, enjoying a hot tub soak, or playing sports with friends. Take deep breaths when you feel stressed out, so you can calm down and think rationally about the situation. Try to stay active and get plenty of sleep. Eat healthy foods, especially those that contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B6.
Keep Your Home Safe
Oftentimes, age 60 health problems arise from issues in your living environment. For this reason, you should check your home for any possible dangers. For instance, make sure there are no tripping hazards like loose rugs, broken toys, or old shoes lying around. If you have young children in the house, make sure all electrical outlets are covered with safety plugs. Also, install smoke detectors to prevent fires and carbon monoxide detectors to warn you if there are dangerous levels of gas in your home.
If you are worried about any hazardous materials in your home, then it is worth investing in a regular asbestos inspection. You can also speak to a local homeowners association to connect you with the resources you need to tweak your living environment.
When you need interior work done, be sure to hire the right contractor or professional. For example, professional electricians have the experience needed to navigate nearly any scenario with the wiring in your home. Consulting with these professionals will help you and your loved ones avoid risk when working in the home.
Schedule Regular Dentist Visits
Regular dentist visits are important, especially if you have a family or young children. The dentist can help you identify any issues before they become serious problems. They may also be able to perform simple procedures that will keep your teeth healthy and strong for life, such as a routine dental cleaning.
Your dentist will be able to tell you if you need any additional dental care as well as recommend a plan for treatment. This could include regular cleanings, X-rays, or other procedures that help to ensure your mouth remains healthy.
Focus On Total Health
As you get older, it can be easy to think that your health is only about your bones and joints. But your body is a complex system, and when you focus on just one part of it, other parts may get neglected. For example, if you have a knee problem, then you might not think about taking care of the rest of your body or paying attention to what could happen in the future if things don’t improve.
Consider a Senior Community
An active senior living community may be the perfect fit to inspire and motivate you. When you are facing age 60 health problems, you can feel alienated. This feeling is much easier to navigate when you are with people who are at a similar place in life. The right senior community can be an excellent way to create community and remove your stress.
We hope you were able to learn a few things from this article that will help you avoid age 60 health problems. The main takeaway is simple: get enough exercise, keep stress levels low, and eat a balanced diet. If possible, talk with your doctor about whether or not it’s time for a checkup and what steps need to be taken next.