Tips for Healthy Aging

Author: Teresa Nelson

It’s a lost art to embrace the aging process with grace and poise. The truth is, we go through many difficult changes as we grow older, and many of us see a decline in our health as we age, simply because we don’t know how to deal with all the changes of aging in a healthy way. Whether it’s retirement, loss of loved ones, grown kids leaving for college, or even declining health, the changes that come with aging can be scary. We want to help!

We often have to learn to take each new decade as a stepping-stone and landmark. It’s part of a healthy aging process, so learning to reinvent yourself as you age is vital. You might need to find new activities to enjoy, pick up old ones that you enjoyed in the past, or just doing all you can to stay active socially and physically. The questions that haunt us tend to be around what will happen if we lose our spouse or get sick and need help with daily care. It can all cause anxiety and fear, but we want to assure you that getting a plan in place is the biggest key of all to healthy aging! You are much stronger and sharper than you might think.

Keep your mind sharp.

A body at rest tends to stay at rest. The same is true for your mind. Keep your mind sharp by playing mind-teaser games, crossword puzzles, exercising, and staying creative. These activities actually help prevent cognitive decline. It’s like physical care—the more you do it, the better the results. If you have retired, this is especially important, as you may not be drawing a mental challenge from work each day.

Try variations on what you know.

Switch up the things you already know and love! If you love sports, take up a new one. If you can’t run a baseball field any longer, you might try something like golf, where your mind stays active, but the physical strain is much less.

If you love a certain computer game or puzzle, try taking it past the level you normally achieve and give it your all to break through your “norm.” If you love to cook, try something totally off the beaten path! If you can’t join a cooking class, a little research online will have you all set to try something new! It’s all about setting goals and breaking past the stale place you typically land.

Work on new things each day.

This doesn’t have to mean literally learning a new task each day. Switch up your normal routine by taking a new route to work, or even something as simple as using the other hand for your daily tasks. It will jolt your brain into being “present” and you might find that you enjoy it! Taking a side road or wandering down a country lane is easier than ever, thanks to GPS. If you take car trips, consider taking back roads, rather than interstate routes. The scenery is far better, and you will come across many of our country’s treasures.

Try your hand at a completely new subject.

Ever wanted to learn a new language? Pick up an instrument? Try your hand at something artistic? These things are all great for keeping your mind active while slowing the aging process. Perhaps you think there is no way you could ever learn to get around on the computer…trying something new can be one of the greatest joys in life! Whether you sign up for a community center class or ask a friend who is accomplished in certain areas to come help, you should not overlook the fun that comes from learning a new skill! No matter how old we get, we should ALWAYS be stretching and growing!

As you can see, there are many ideas for staying mentally sharp, and all of them will help you feel younger for longer! For more information on staying healthy as you age, please contact us today.

Home Helpers of Eastern Idaho is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, 24-hour live-in care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in Pocatello, Chubbuck, Blackfoot, American Falls, Soda Springs, Aberdeen, McCammon, and Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

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