Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for all of life's stages. Whether you are 38 or 78, keeping healthy is a daily choice, and it is sometimes a challenge. Often times when we think of good health, we think in terms of our physical well-being. While this is definitely a big part of it, health has many facets of which the physical is only one. Here are three other areas of health that you can nurture for a more fulfilling life:
The good news is your genes are not in the driver's seat when it comes to most medical conditions. You are. According to WebMD, "…for most people, a healthy lifestyle trumps inherited risk."
Heart disease and diabetes are two of the most common worries for people as they age. Although more than 100 genes may slightly increase the risk of heart disease, the biggest factors in reducing risks are maintaining a healthy weight and diet, exercising, and not smoking. Type 2 diabetes is also partly about genes, but mostly about losing weight and exercising. While reducing risks from these diseases by living healthy, blood pressure and cholesterol levels decrease. People over 65 who have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease can reduce their heart attack risk by 45 percent when maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Older adults generally need to be more mindful of the amount of exercise they get, as well as making sure that they are committing themselves to the right kinds of exercises. Exercise helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and also reduces the risk of major diseases. Exercise strengthens the body, keeps it limber, which in turn, decreases the risk of falling. The overall result of a good exercise program is remaining as independent as you can, while continuing to partake in the activities that you love.
In your retirement years, getting enough exercise is more important than ever. This is because exercise can delay or even reverse some signs of aging. It also makes you feel invigorated, allowing you to have more energy to do the things you've always wanted to do, now that you already have the time.