As we get older, our health becomes more of a priority. We may notice that we can’t bounce back as quickly from injuries or illnesses, or perhaps we’re finding it difficult to do the things we love. Aging is a natural part of life, but as we get older, we may want to pay more attention to our health.
Prioritizing your health as you get older can help you live a longer life. Paying attention to the things you eat, the things you do, and the environment you put yourself in can make a big difference. Here are ten health improvement tips that can help you live a longer life, and why it’s important to start doing these things sooner rather than later.
Visit The Doctor
One of the most basic health improvement tips that will help you live longer is visiting the doctor. Going to the doctor is a key way of monitoring your health over time and making sure everything is okay. While you should go to the doctor when you’re feeling nauseous or have a sore irritated throat, you should also keep up with your regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments, even if you’re feeling well. Typically, people are advised to visit the doctor at least once per year for a checkup. That may change, depending on someone’s health history or risk for developing illness.
If you want to live a longer life, you must take control of your health. Part of taking control of your health includes taking the necessary preventative steps. Being proactive with your health will help you catch possible issues early on and make a plan for treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, be sure to talk to your doctor right away. The sooner you address it, the sooner you can take care of it.
Don’t Skip The Dentist
When thinking of health improvement tips, you can’t forget to look at the importance of maintaining your oral health. Oral health is directly tied to overall health, so if your oral health is suffering your overall health can suffer, too. Dentists will tell you if your gums and teeth are in poor shape. If they are, you and your dentist can make a treatment plan and start improving your oral health.
It’s recommended that you head to the dental office for a visit twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. If your oral health is declining, you may be asked to visit more frequently. For instance, if you develop periodontal disease, you may need to make more appointments to get your gums properly cleaned. Make sure you check with your dentist on how often you should be visiting.
You also want to make sure your family is visiting the dentist as needed, too. Keep up with visits to your family dentist and teach your family to brush twice a day and floss daily. Teaching them these healthy habits early on can help them live longer, healthier lives.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
We all have foods we love to eat, but they may not be the best for our overall health. It’s okay to eat these foods in moderation, but you have to make sure you eat a well-balanced diet daily. Eating right is one of the fundamental health improvement tips that will help you live a longer and healthier life.
Eat a diet that’s rich with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and other essential nutrients. Limit foods that are high in saturated and trans fat, sugar, and salt. If you eat too many foods that contain these substances, you’ll put yourself at risk for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. These conditions can shorten your life if they aren’t taken care of, so make sure you’re maintaining a healthy diet to prevent these diseases from developing.
You can also swap your favorite not-so-healthy meals for healthy substitutes. If you love pizza, buying some gluten free frozen pizzas from the store can help you save money and provide a healthier meal option. Or, you could replace rice and potatoes with cauliflower substitutes to cut down on carbs. Be sure to talk to your doctor before making any large changes to your diet, though.
Exercising is essential for living a long, healthy life. As we get older, our bodies start to function at a slower pace. Bone density decreases, muscle mass decreases, and we become more susceptible to injury. It’s a natural part of life. However, regularly exercising can help reduce the effects of an aging body and help you live longer.
Exercising is one of those health improvement tips that many people know about, but they may not act on. If you don’t regularly exercise, it could cause you to become lethargic, weaken your bones and muscles, and even cause you to gain weight. To avoid this, try to get some exercise each day — even if it’s going for a 30-minute walk. There are other forms of exercise you can do too, including biking, swimming, dancing, and running. Pick an exercise routine that isn’t too strenuous, but helps you achieve your fitness goals.
If you aren’t sure which exercise routine would be best for you, you can talk to a physical therapist to see which routine will help you be the most active. This is especially important if you already have physical limitations due to injury or illness. Be honest about what kind of exercise you can handle and how often you can commit to the routine. The more dedicated you are to your exercise routine, the better your chances are of seeing long-term results.
Get Plenty of Sleep
The amount of sleep we get has a direct impact on our health. Not sleeping enough during the night can make you feel run down, impact your memory, and cause severe mood swings. It can also cause people to crave sugary foods, which can impact their diet. Getting enough sleep is one of many health improvement tips that can help you live a longer life. The more sleep you get, the healthier you’ll be. Studies show that it is ideal to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. However, that number may vary depending on your health situation and environment.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about it. They can help you diagnose what the issue is and help you find treatment. You could be allergic to something in the air in your home that’s causing you to toss and turn. Your doctor could recommend allergy testing to see if that’s the case. Your diet and stress levels can also impact how well you sleep, so your doctor may suggest making lifestyle changes to help you sleep better. Your doctor may also refer you to a sleep specialist to help you get to the bottom of your sleep issues. The sooner they get resolved, the better.
Take Your Vitamins
Getting the right vitamins and minerals is essential for living a long, healthy life. Vitamins and minerals help our bodies function properly and play an important role in our health. Vitamins and minerals help heal wounds, build bone strength, and boost our immune systems. They also help us form muscles, skin, and red blood cells. Since they’re essentially the building blocks of your body, you have to make sure you’re getting all the recommended vitamins and minerals. These include calcium, zinc, Vitamin C, and iron.
There are a couple of ways you can get the proper vitamins and minerals into your daily diet. The best way is to eat a well-balanced diet. If you’re having issues with your nutrition, you can visit a nutritionist or get another form of nutrition counseling. You could also take a daily multivitamin to get all the nutrients you need. Make sure you check how much of each nutrient you get in the multivitamin. It is possible to get too much of a certain vitamin or mineral, so be sure to monitor your dosage if you’re taking multivitamins.
Ditch The Bad Habits
If you want to live a longer life, you have to make your health a priority. When thinking of which health improvement tips to follow, make sure you emphasize this one: ditch your bad habits. Eating junk food, smoking, and drinking excessively can cause health issues that could cut your life short. Eating a poor diet can cause you to develop diabetes or heart disease. Smoking can cause heart disease, lung disease, and cancer. Excessive drinking can cause liver disease and even brain deterioration over time. The sooner you check these bad habits, the better your health will be.
Lower Your Stress Levels
Decreasing your stress is one of those health improvement tips that sounds easy to do, but can be tough at first. Life can be stressful sometimes. You may have a family to support, a demanding job, or struggling to pay the bills. These stressful situations can have an impact on your health if they aren’t properly managed. Chronic stress can elevate your blood pressure, increase your heart rate, and increase stress hormones in your body. Long-term stress can even cause you to have a stroke or heart attack.
If you’re constantly stressed, think of ways to distress each day. You could meditate, do yoga, or participate in another form of exercise. You could also write, listen to music, and take time for yourself to decompress. If these activities don’t work and you’re still feeling stress, talk to your doctor about ways to manage your stress. Primary care physicians and family physicians can offer advice on how to manage your stress and if your stress is impacting your health.
Exercise Your Mind
Your brain is an essential part of your body. It controls everything from motor function to behavior. When it comes to health improvement tips that help you live longer, an important one to remember is to exercise your mind. Stimulating your brain keeps it sharp as time goes on, and participating in mentally-engaging activities can help it stay healthy. Some examples of exercising your mind include taking up new hobbies, doing a crossword puzzle, and learning something new. You can also play memory games and solve riddles to stay sharp.
There are multiple benefits for exercising your mind. It leads to sharper thinking, a better memory, higher self-esteem, and better sleep. People tend to focus on physical health as they age, but they also need to focus on mental health. Exercise your brain on a regular basis to keep it in shape as time goes on.
Do What Makes You Happy
Your emotional well-being is tied to your overall health. Being happy is said to have multiple health benefits, including building a stronger immune system and having a healthier heart. Plus, happiness is good for your brain. When we’re happy, our brain releases neurotransmitters called dopamine and serotonin into our body, which makes us feel good. Happiness can also make your brain sharper and help you stay alert.
Make time to do the things that make you happy. If you enjoy going out to eat with your significant other, schedule a date once per week at a seafood restaurant or local establishment. If you have a passion for a certain industry, pursue a career in that industry. If getting a pet makes you happy, look into adopting one and giving it a loving home. Doing what makes you happy will automatically boost your mood, which will help boost your overall health.
As you consider following these health improvement tips, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that at the end of the day, you’re the one who controls your health. You determine what your diet, exercise routine, and healthcare visits look like. If you want to live a longer life and improve your health, you have to be accountable for your actions. Take ownership of your health and make an actionable plan to improve it. It may seem tough at first, but you can do it. You can live a longer and healthier life if you’re proactive and diligent.