September is healthy aging month, so we’re sharing some of our favorite tips.
1. Water is your friend
Writer Barbara Brody quotes the Baylor College of Medicine suggesting that you, “don’t wait until you feel thirsty: It means you’re already somewhat dehydrated.”
2. Cut back on alcohol (but you don’t need to give it up!)
Brody also notes that, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, “excessive amounts of alcohol can dehydrate and damage your skin.” On the other hand, she points out that there’s research showing that a glass or two of wine a day can be healthy, and may even help you age more slowly.
3. Lift weights
Brody quotes a Mayo Clinic’s list of several health benefits you can gain from lifting weights: “it may help combat thinning bones (osteoporosis), reduce the risk of dangerous falls, and help conditions like heart disease and diabetes in older adults.”
As a bonus, as Bustle magazine recently reported, a new study has shown that “weight lifting helped relieve depression among participants regardless of age, strength and skill level, or overall health status.”
4. Strengthen Your Balance and Prevent Falls
Healthy Aging NC reports that, “Unintentional falls among older adults are a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury in the U.S. and North Carolina, including traumatic brain injury (TBI).”
The CDC’s STEADI program, which stands for “Stopping Elderly Accidents,
Deaths and Injuries,” suggests that exercises like Tai Chi can improve your balance and your lower leg strength. They also suggest that you have your eyes and feet checked once a year to ensure that you have the proper eyewear and footwear. STEADI also offers tips on how to make your home safer, including improving the lighting in your home and removing items you could trip over (like books, clothes, and shoes) from places where you walk.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight
According to Johns Hopkins registered dietitian Kathleen Johnson, M.A., R.D., L.D.N, what’s most important for those over 50 is achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
She suggests you “practice moderation, and make sure the largest food on your plate is a vegetable, followed by whole grains and protein.”
While these tips are especially helpful for older folks, experts also point out that it’s never too early to start following these healthy living tips.