Category : Diet
How to Retain Tip-Top Bodily Health as You Age
If you’ve ticked past a certain point in life, chances are you look back on the vitality of youth as something lost and not there to be recaptured. You’ll recall with a nostalgic smile when you used to bounce up when you fell down; how you’d roll with the punches of a common cold; and how your body was fluid and ache-free as standard. But older folks needn’t see this state of affairs as a thing of the past – actually, there’s plenty of ways to maintain the healthiest of bodies well into your silvering years; this article outlines the best ways to do so.
Concentrate on Nutrition
As a child, your body is so busy growing, with a whirlwind of hormones fueling your progression into adulthood, that it doesn’t particularly matter what goes into you. As you grow older and pass through puberty, though, nutrition begins to have huge effects on your bodily functions. What you eat should become more of a conscious effort to consume all those aspects of a healthy diet that go towards bolstering your immune system and keeping you fighting fit.
A balanced diet, of course, includes carbohydrates, proteins and fiber, as well as the right amount of sugar and fat. Strict diets are not recommended for wholesome wellbeing; instead, ensure you’re getting enough fruit and vegetables into each meal, as these contain vitamins and minerals which do everything from increasing your libido to improving your brain, reinforcing your immune system to giving you a better complexion.
Another of the most standard pieces of advice – to exercise regularly – acquires a twist for the older folk amongst us. As you age, it becomes easier and easier to sustain simple but debilitating injuries, and to run yourself into the ground with excessive exercise. Knowing your limits will help prevent such eventualities, as well as keeping your body warm and ensuring you ‘warm up’ and and ‘cool down’ adequately to get your muscles loose and to rid yourself of harmful lactic acid, created during exercise.
The responsibility element here is to be patient with yourself and not to build an ambitious regime that might serve to one day cripple you with back pain. For every long run you partake in, think about taking a swim to offset the strain, as aqua-based exercise is excellent for your body, it being a non-impact way of getting the blood pumping. Weights and reps are a good idea for preventing back pain, but likewise, build these around baths or saunas to give your muscles much-needed rest and relaxation.
See a Physiotherapist
Absolutely essential for anyone suffering frequent cramps and pains, especially those who lose sleep over back pain, physiotherapists are well-versed in the muscular knots and bodily issues of older people. At fabulous institutions such as the Great Moves Physical Therapy outfit, which caters towards everyone from the elderly to those with a golf swing related pain, you’ll find professionals who will be able to tease the aches and pains out of your body for good.
Exercising and aging, hand in hand, will one day manifest itself in some deeply-rooted bodily issues. For instance, a very slight instep on your running gait serves to slowly rotate your knee, hip, back and shoulders off their central line, misaligning muscles and creating joint pain. Get on top of this early, with visits to a physiotherapist, so that you’re confident that the impressive exercise routine you have in place isn’t actually causing you some serious damage in the long-run.
To bolster your immune system and provide the metaphorical oil that’ll keep your joints in fine working order – pain-free and flexible – it’s recommended that you invest in some pots of tablets that give you all the important nutritional elements that you may miss out on, or fail to process, in your diet. They’re cheap, and it’s no disruption to your day to pop a handful of healthy pills into your mouth on waking up.
Vitamin D is regularly cited as the happiness vitamin – what we get from sunlight – whereas multivitamins cover the good stuff you extract from fruit, which specifically keeps you armed against harmful bacteria, bolstering your good bacteria in your belly. There’s garlic tablets, cod liver oil capsules, and plenty more to explore if this method appeals to you – it’ll certainly give you that bit more peace of mind that you’re doing all you can to avoid illness or pains.
Try Alternative Options
There is a gigantic list of alternative therapy or self-love wellbeing methods out there that cater for those who are open-minded, or even a little desperate to sort out a condition that traditional medicine has failed to help with. Acupuncture has been shown to assist with all sorts of maladies, and while homeopathy has a bad reputation, there are plenty of cases where it’s been shown to help people in ways that defy expectations.
Perhaps one of the best options when it comes to alternative options is yoga and meditation. The practice of yoga is itself meditative when done alone, but finding a yoga group that participates locally to you will introduce you to new people in a relaxed and welcoming environment. Yoga stretches out all of your muscles, which means you’ll be more pliable and less likely to get a limp from climbing the stairs, or strain your back picking up a box. Give it a go – it’s enough fun anyway that there’s no reason you shouldn’t!
Control Bad Habits
The young, wild and free days of your life may well be over if you’ve come this far in the article. Whether for you this ended at 18, 25 or forty, the lifestyle that you maintained before these watershed moments might have included any or all of excess alcohol consumption, heavy smoking, drug taking, all-night partying, and general devious activities that you’re able to get away with in the innocent explorations of youth.
This isn’t so much the case when you get older, and controlling bad habits, addictions, or impulses to indulge in something you know will hamper your good health in the long-run is essential to keeping your body healthy. While wine has been scientifically proven to aid good health, in moderation – joy of joys – you should never drink to excess, you should try to quit smoking, and you should avoid lifestyle modes that transgress back to your youth. They’re likely harmful and will have a far more adverse effect than you realize.
Be Social and Open
Another slightly cruel, slightly inevitable fact of growing older is that you begin to lose friends – not through death, but through the increasingly insular lifestyle that you’re statistically likely to develop. Pals might live far away, or spend most of their time with family; they might even have emigrated. Nonetheless, loneliness is a huge factor in poor mental health in older people, which has direct consequential implications for your bodily health, too.
Of utmost importance, then, is to keep yourself social – to be an active member of your community in whatever way you see possible, and not to sacrifice your mobility (owning a car or bicycle) for anything! Meeting new people and relaxing with old friends releases a heady cocktail of positive brain chemicals, which in turn affect the hormones in your body that govern everything from mood to your digestive regularity! Good health is not all about solo pursuits like exercise; share in moments with others, too, in order to get your dose of these extra-useful chemicals.
It’s a slippery slope, making the internal psychological decision that you’re over the hill, that you’ll never rid yourself of that nagging pain in your left knee, or that you’re destined to suffer the flu from the start of every winter to the end of it, for the rest of your days. Once you get to this defeatist point in proceedings, you close doors to recovery which are there, just imperceptible to your current position. Instead, take the initiative, get advice from professional clinicians and pharmacists, and work to make your recovery a success.
Aches and pains can be alleviated through everything from aqua aerobics to regular stretching; a bad cough might stem from your smoking habit, your work environment, or something that you should go and talk to your doctor about. Whatever the malady, it just won’t do to accept it into your identity as something that’s inevitable in your old age. Putting up the fight is exactly the sort of statement to yourself that keeps you young and gets the blood pumping in an imitation of the vitality of youth, so remember this tip for when times seem tough, and a terminal life inside the comfortable confines of your softest armchair begins to seem the only way forward. It’s not – take control, and live well.
These are some of the most important factors in attaining excellent bodily health in the face of tumbling years. You’re only ever going to be as strong as your will to change harmful habits, your willingness to engage in therapy, and your doggedness in getting out and exercising when your favorite soap is about to begin. Bear these tips in mind, then, for your next age-related ailment so that you’re equipped with the necessary information to rise above it, see it for what it is – temporary – and conquer it with the wisdom only the older can acquire.