By Daniel Lewis
Aging triggers some of the most visible changes in our bodies. The older we get the bigger the changes, meaning that it’s critical to enjoy the process and do what we can to make our later years comfortable. Aging is inevitable. However, we can take steps to live a fulfilling life.
Our minds, bodies and, of course, our metabolism, change as move past the mid-century mark. Common health concerns include arthritis, short-term memory loss, brittle bones and a loss in skin elasticity, among others. While sometimes frustrating, these changes are perfectly normal.
Taking supplements can help, although these should only be taken under the strict supervision of your physician. Sadly, vitamin deficiencies are common in seniors. Some don’t spend enough time outside, may not be physically active and may even forget to eat or drink water.
It’s never wise for anyone, especially an older adult, to start popping pills at random to fill in the gaps, though. For example, simply because we’ve heard about a magic elixir with 50 vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t mean that it’s what our body needs. And, don’t forget – hydration is paramount. As we get past our 50s, we may not feel hunger or thirst the same. Just because we don’t feel thirsty doesn’t mean our bodies don’t need water.
Drinking eight glasses of water every 24 hours might seem like mission: impossible. Try to keep things interesting while staying hydrated. We can eat more watermelon, or “spice” up” our daily water with fresh strawberries to give it a more pleasant taste.
Another key to a long and happy life is directly linked to diet. We need to keep our metabolism going full speed ahead. The best way to do that is with healthy food. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet, keep your meat lean and avoid fried and salty foods.
Say Yes to Change
The passing of the years can bring about major shifts in mind, body and spirit. We may have moments of joy, sadness or clarity. The key is acceptance. There’s little more you can do in the present than to live it. Why not make every moment count?
When we focus on what we have right now, we don't let worry ruin our present. Many seniors have difficulties expressing their emotions because they don’t want people to perceive them as being helpless or weak. But hiding vulnerabilities can do more harm than good; eventually seniors may end up developing acute anger, anxiety and depression.
Accept and Move On
Just because we can’t remember where we put our glasses or house keys doesn’t mean we’re suffering from dementia or some other debilitating disease. Forgetfulness is common among older adults. Having trouble getting around the house? Might finally be time to ask for assistance. There are excellent caregivers out there; first, we have to be willing to accept we can’t do it all anymore.
Our bodies are not invincible, no matter how healthy we eat or how much we exercise. The sooner we understand that, the better. We all must accept our own limitations. We shouldn’t feel bad if we need a hand or want the kids to stop by and help around the house every once in a while.
We can’t stop the march of time. But we can make the most of the time we have. Sometimes, we may feel low, or be looking at a period of rehabilitation after a setback, such as a stroke. These are only temporary. With the right mindset and healthier choices, life at 70, 80 and beyond can be nothing short of great!
Daniel Lewis writes about health and fitness-related issues. He has a deep knowledge of the field and is a regular contributor to http://www.foresthc.com/, which focuses on elder care homes and retirement villages in the UK.