Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tips for aging from Glacier Nurse Direct

by Kristy Naylor RN and Marcy Kleinjan RN
| January 18, 2023 12:00 AM

As 2023 begins, many of us are reflecting on the various ways our minds and bodies have changed over the course of the past year. No matter your phase of life, aging is something we all experience daily—but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless in the process.

If you’re looking to start the year with your best foot forward, here’s some tips on aging well for all of us no matter your age. With this wisdom in hand, you can make your year ahead a happy, healthy and vibrant one.

Commit to Brain-Healthy Habits

The new year is a great time to commit to some brain-healthy habits. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and fewer processed foods. Get a good night’s sleep, and try to set aside at least 15 minutes a day for exercise and another 15 for meditation or mindfulness exercises. Try challenging your brain by learning something new. It’s never too late to take care of your brain,

Take Care of Your Hearing Health

Your sense of hearing plays a vital role in your cognitive and overall health. Over the years, numerous academic studies have linked hearing loss to dementia, anxiety, poor balance, increased social isolation and low self esteem. Do your best to limit your exposure to excessively loud sounds, get your hearing checked if you haven’t already, and if you aren’t hearing your best, ensure that you get the hearing help you need.

Trade Limits for Rewards

Getting outside, being active—those are things that serve your entire wellness and also help reduce daily eye issues like dryness and eye fatigue from prolonged time in front of phones, computers, televisions. Instead of focusing on a negative association like setting screen time

limits, reward yourself with an outdoor walk or exercise break where you have no screen in sight every single day.

A New View of Fitness

Aging isn’t the end of being fit—it’s part of an evolution, your health and fitness levels are not constant. They are moving targets that require constant reassessment in order to match you and bring you to the next level. This doesn’t end with aging, it changes.

Invest In Your Body

The process of aging can be a comfortable or uncomfortable experience, the ability to age comfortably depends on how you invest in your body. Staying physically active, maintaining a well-balanced diet and being mentally alert will foster a comfortable healthy aging experience.

Maintain Mental Stimulation

Comedian George Burns said “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old,“ and that’s the secret to aging well—maintaining the same activities, interests and relationships the younger you enjoyed, keeping your sense of humor and staying cognitively stimulated. A rich, varied mix of learning, processing and problem solving will keep your brain healthy and working better across all domains. Mental stimulation of all kinds preserves brain cells and can even generate new cells and connections, so keep your brain active every day. It certainly worked for George Burns, who lived to be 100—telling jokes right up until the end.

Aging gracefully, the old adage that we all can aspire to right? So how do we do that? By continuing to do the things that got you here—take care of your body, develop and maintain relationships that matter, continue to learn and be intellectually challenged, contribute to the world around you and wake up every morning looking forward to the day ahead.