5 Lifestyle Choices that Can Ease Aging

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5 Lifestyle Choices that Can Ease Aging

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When it comes to health we are sometimes our own worst enemy. Everyone has bad habits or does not practice the good habits doctors recommend. However, as we age, we become more susceptible to illnesses and physical injuries. This makes it even more important to care for our health while living in senior housing. Here are five lifestyle changes that can make aging a little bit easier:

Eliminate Bad Habits

When it comes to health, the top priority is to do no harm. This principle is attributed to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. It essentially means your health will never improve if you are taking active measures to make it worse. Thus, one key to aging easily is to eliminate bad habits including:

  • Smoking. Smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Smoking may also increase the risk of other cancers merely by introducing toxic chemicals into your body. Second hand smoke can increase the risk of these health problems in people who do not even smoke but are merely exposed to your smoke in your senior living community.
  • Alcohol. Studies are contradictory about how much alcohol is a healthy amount. Some suggest that one drink per day is actually healthy. However, excess alcohol consumption causes damage throughout the body. This can manifest as liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and stroke.

Exercise

One of senior housing residents’ greatest concerns is their physical health. Exercise improves almost every aspect of physical health including:

  • Improving heart and lung health and keeping blood vessels pliable, thereby lowering blood pressure
  • Increasing strength and balance, reducing the risk of falls and accidents
  • Reducing blood sugar, preventing diabetes
  • Raising mood by triggering the release of endorphins in the brain

There is even some evidence that exercise can prevent and reduce brain plaques that lead to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Diet and Dental Care

One of the most common health problems suffered by seniors is vitamin deficiencies. As we age, our dietary needs change. For example, seniors need more calcium and vitamin D than younger people because bones in most seniors naturally undergo some amount of osteoporosis. Moreover, appetite decreases in many seniors which, combined with the loss of ability and desire to cook, can lead to skipped meals. Maintaining a healthy diet and staying away from sugar and junk food while living in senior housing can address many of the problems that arise from nutritional deficiencies.

Dental care also becomes a concern as we age. Tooth loss and tooth decay can lead to a poor diet as seniors steer clear of foods that cause painful chewing. Moreover, poor dental health can also cause abscess, a tooth infection that can spread throughout the body. Caring for teeth can help maintain a healthy diet and prevent other health problems from developing.

Preventative Care

Preventative care takes on added importance as we age since our bodies are less able to fight off disease and infection. A few examples of preventative care include:

  • Vaccinations. Every year you hear that infants and seniors should get a flu shot. There is good reason for this. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (or CDC) estimates that between 70% and 90% of flu deaths occur in patients over the age of 65.
  • Medical checkups. Medical exams to check for routine issues like blood pressure, cholesterol level, weight, and respiration can spot medical problems while they can still be treated.
  • Sunscreen. As we age, our skin becomes drier, less pliable, and more sensitive. Moreover, seniors have less efficient immune systems. This means that seniors become more prone to sunburn and less able to recover from it. Skin damage due to sun exposure is a leading cause of skin cancer, so sunscreen can reduce one of the major health risks faced by seniors.

Socialization

You should also be aware of your mental and emotional health. Socialization in Dallas senior living communities is important for staying happy and mentally sharp. Socialization improves mood and reduces depression. Research indicates that socialization can also stave off dementia. In fact, about 12% of seniors use dating sites and apps, according to a 2015 Pew Research study, to maintain social connections.

Health is important to smooth aging in senior housing. By eliminating bad habits, eating a healthy diet, exercising, practicing preventative care, and maintaining a social network, aging becomes much easier.

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