We’ve all heard the adage that “Being active is not just about adding years to your life, but adding life to your years.”
In honour of National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 31st, Revera’s National Director of Rehabilitation & Recreation Krista Griffin shares her top five tips for healthy aging.
Tip 1: Manage Your Health
Griffin believes that the most important aspect of healthy aging is simple: be proactive about managing your health. This means scheduling regular check-ins with your family doctor, maintaining a healthy diet, making sure you get enough sleep and establishing an effective medication routine when needed. She says, “there are many factors that impact your overall health as you age, so it’s important to take a holistic approach to health and wellness.”
Tip 2: Fuel Your Body
“Your body will only be as healthy as the fuel you put into it,” says Griffin. Eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and work with your doctor to determine your ideal body weight for your height and age. Take pride in your body and feed it with kindness.
Tip 3: Keep Your Body Strong
Research shows that we begin to lose muscle mass as early as our late 20s, and that the rate of muscle loss increases significantly in our 60s and 70s. Griffin believes that the key to maintaining your overall physical fitness is to mix aerobic exercises like walking, swimming and biking with regular strength training to improving balance and flexibility. Set small, achievable goals for yourself and use an activity tracker to stay motivated.
Tip 4: Stimulate Your Mind
Maybe you’ve forgotten where you left your keys, or struggled to find the right word while chatting with a friend. It’s normal to experience minor changes in our memory as we grow older, so staying mentally sharp and socially engaged is as vital to healthy aging as keeping your body strong and fit. Look for opportunities to connect with friends and family, stay active by volunteering in your community, and challenge your brain’s agility by learning new skills.
Tip 5: Focus on Activities You Enjoy
Staying healthy doesn’t have to mean slaving away on a treadmill or reading an encyclopedia to stay sharp. Spend time with the people you love doing activities you enjoy, whether it’s trying something new or working to get better at something you’ve been doing for years. And never underestimate the restorative power of laughter. “Laughing releases feel-good hormones in your brain and promotes emotional well-being,” says Griffin, “so find a way to laugh each and every day.”