Our aging population has grown as new technology and advances in the medical field have increased people's lifespan. It isn't enough to just live longer. We should all want to live well.
One study showed that roughly 80% of Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease, and 68% have two or more. Those are horrible statistics!!!
So, are there things that we can do now, so we can look forward to productive years to enjoy family and friends without taking a hand full of pills ever day?
Absolutely!!! Let's start with 7 things that you can implement right away that will boost your health, add vitality to your life, and maybe get you off some of your medications.
1. Be social. It sounds simple enough, but loneliness is deadly. People need each other. Having social interaction gives you a reason to get up in the morning and go through your day. Solution: Get involved in a church, join a community club, stay aware of current events, or take or teach a class and keep learning.
2. Limit processed foods with refined sugar, white flour, and salt. Avoid fried foods, prepared foods made with vegetable or canola oil, margarine, or shortening. Solution: Eat lots of colorful vegetables and fruit, whole grains, nuts, and seed. Raw fruits & vegetables will provide you powerful antioxidants that boost your immune system and reduce the risk of disease.
3. Eat more high quality protein. You need more protein as you age, and a deficiency could lead to a decreased immune function and loss of muscle. Solution: Eat high quality grass-fed beef, organic poultry, cage-free eggs, and wild caught salmon.
4. Be active. It's imperative that you keep moving. Sitting is now being called the new 'smoking', as it raises the risk of disease setting in. Solution: Try a new outdoor activity, garden, walk with friends, or join a low impact exercise class.
5. Get plenty of rest each night. As you age, your sleep requirements don't change, however, your sleep pattern can. It could be that the interruption is caused by an existing medical problem or from the medication for that problem.
So, during the night, it could be that your achy back, indigestion, or headache is causing you to wake up. Then, once you're awake, you may have trouble getting back to sleep.
Solution: Go for a walk outside within 30 minutes of waking in the morning to put your body into the correct sleep rhythm. Be active during the day, so you're tired at night. Take a warm bath before bed, and read or journal before turning the lights out. Avoid using electronics within a couple of hours of your bedtime.
6. Have a purpose. Haven't we heard of people retiring, then getting sick, and dying shortly after? The worse thing is to not feel needed by anyone. We need to have a reason to wake up and be part of something. Solution: Take up a new hobby. If you've always wanted to travel, plan a trip. Volunteer at a school or library. Babysit periodically to give young moms a break. Think about what you'd do if there were no limitations, then, go do it!
7. Think about taking protective supplements. They will guard you against getting sick or developing a disease. Solution: Talk to your doctor about taking vitamin D (especially in the winter), fish oil for brain health, and a probiotic for good gut health.
Aging is not a death sentence. When you eat the right foods, stay active, get plenty of sleep, enjoy good relationships, and have a feeling of wellbeing, you can live a very rewarding and rich life.
Where are you in your health journey? It's never too early to start taking care of your mind and body to live your best life.
Who do you know that needs to start putting this steps into practice? Share this post.
To your health,
Certified Health & Wellness Coach