We always associate old age with severe and long-lasting health complications. Now, while this deterioration of health is an inevitable consequence of aging, there are several ways to increase the chances of aging with a relatively good quality of health.
Here, we will consider the various steps seniors can take to improve their chances of aging gracefully with excellent health. Let’s dive right in:
Stay physically active
Generally, exercise and physical activities have been known to contribute positively to health outcomes. It’s more so for seniors. There’s evidence to show that people who exercise more may not just live longer but also have a better quality of life in terms of health. To illustrate, one study of adults aged 40 and above found that people who take 8,000 steps each day, compared to just 4,000, were 51% less likely to die from various diseases.
According to Medline Plus, regular exercise can help reduce depression and anxiety while improving cognitive functioning. Many studies also show that physical activity helps with chronic diseases like high blood pressure, some categories of cancer, and diabetes. It demonstrates just how important being physically active is to maintaining great health.
Thus, you can improve your health by taking on more physical activities. It’s, of course, advisable to start with activities you love.
It’s no news that your nutrition is a primary determinant of the quality of your health. So it’s crucial to ensure you have a proper and healthy diet as you grow older. Needless to say, it’s best to avoid junk and processed food that contribute to poor health outcomes. A diet comprising vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, and lean proteins would do you a lot more good.
Illustrating just how critical the proper diet is to healthy aging, one study found that a diet lower in vegetable oil but higher in fatty fish oil resulted in reduced migraine headaches in older adults. Similarly, a study found that a diet comprising green leafy vegetables contributed to slower cognitive decline.
In essence, a healthy diet can be instrumental in offsetting some of the health conditions associated with aging. It might be helpful to start slow when trying to change your diet to a healthier one. Generally, it’s advisable to adopt a Mediterranean-style eating pattern based on healthy fats and fresh produce. You can gradually incorporate aspects of this eating pattern into your diet until you can make a complete change.
Get suitable health insurance
Another important factor to pay attention to when trying to maintain good health in old age is taking adequate health insurance. You require it at this stage more than ever. It’s to ensure you can get the necessary care as you age. Generally, once you are 65 or older, you have to enroll in Medicare. It’s the Federal Health insurance for the elderly, although the plan may also be available for younger persons with disabilities.
When you first enroll for Medicare, you get the original Medicare plan, which has Part A and B. Part A covers things like hospice care, home health care, and inpatient care at hospitals, while the Part B plan covers outpatient care, specific medical equipment, as well as preventive services. There’s also the Part C plan, which is popularly known as Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by Medicare-approved companies and typically come with more coverage than original Medicare and may have lower out-of-pocket costs as well. You can read more about the Medicare Advantage pros and cons to understand if this plan is for you. Lastly, there is Part D which refers to Medicare drug coverage. This plan is generally not available for people on Medicare Advantage plans as these already have drug coverage.
It’s essential to consider all the Medicare options available to you to choose one that suits you, particularly concerning your health needs. For instance, if you have an underlying condition that requires the regular use of specific drugs, you certainly want to ensure your plan covers these drugs. You can explore various online health insurance services to get a quick quote for different plans.
Aging is a natural journey that comes with several challenges. That’s why it’s essential to take steps to ensure the highest quality of physical, cognitive, and mental health. Of course, this would involve making significant changes to your daily life. This way, you may be able to offset the various health conditions associated with old age and maintain excellent health as you grow older.
Written by: Vivian Summer