October 1-7 is Active Aging Week! This week highlights the ways in which you can stay healthy and active as you grow older. Staying active and living a healthy lifestyle can help you as you age in place versus living in assisted living.
Active aging includes moving your body in addition to healthy eating. Before you start any fitness activity or nutrition plan, be sure to talk to your doctor to see if it is safe for you.
Strength training is important as you age to prevent muscle atrophy. Strength training which can include free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, and even your own body weight. The idea is to strengthen muscles by making them work against weight or force.
Stretching and core exercises also help you as you age. Tai Chi, Pilates, and some yoga can help develop core strength. These types of exercises also help with balance and aid in reducing falls as you age. The Central Plains Area Agency on Aging offers virtual classes you can take for free including seated exercises and Tai Chi for beginners.
Walking is great exercise and can be done around your neighborhood, at a gym, or shopping mall. A study of adults over 40 found that taking 8,000 steps or more each day leads to a 51% lower risk of death from all causes.
A healthy diet includes lean meats, and lots of vegetables and fruit, whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta, and low-fat dairy. Foods should also be low in sodium. Foods rich in Vitamin D are important, especially as we age.
Being healthy as you age includes staying on top of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Regular doctor appointments and consistency with taking medication are important to help you manage any illnesses.
If you would rather stay at home as you age rather than live in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, it’s important to plan. The National Institute of Health recommends that you consider the kinds of services you may need including personal care such as assistance with bathing or getting dressed, household chores, meal preparation, medication reminders, and errands.
Plan out the kinds of services you may need with your loved ones and understand the process and budget you will need for the future. All Saints Home Care can help you age in place safely. Contact us at 316-755-1076 for more information or visit the Services page on our website.