Right now, people are living longer than ever before. In fact, a recent study from the World Health Organization found that “the number of persons aged 80 years or older is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050 to reach 426 million.”
As such, it’s important that we’re able to take care of our health as we age, ensuring we can enjoy a higher quality of life in our golden years. With that in mind, here are three proven ways to take care of yourself as you get older.
1. Improve your health Literacy
Health literacy refers to your understanding of what it means to be healthy and the ways in which you can, therefore, respond to any challenges you face.
For example, if diabetes runs in your family, researching the condition, symptoms, and triggers means that you’re in the best possible position should you get a diagnosis. After all, it means you’ll know exactly when to reach out for help and can take active steps toward making diabetes easier to handle, such as by exercising more regularly or improving your diet.
When looking to improve your health literacy, it’s important to remember that Google is not a doctor. As such, you should not use it as your only source of information – ask healthcare professionals for access to resources relevant to your health and written by people with medical experience.
2. Get enough sleep
When we sleep, our body enters “recovery” mode, which means it can be a great way to boost our immunity and prevent illness and injury. As such, it’s crucial that you know how to get a good night’s sleep in your older years. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can achieve this goal. For example, you can:
- Turn your bedroom into the perfect sleep sanctuary, creating an environment that is warm, welcoming, and relaxing.
- Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon/evening.
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
- Avoid using your phone before bed and using a blue light filter in the evening.
- Exercising in the day so that you’re more tired come the evening.
Ideally, you should aim to get between 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
3. Stay engaged in your hobbies
While caring for your physical health is essential as you get older, taking care of your mind is equally crucial, especially as many people tend to struggle with stress, anxiety, and other mental health complications. Remaining engaged with your hobbies, whether you’re still at work or settling into retirement, can prove to be incredibly influential when caring for your mental wellness. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, our hobbies fill us with a sense of pride and achievement, which can increase feelings of self-worth while decreasing stress and anxiety. Beyond this, engaging in your hobbies provides you with the opportunity to socialize with others, which can prevent loneliness and isolation.
Moving forward, be sure to always make room in your schedule for your hobbies or even pick up some new ones!
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