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As we progress through life, we tend to focus on different things at different times. When we are young, we think of being popular or good at sports. As we get older, we might think about getting married and starting a family, then shift our efforts to advancing our careers or improving our financial status. These changes in priority are natural, but at some point, most people realize that one of the greatest treasures we can ever obtain is good health. 

 

Aging is an inevitable aspect of our life journey. If we have the good fortune to reach our sixties, seventies, and eighties, we should remember that getting older does not mean we have to accept a dramatic decline in health. In fact, with the right habits and mindset, our senior years can be some of the most vibrant and fulfilling times of our lives.

 

At the Northwest Specialty Hospital network of clinics, we believe it is vital to empower individuals to live their best lives, regardless of age. We’re passionate about promoting wellness at every stage of life, including the senior years – when nurturing our physical, social, and emotional well-being becomes paramount.

 

Six Practices That Enhance Wellness

 

To promote wellness in your senior years, you should initiate and practice mindful habits when you are younger. But even if you are already past middle age, don’t despair; it is never too late to focus on health. Here are some critical areas where building healthy habits will keep you going strong as you age:

 

  1. Physical activity: Regular physical exercise and activity are keystones of healthy aging. Engaging in healthy activities does not have to be strenuous or taxing. Taking regular walks with the dog or your spouse or a friend, spending time in the garden planting and pruning, or joining a pickleball club not only keeps your body strong and agile, but can also boost mood, enhance mental clarity, and improve sleep. Find activities that bring joy and vitality into your daily routine.
  2. Meet with friends and family: Nurturing positive social interactions keeps us vital. Whether gathering with friends or family members to enjoy a meal together or participating in a church pot-luck social, regular in-person connections provide an outlet for sharing thoughts and feelings in a way that’s impossible if you are isolated or connect only over a phone or online. Interactions that require you to gauge another person’s mood or reactions and make an effort to listen and engage are essential for stimulating our minds and feelings. No amount of technology can replace the richness of human connection.
  3. Eat well: A healthy diet is essential at every age, but it becomes even more crucial as you grow older. Enjoying food that nourishes both body and soul while avoiding overindulgence lays the foundation for longevity and vitality. Meals should always be well-balanced, full of whole, nutritious foods. However, this does not mean you have to give up foods you enjoy, so long as you practice moderation regarding sweets and foods with low nutritional value. 
  4. Get plenty of rest: One of the benefits of a slower-paced lifestyle is getting enough sleep, but sleep does not have to be your only rest time. Take time in your day to relax, whether sitting to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee or taking a short nap before your afternoon walk. Building plenty of downtime into your schedule allows your body to recharge and brings peace to your mind and spirit. Getting adequate rest is vital for overall health, and it will help ensure that you feel refreshed and ready when it’s time to be active. 
  5. Managing health issues: Even if you are in good health, different ailments tend to crop up as you age, whether it is an arthritic knee or high blood pressure. Get regular checkups with your doctor and take prescribed medications on schedule. Stay informed about your health status to maintain control over your well-being and catch any potential issues early on.
  6. Contribute to your community: Believe it or not, one way to improve your own well-being is by contributing to the well-being of others. You have much to give of your time, talent, or treasure. Whether you decide to babysit your grandchildren, read stories to your neighbor’s kids, volunteer at the local food bank, or prepare a meal for a sick friend, lending a helping hand and sharing your wisdom and kindness will enrich both your own life and the lives of those who come in contact with you. Being helpful to others fortifies our sense of purpose and is a powerful source of happiness.

 

Prioritizing your health and well-being when you are younger lays the groundwork for a vibrant and fulfilling future as you enter and live out your senior years. While unforeseen health challenges may arise, cultivating these habits increases your likelihood of living a long, active life and helps you retain your abilities.

If you want to enhance your wellness journey, we encourage you to take the first step by scheduling an appointment with one of our family medicine providers. Our compassionate and experienced team is here to provide personalized guidance, support, and advice to help you maintain optimal health and vitality as you embrace the joys of aging. Your senior years can be a profoundly rich time for savoring your blessings and nurturing the meaningful connections you have made throughout your life. With the right habits and support, the best is yet to come.

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