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The challenge is to maximize the good parts of getting older by Tina Y. Gerber

I will be the first to admit; I haven’t always practised healthy habits! If you’re like me, it’s never too late to improve your health. I have often said, small lifestyle changes can have a big impact and put you back on track. It is important to remember, what works for one person may not work for everyone.

There are simple things you can do to help yourself and the environment. Choosing to walk or bike to the doctor’s office or post office will help reduce your carbon footprint. Any exercise is better than none. Keeping physically active will help offset the effects of aging.

Regular exercise can improve your balance, keep you mobile, and improve your mood, which aids in managing conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease and fight infections or inflammation. Regular exercise also helps control weight, ease stress, boost your energy level, improve your general well-being and self-esteem. Find an activity you find fun or interesting. You are more likely to continue if it’s fun rather than a chore!

Feeling constantly depressed or fatigued is not normal at any age. Get the nutrition your body needs and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and energized, this also helps the immune system work more efficiently. A strong immune system can keep you healthier and make you less susceptible to illness. Avoid drinking bottled water, it will keep our landfills cleaner.

We all should limit our consumption of sugary and the unhealthy fatty foods, which can trigger inflammation in the body. The digestive system slows down with age, so high-fibre fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, are an important and healthy choice. Some might even want to reduce their meat consumption and go completely vegetarian. My goal is to eat less red meat, but this proves to be an ongoing struggle.

Remember the expression, ” An ounce of prevention is worth an pound of cure.” Focus on prevention, including having regular checkups with your doctor. Both men and women need to stay up to date with health concerns and issues. As a person ages, the body becomes more vulnerable and can develop serious illnesses. So, these precautions are recommended:

Women should undergo mammography screening for breast cancer, and men should get checked for prostate cancer. Ask your family doctor about the flu shot or pneumonia vaccines to prevent life-threatening complications. Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about your health. Visit the dentist every six months, to help maintain healthy teeth and gums because as we age, our risk for cavities and gum disease increases. My mother, who took great pride in her teeth, has still had many teeth pulled due to cavities. And it is, just as, important seniors 65 and older have their vision checked yearly by the Optometrist. Sleep is another important factor as you age. Experts suggest going to bed and waking up at the same time, daily, including Saturday and Sunday, and avoiding caffeine and alcoholic beverages before bed, provide much better conditions for optimum sleep.

Taking care of you, should be a top priority, and age-related diseases can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Aging is a beautiful gift from God, and you don’t need to accept poor health as an inevitable result of aging! Trust God to carry you through.

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