Health and wellness in old age are a direct function of your lifestyle and living habits.
By Kewal Kapoor
Entering the second innings of your life i.e., 60 doesn’t mean you must stop living and start preparing for the end of your journey. Turning 60 must be looked upon as an enriching phase of your life. And, one can make it fulfilling by making certain changes in their thought process and way of living by paying complete attention to healthy living practices, eating right, staying mentally active, physically agile and finding new purposes and horizons.
An American study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that a 70-year-old man has a 54% chance of reaching the age of 90 if he does not smoke or have diabetes, has a healthy weight and blood pressure, and exercises. This clearly shows that health and wellness in old age are a direct function of your lifestyle and living habits.
As today non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, depression, among others are on the rise, let’s take a look at some factors that can play critical roles in being happy and healthy at an old age.
You are what you eat
Watch out for what is parked on your plate because it’s important that you make some necessary dietary changes. The importance of healthy eating becomes all the more imperative once you cross 60. Restrict yourself from processed foods and the food-items rich in sugar. Make sure that you include a wide variety of food which is rich in wholesome nutrition, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Add loads of fibre as our digestive system slows down and the condition of constipation tends to become more pronounced.
Exercising daily is the key to long-lasting health
Stay physically active and maintain a healthy weight. Exercise daily for half an hour by doing an activity that you enjoy – walking, yoga, swimming and mild aerobic exercises
Stay mentally sharp
Regularly indulging in mind-stimulating activities such as reading, playing board games, crossword puzzles or Sudoku can help elderly people stay mentally sharp and reduce the risk of developing dementia. So, what you’re waiting for? 60 is a good time to start.
Stop being a recluse
It has been seen that elderly people start being alone, thanks to an increasing turn towards nuclear families. This shift has made a large number of elderly parents staying alone and their loneliness is the reason behind their depression and illness. Therefore, elderly people must make special efforts to stay socially active.
Find a new passion
Treat your 60 as 16. There is always something new to learn in life and as they say, there is no age for learning, you should not stop yourself from pursuing a passion. It is important that they should have some passion in life, something they can always look forward to even if their family and friends are not around.
Join a community
It is imperative that you are connected to a community of like-minded individuals. Sometimes social support groups can help you get in touch with a large number of people who are probably sailing in the same boat as them. It gives you emotional and psychological support to fight your own battles but also provide the right motivation. It is always good to have buddies around.
(Kewal Kapoor, Director & Creative Strategist, CHAI Creative and Return of Million Smiles. Views expressed are personal.)