Best Ways To Improve Health In Old Age
Get More Exercise
You probably knew this one was coming. There’s a reason that physical activity is recommended to those of all ages – it’s extremely good for you. Don’t be led to believe that just because you’re older, you’ve missed your chance to benefit from exercise. In fact, a study published in the British Medical Journal found that those who took up exercise at any age could add years to their life. Over-75s with the healthiest lifestyles lived an average of almost 5.5 years longer than their activity-averse peers. Of course, added longevity is not the only upside of exercise. Exercising seniors will find that they have more energy and that their bodies are better able to adapt to challenging situations, such as infections and other illnesses.
Maintain a Strong Social Life
It has long been known that emotional wellbeing, usually obtained by means of a circle of friends, is associated with superior health outcomes in later life. It can be hard to find new social contacts, but there are a number of solutions available. For starters, anybody who is looking to take up exercise can meet new people by joining a sports club. This is convenient as you are killing two birds with one stone. Alternatively, seniors could join an organisation which aims to promote learning amongst elderly people. Not only will they be keeping their mind sharp, but they’ll be meeting others who want to do the same thing. A good example of this kind of initiative would be the UK’s University of the Third Age.
Improve Your Diet
As with people of every age, it’s likely that your elderly relative’s diet could be improved. A more balanced intake could give seniors more energy, allowing them to attend all of their new exercise classes and social functions. One thing in particular that many don’t realise is that older people are less able to absorb certain nutrients. For instance, research shows that up to 70% of the elderly are unable to properly absorb vitamin B12 from food sources, necessitating supplementation or a specialised diet. Other nutrients which should be targeted include vitamin D3, which our bodies create using sunlight, and iron, which prevents anaemia.
Last but not least, if your elderly relative is a smoker, then get them to quit it! It is never too late to stop. Even those who quit well into their life enjoy health benefits. There really is no excuse.