We can’t stop the aging process, but we can take steps to slow it down or even help reverse some of its effects. This is the last part in a series of brief articles highlighting general considerations for movement, nutrition and lifestyle choices for each decade of the adult life span. (Check out previous articles if you’re in your 20s or 30s, 40s and 50s, or 60s or 70s.)
If you are blessed to live into your 80s, congratulations! And now is the time to mitigate any complaints, aches and pains often attributed to age.
|Types of Movement||Nutrition||Sleep|
|Do any physical activity you enjoy and do it as often as possible, but respect your age and try not to push your body beyond its existing limits.
Continue to seek out new activities because learning new movement skills helps your brain as well as your body. If you’re considering moving to an older-adult community, look for one with many recreational activities. Social interactions and learning are both great ways to reduce the risk of developing cognitive diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Resistance training becomes extremely important because it can help you maintain your strength, allowing you to remain functionally independent, and machines are the safest, most effective way to receive this benefit.
|Continue to seek and follow the advice of your health-care provider for the best options given your current health status. Continue to avoid excessive drinking and calorically dense, low-nutrition foods. But then again, you’ve already beat the odds, so enjoy yourself (but be smart about it.)||By now, you know the importance of a good night’s sleep. Make sure to communicate any disruptions in your sleep patterns to your health-care provider immediately.|
If you’re here, keep doing whatever you’ve been doing because it’s working! Whatever physical activity you can do, do it as often as possible. If you’re not already doing strength training, ask your medical providers if they can recommend any strength-training programs specifically for your age group, because you can add muscle mass at any age. If you want to enjoy an active life well into your 90s, then it is important that no matter what happens to you, NEVER STOP MOVING. Even if you can only do a few minutes at a time, regular exercise and physical activity can provide health benefits in every decade. If you work out for no other reason, do it to take control of the aging process so that you can enjoy all your favorite activities at all stages of your life.
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” —Mark Twain
Photo credit: Rob and Julia Campbell, Stocksy