Aging is inevitable, but how we age can be determined by our lifestyle choices. Healthy habits like a balanced diet, exercise, good sleep, and managing stress can make a big difference in your health. As we age, our bodies change and things we did in our 40s no longer work in later years. Eat this, not that! Health spoke to experts who share their tips on healthy aging and things not to do after 60. Read on – and don’t miss these to protect your health and the health of others Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.
dr Kuljit Kapur, Chief Medical Officer at interim care tells us, “As you hit your 60s, your body begins to age in ways you may not have experienced before. Hearing can become more difficult since studies show that 4 out of 10 Americans have hearing difficulties. The same is true for vision as by the age of 65 you have a 1 in 3 chance of having eye diseases such as cataracts, dry eye or glaucoma which can affect your vision. In addition to these common problems, you may experience weight gain, skin changes such as wrinkles and age spots, bone and joint pain, increased blood pressure, and difficulty controlling your bladder.
Of course, as we age, so does everything in our bodies—including our brains. Transitioning into your 60s and beyond means your brain is changing in terms of function, structure and even size. As you age, your entire body can shrink, which means your brain shrinks too. This shrinkage can slightly affect cognitive function and your ability to encode new memories.
However, reaching your 60s doesn’t mean you can’t find happiness. Survey have shown that around 1 in 3 people in their 60s say they are “very happy” – which is slightly higher than for those aged 35 and under. Your 60s are a wonderful age to enjoy time with family and friends, explore new places, and live life to the fullest. As we say at Transitions Care, it’s about life!”
dr Anthony Puopolothe chief medical officer of the telemedicine company Rex MD says: “We have been told that fish is one of the healthiest foods we can consume, but how it is prepared should be considered and therefore you should think twice before eating sushi. Japanese sushi cuisine is growing in popularity around the world and is widely recognized as a good choice for health-conscious people. However, the use of raw fish in some recipes can be a cause for concern.
While fish, whether raw or cooked, is still high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, uncooked fish could potentially contain the unwanted ingredient bacteria. As we age, our bodies have a harder time fighting the effects of bacteria, and eating sushi that contains raw fish can cause serious illness. So while it’s okay to eat sushi with cooked fish, you might want to reconsider eating this sashimi dish.”
Barbara BerginMD Retired Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, warns, “Heavyweight lifting is something anyone over 60 should avoid. Sure we see ads of handsome, toned 90-year-old men drinking specialty protein shakes and lifting heavy weights, but as an orthopedic surgeon, I can assure you that in many cases, heavy weight lifting in older people is harmful. Heavy weightlifting can cause rotator cuff tears and promote deterioration of mildly arthritic joints that might otherwise remain asymptomatic if left untreated. Try something different: light weight lifting. Go back on the weights. Goals are to maintain strength for activities of daily living, not to be torn apart.
dr Bergin says: “Jumping out of bed first thing in the morning is a no-go for someone over 60. As we age, our soft tissues begin to stiffen/harden. When we sleep, we often curl up and stay in one position much of the night. Our arms and legs rest in a bent position. When we wake up, our body needs a little time to stretch, especially the weight-bearing joints of the lower extremities. Before you get up, try to stretch a little, especially your knees, feet, and ankles. Your body will thank you for that little extra attention, and you’ll be less likely to feel the stiffness and discomfort first thing in the morning reminds you are getting old! “
dr Jacob Hascalovici MD, PhD as the clearing Chief Medical Officer shares, “People often thrive, both physically and mentally, when they have company. As we get older, we often tend to stay at home more. We deal with loss, with more pain, with the difficulty of leaving the house, or simply with loneliness, isolation and the struggle to figure out how to make more friends. However, the more we self-isolate, the more more we lose sight of the big picture and may feel terrible alone including physical health and keeping us chronically stressed. What Kind of Socialization Might Work for You?
dr Kapur warns: “Be careful with alcohol consumption – risk factors associated with alcohol increase significantly with age. Working too much overtime can lead to liver problems, cancer, mental health problems, brain damage and strokes. It can also worsen existing health problems such as diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, ulcers, and memory loss. It can be easy to lose track of how much we’re drinking. A great idea would be to use a journal to keep track of how much you’re drinking and how much you’re drinking and how often.”
dr Kapur reminds us, “Adequate exercise and exercise in our day improves our health and helps us look and feel better! Harvard School of Public Health study showed that older women spend about 66% of their waking hours sitting. (That’s 9.7 hours a day without exercise.) Even small changes can help improve your muscles, bones, and overall health! 20 to 30 minutes a day is recommended. Some fun ideas include hiking, swimming, gardening, dancing, fishing, tai chi, or yoga.”
dr Kapur explains, “Many people over 60 have trouble sleeping. Aging can affect the quality and duration of sleep. Some factors are stress, worry and lack of physical fitness. Good sleep keeps the brain healthy and increases the quality of life! Some ways to improve sleep include exercise, developing a bedtime routine, reducing distractions in the bedroom, creating a sleep schedule, avoiding substances like alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco just before bedtime, and limiting the time spent with Napping can be beneficial, but napping longer or later in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime and lead to sleep disturbances.”
“Smoking can be one of the hardest habits to break,” says Dr. Kapur. “We know the dangers of smoking (cancer, heart disease, emphysema, etc.) and we all know it’s bad for us, but many people assume that ‘the damage has already been done.’ One of the best ways to quit Quitting smoking is by taking small steps. Reducing tobacco use each week or each day will help eventually quit altogether. Make a pair and do it with a friend to hold each other accountable! Also, consider setting up a rewards system; treat yourself to something you can earn after each milestone (a dessert, a gift, or even a trip.) The body’s response to smoking is almost immediate. Do not give up!”
dr Kapur explains, “When we feel overwhelmed by stress, our body releases ‘fight-or-flight’ chemicals that can make us feel sick and make it harder to relax. The first step is to identify what’s bothering you and ask yourself how you can reduce that stress in your life. Some stress-relieving activities include yoga, meditation, deep breathing, reading a good book, or listening to calming music. Another great idea is Eat Lighter, Cleaner, More Nutritious Meals Intake of vitamins such as B12, B6, folic acid, vitamin D and calcium are some of the most common nutrients that seniors are deficient in. The healthier we can make our bodies, the easier it is to reduce stress!”