September is Healthy Aging Month, and with the population of people over 65 expected to grow 45% larger by 2060, it’s important to understand how to enjoy yourself through your golden years. The aches and pains, changes and challenges that can come with age-related conditions have the potential to impact your physical health, and affect you emotionally and mentally, too.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to maximize your increased longevity.

Prioritize Your Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. Up to one in three adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, often called the “silent killer”, because its symptoms can go undetected. High blood pressure damages your arteries by reducing their flexibility, limiting blood flow to your organs, and putting you at risk for serious conditions like heart disease, heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke.

Fortunately, there are ways to identify and address high blood pressure and protect your heart. Visiting your doctor regularly will allow you both to monitor your blood pressure as well as your weight, cholesterol levels, and lifestyle habits with a healthy heart in mind.

Several other habits that are good for the rest of your body benefit your heart too. Even practicing good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease. But there are other ways to take care of your heart — and the rest of you. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

Drinking enough water increases your energy, relieves constipation, helps prevent kidney stones, and more. Staying well-hydrated can also prevent some of the regular aches and pains that come with aging. Your cartilage, tendons, spinal discs and joints all need moisture to stay healthy, so pay attention to your body’s thirst cues. 

Ideally, you should be drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. To aid in this, swap out sodas and other sugar-rich drinks for water when possible.

Be Active

Our bodies are meant to move, and doing so can keep us feeling young, no matter how old we are. Focus on a way to get your heart and muscles pumping that you love. Taking a dance class, doing yoga, joining a running group, or taking a break from the stress of work by going on even a short walk can all help you maintain a healthy weight and strengthen your body. Exercise is excellent for your circulation and your spirits, too!

Safeguard Your Sleep

There are many negative effects of not getting enough sleep. Making the effort to get a regular eight hours of sleep per night is one of the most important things you can do for your health and happiness. Too little sleep can not only leave you more drained and irritated, it is also linked to weight gain, heart disease, and even early death. 

Create a dark, quiet, cool and comfortable sleep space, and stay away from screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. “The blue light wavelength emitted from electronics can be as powerful as afternoon sunshine when it comes to interfering with the hormone that sets your sleep time,” says Isabel Soles, PA-C, Clinical Director at YourTown Health.

Stay Out of The Sun

Skin cancer is both the most common and most preventable form of cancer. And shielding your skin from the sun’s harmful rays also reduces visible signs of aging like wrinkles and age spots. Use sunscreen daily, limit your sun exposure to early morning or evening, and conduct skin self-exams (or visit a dermatologist) to monitor moles and other skin spots for early signs of skin cancer. 

At YourTown Health, we focus on the comprehensive wellness needs of all our patients, at all ages. From recommended vaccines, to nutrition and exercise, mental health programs or management of chronic conditions, our providers are conveniently located for you. Give us a call at 770-463-4644 to make an appointment or have your questions answered.