New life adventures await when you turn 60. You’re looking forward to the next 20-30 years of happy times, filled with travel, new experiences, spending time with grandkids, and retirement. No matter what your goals and plans are, cultivating healthy habits and practices now will ensure you get there. This month, we’re covering 5 helpful and healthy habits you can cultivate to lead to better mental and physical health in your 60s and beyond.
Quit Bad Habits
For starters, making your best effort to quit bad habits is an obvious first step in ensuring a healthy future. We all have bad habits, but some may affect our bodies in worse ways than others. For instance, smoking can cause lung cancer, and heavy drinking can cause or contribute to liver damage, cardiovascular disease, and multiple types of cancer.
Though it can be difficult to quit bad habits outright, taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle can help your body from sustaining any damage, or further damage down the road.
Stimulate Your Brain
As we age, our brains produce less dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which can cause a decline in cognition and memory. Aging is inevitable, but there are ways to decrease the rate at which our brains age. These can include taking courses, learning new things, and playing an instrument, in addition to the other healthy habits listed in this blog.
Exercising regularly is a great habit to cultivate to keep your body and brain healthy. As you grow older, focus on strength training, aerobic exercise, and flexibility, as regular strengthening exercises will help prevent osteoporosis and frailty by stimulating the growth of muscle and bone. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Consider adding these exercise habits:
- Doctors recommend exercising 20 to 30 minutes most days, with a combination of aerobic exercises, like walking or jogging, and strength training. If you’re not able to complete your full routine all at once, try breaking it up into two 15-minute routines, or three 10-minute routines.
- Try exercising with a partner or in a group class, which can make exercising more fun and social.
- Test out different exercises to see what you enjoy best, like walking, swimming, yoga, dancing, or tai chi.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The saying, “you are what you eat” is exactly right. Being intentional about eating more fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, and lean meats and proteins will not only energize and nourish your body but will reduce your risk of health issues. For instance, adding more fiber to your diet will help reduce constipation, helps with weight loss, reduces the risk of diabetes, pre-diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer, and lowers your blood cholesterol level.
Staying hydrated is another important habit to maintain, as your sense of thirst declines with age. Drinking plenty of water, even if you think you don’t need it, will help increase your metabolic rate, and keep you from feeling overly fatigued after exercise.
Plan for the Future
We know it’s not fun to think about but getting your affairs in order now will help bring peace of mind to you and to your loved ones in the future when it’s needed most. If you haven’t already, put together your legal will so your family knows how you would like to disburse your assets. You may also want to consider pre-arranging your funeral, so you can save money and choose how you would like to be cared for after your death. If any questions arise as you’re going through this process, reach out to our team and we would be more than happy to help you.