By Jodi Mines, Heartland Health Care Center
The idea of living to be 100 years old was not common over a century ago. Today, the group of people age 85 and older is increasing rapidly. Aging successfully and improving the quality of life is a tremendous factor with the growth in longevity. Studies show that a healthy lifestyle can postpone what used to be the inevitable tolls of aging. Important measures to practicing a healthy lifestyle include regular physical activity, healthy eating, avoiding tobacco use, and regular checkups with early detection screenings.
“Regular exercise is important for seniors since the risk of disease and lost mobility is greater than in younger adults,” says Sunita Nair, Director of Rehab at Heartland Health Care Center-Moline. Look for daily opportunities to start exercising such as forcing yourself to walk by parking your car further away from the entrances. Other forms of exercise include walking, swimming, dancing, bicycling, and fishing. You may also consider using the buddy system. Have a friend meet you; it is sometimes easier to exercise with a friend. Exercise can help you have a better night’s sleep, reduce body fat, and relieve pain from arthritis.
Along with your physical health, you need to maintain your mental health. Explore the world, plan a trip, see new things, and experience new cultures. A good sense of humor is essential to mental health. Take time to laugh — start your day by reading the comic or funnies section of the newspaper. Another way to keep your mind sharp is to play trivia games, or watch trivia shows, such as Jeopardy or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Successful aging is not a matter of genes or fate. Staying active and making healthy choices can pave the way for a long, vital life. For more information on successful aging, contact Jodi Mines, Admissions Director-Heartland Healthcare Center, 833 16th Ave., Moline. 309-764-6744 or 309-756-8315.