How to Age Well and Be Healthy

How to Age Well and Be Healthy

How to age with best health and how to use your doctors and dentists

We Begin to Age in Adolescence

Did you know you begin to age in adolescence?

Just as most of us feel we are really getting going with our lives, our bodies are already beginning to fall apart.  How can we take care of our bodies and minds for healthy aging?

We can deny it’s true, or we can address it with a lifestyle and foods that maintain and build healthier minds and bodies.  There are things we can learn about how to age and be healthy.

What’s your choice?

Will you join me in learning more about what builds health so that you can mindfully attend to your physical health and wellbeing as you age?  I hope so!

Every single bodily organ starts to change beginning in our late teens.

I was shocked when I broke my leg skiing when I was 23.  It was a nasty break that had to be set while I was under anesthesia.

even as a young adult bones are aging and healing can take time from broken leg and physical therapy, how to be healthy as we age

Aging Bones Led to a Broken Leg and Physical Therapy Even in My 20's

When I woke up, my doctor explained to me that if it had happened about 5 years earlier while my bones were still growing, the pasty stuff that grows into bones would be produced regularly and my healing time would have been about cut in half.

Instead, there I was with aging bones at 23, and it took a full 3 months before I got my cast off and started to rebuild the atrophied muscles.

That was practically a paradigm shift for me.    I suddenly acknowledged I’m mortal!

When we know that we know that we are mortal, what steps can we take to ensure the most healthy minds and bodies possible as we age, so that we can have the fullest and most fulfilling lives we can?

To slow aging we need exercise and a healthy diet.

Doctor visits important in health maintenance as we age

Go to Your Annual Checkups

Your Doctor Has an Important  Role

What is the role of doctors in healthy aging?  Annual health visits matter.  Your doctor keeps track of how your body is working.  He or she considers many factors, including your habits and lifestyle and your hereditary factors.  (S)he checks  your vital signs, organs and looks at what your bodily fluids like urine and blood tests reveal.

Make your annual checkup count.  Write down your questions before you go.  Are you having trouble sleeping?  Do your joints ache when you walk?  How is your balance?  How do you feel most of the time, physically and emotionally?

Should you get your annual flu shot?  What about the pneumonia vaccine?  My answer is YES.  I also think the shingles vaccine is important.  The flu and pneumonia shots are covered by most insurances, while the shingles vaccine isn’t…at least, not yet.  All three of these diseases can be debilitating and even life-threatening.  The vaccines help prevent and/or reduce the impact of them.

Geriatrics is the study of aging.  With a good doctor, who stays on top of developments in medicine, we are not stuck with using the internet to diagnose ourselves.  There can be as much good as misleading information, and we can go in a lot of wrong directions by self-diagnosing.

That doesn’t mean pursuing ignorance and dependence on your doctor.  Some knowledge is a good thing.  Sometimes it can lead you to get a second opinion.

doctor and patient communication is important

Doctor and Patient Communication is Important

It’s important to tell your doctor truthfully about your habits and lifestyle.  “Garbage in, garbage out,” as they say.  Accurate input helps to get accurate help.

It’s also important to tell you doctor when a medication is not helping you.  There are some prescription medications that tests show help about 3% of the population, harm another 3% and do absolutely no good for the rest.

We had one like that that my Mom-In-Law was prescribed…she was one of the 3% who it harmed! Oh, it’s great when something works for you.  But it’s not so great when you are wasting your money on something that isn’t, or is even bad for you.

What About Naturopaths?

Today in the United States, we don’t have medical insurance that covers naturopathic doctors.  If you can afford to, and choose to, a good naturopath is a good choice.  My advice for most of us, is to seek a medical doctor who is well-versed in natural remedies and even goes to them as a first resource, before loading you up with prescription medicines.

It wasn’t too long ago that chiropractic treatment wasn’t covered by most insurances.  Who knows what the future will bring?

There are treatments like hormone replacement therapy that aren’t covered, yet they not only can add sexual and energy benefits to our aging bodies, but help maintain healthy organs and muscles.  To me, it is unfortunate and even unwise that these are not covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare.  I believe hormone replacement therapy is preventative medicine.

What is the role of the dentist to help with healthy aging?

Regular Dental Visits for Optimal Health & Wellness

How Important are Visits to the Dentist?

A BIG YES here too.  How does a dentist help you with healthy aging?

Many diseases can first be seen in the mouth for one thing.  Your dentist can catch something that needs a look by your medical doctor before it becomes life-threatening.

Healthy teeth and gums also support healthy eating.  Without regular care of our mouths and teeth, it can become harder and even painful to chew foods.

Regular dental visits twice a year for cleaning by the dental hygienists, and once a year for visits with the dentist, are an important part of taking care of our health and wellness to have healthy aging.

Your Role is Not Passive

It’s not all about visiting the doctor and dentist.  Those are important.  But there are parts of your life directly under your control and responsibility, too.

Healthy eating, with enough fiber, vitamins and minerals, proteins and healthy carbohydrates can’t be replaced as a priority for your life.  Learn more about how to eat healthy for best body and brain function as you age.

Getting exercise of our physical bodies maintains musculature, supports healthy sleep and increases release of feel-good hormones and enzymes in our bodies.

Thinking Exercise, Both Linear and Creative, Helps Us Design Our Lives

Thinking Exercise, Both Linear and Creative, Helps Us Design Our Lives

Exercising our brains is important.

Doing crosswords or Suduko or some other game on paper or online is good for our linear thinking.  Pursing creative activities such as painting with acrylics or pastels exercises our creative thinking, to help us have inspirational thinking about life design.  Just as exercise helps maintain healthy bodies, brain exercise helps maintain healthy thinking and cognitive ability.

Life Design thinking is the way we control the focus and direction, and the satisfaction, from our lives.  I want that, don’t you?

Creative pursuits can help with meditative connection to our Source.  There are other ways for Spiritual Growth and Development.  You can go to a church that satisfies your soul.  You can take a yoga class.  You can get meditative music and guided meditations.  You can just breathe in nature.  These all calm the mind, body and spirit and contribute to overall health.

We aren’t islands and social and emotional interaction is something that feeds our spirits.  Family, friends, and social groups are great.  A pet can be health-giving.

Take one step today to mindfully enhancing your health.  What will it be?

 

 

 

 

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14 comments on “How to Age Well and Be Healthy”

  1. ariel says:

    Hello Annie, great article. Although it was a bit of a shocker to know that our bodies do start to breakdown so early..but then again..LOL its like a new car that as soon as it leaves the showroom it loses some value..
    Great reminders that we are truly responsible for all parts of our body. Thank you for this.
    In peace and gratitude, ariel

    1. It is, isn’t it? First they develop and grow and then stop growing and the opposite starts to happen. We can have some control over the rate and effects of the decline- fortunately we don’t lose 1/4 or 1/3 of our health like a new car hitting the street though!
      Taking personal responsibility is a key theme to keep in focus in our lives, isn’t it?
      Thanks for your comment!
      Annie

      1. ariel says:

        Hello Annie,
        I think you make such a valid point. We are indeed completely responsible for staying on top of what our bodies need. And sometimes I think, we forget that as we busy ourselves in the details of our lives. But what a grand scheme of things to know that as we age we have that option to truly enhance our lives. And isn’t it so very metaphoric that we grow a bit and then stop and then grow some more? As we enter this journey of life we truly join in new paths of health and accountability.

        “Life Design thinking is the way we control the focus and direction, and the satisfaction, from our lives. I want that, don’t you” I also want this! I truly live and love the concept of designing our own lives in a way that raises us to our higher selves. In that space we do indeed enhance our world and everyone around us. The concept of being our own CEO’s of our lives is so empowering. We are no longer herd mentality but instead, free of external mores and able to truly shine in our own light.
        So even though we are getting older and perhaps not as spry, we are certainly still very able to grow and expand in our thinking and actions, yes?

        So did enjoy this article Annie. Great job.
        IN peace and gratitude, ariel

        1. Hi Ariel, your comments are most welcome. As CEO’s of our own lives we have ability to choose and the responsibility to govern wisely, don’t we? I so agree with your saying we continue to grow and expand throughout our lives, including our more senior years.
          Thanks for visiting.
          Annie

  2. Stephen says:

    Hello Annie,

    Wow, this is a very thoughtful article that all aging people – I mean all seniors – should read this post. So helpful reading and packed with a lot of good information.

    I especially like the details you gave on how aging ones can seek medical treatment from doctors who know what they are doing. Indeed the internet is never a good place to look for any healing tips at all.

    As you said, there can be as much good as misleading information, and we can go in a lot of wrong directions by self-diagnosing. And I surely agree with you.

    I also think doing some form of exercise will greatly benefit aging parents even as you said. I ‘m going to share this article with my Mom and I know she will be very happy reading it.

    Thanks a lot for sharing

    Stephen.

    1. Hi Stephen,
      Thank you for visiting and for your remarks. I am so glad you found this article helpful, and hope it will benefit your mom, too. Have you seen the post on Healthy Diet for Seniors? That may be worth a look for her, too.
      Annie

  3. Michelle says:

    Great article, Annie. I love visiting your site…great information and useful tips. Yes, we start aging the minute we leave the womb…and that is a fact. Of course, we don’t realize it until we get more mature and then it ‘becomes an issue’!
    It is called life. But yes, our role can make the difference by our being proactive when it comes to care – inside and out. Thanks for the reminder.
    Michelle

    1. Hi Michelle, Thanks for visiting and for your remarks! I love hearing from you.
      It is best to face facts and deal with them, don’t you agree? Pretending they are not there does not change anything. Being realistically and creatively mindful, we can work within the facts to design the life we want to be living.
      Annie

  4. Paul says:

    Dear Annie,

    Thanks for the post and I do agree and understand the importance of annual health check up.

    “Healthy eating, with enough fiber, vitamins and minerals, proteins and healthy carbohydrates can’t be replaced as a priority for your life.” Gonna implement this. Thanks for the great advice.

    Your Friend,
    Paul

    1. Hi Paul,
      I am so glad to have underscored for you the importance of a healthy diet. Never too soon to start to pay mindful attention to that aspect of our lives~!
      Annie

      1. St Paul says:

        Dear Annie,

        Yes Indeed it (Health) is the number one aspect we need to focus and pay more attention. Thanks for sharing great valuable information as always. Wishing you great success!

        Your Friend,
        Paul

        1. Hi Paul, Thank you for visiting and for your remarks and encouragement.
          Annie

  5. Very informative post. It seems the older we get the harder we need to work at maintaining ourselves. Sitting around watching TV just doesn’t cut it and like a car or a house we need regular maintenance and health checkups.

    1. Ah, so very true, Craig! Thanks for sharing.
      Annie

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