Tips for healthy aging

By: Alyssa Tamez and Erica Wall

Live an active life

Living an active life will help you stay fit enough to maintain your independence to go where you want to and perform your own activities. Regular exercise may prevent or even provide relief from many common chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and arthritis.

Eat healthy foods

The majority of adults in the US consume more than double the recommended daily allowance of sodium, which can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease; most of this high sodium intake comes from pre-packaged foods and restaurants.

Maintain your brain

One in eight older adults in the United States has Alzheimer's disease, and some cognitive decline is a normal part of aging. Studies have shown that a lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning slows cognitive decline.

Get enough sleep

Humans can go longer without food than without sleep. Older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults, seven to nine hours per night, but often get much less. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems.

Reduce stress

As we age, our stressors change and so does our ability to deal with stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression. Stress may also cause memory loss, fatigue, and decreased ability to fight off and recover from infection. In fact, it is estimated that more than 90% of illness is either caused or complicated by stress.