Monday, October 23, 2017


Stay Independent for Longer with This Advice.

April 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Health, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comLet’s face it – a lot of people worry a bit more than they should about aging. But there’s no denying that there are some legitimate and understandable reasons to be anxious about the process. For some, it’s reasons of vanity – they lament the fact that they’re not going to look as good as they do in their youth. (Understandable – but we could argue that the likes of Halle Berry, Brad Pitt, and Samuel L. Jackson have all improved with age!)

Perhaps a bigger and more sympathy-inducing fear is that we’ll begin to lose our independence. But here’s the thing: you’re not doomed to lose your independence with age, not at all. There are things you can start doing now that will help you keep your independence for as long as you want. Here are some of the things you should be considering.

Exercise

I cannot stress this enough. Honestly, the things that people often associate with a loss of independence in the elderly are mostly physical, and the fact is that most of those problems are less to do with age and more to do with a lifetime of having not exercised enough. It doesn’t matter what age you are now – you can start doing some form of exercise now. It helps you remain strong and flexible. It means you’re less likely later in life to need assistance crossing a road or climbing stairs. So keep up with both cardiovascular and strength-building exercises.

Deal with sight problems

Let’s face it – a lot of us don’t need to have entered the stages of senescence before our eyesight starts to weaken quite tremendously! But those who have weak vision now should really consider taking action soon so as to avoid even bigger visual problems when you start to push fifty or sixty. This means making sure you take care of your vision by getting enough sleep and taking enough breaks from your screens. It may also mean using something like cataract surgery to deal with more severe problems now, before they get worse.

Keep your mind sharp

Your mental prowess isn’t going to be quite what is used to be – that is, if you forget that the brain is a muscle that needs exercise just like any other muscle! Actual exercise will help a lot with this, but you should also make sure you challenge yourself to the occasional puzzle, read often (both nonfiction and fiction), and engage in intellectually- and politically-driven discussion often. But remember that you can wear your brain out just as you can other muscles, so take the occasional break!

Stay social

Staying social is key to helping boost your independence. Over time, people tend to become much less social. It’s less that people become more introverted with age – although that is part of it for a lot of people – and more that people just become very busy and start to treasure time with family a lot more. But staying social is something else that helps keep your brain sharp – and it also improves your mood. And looking after your long-term mood will help a lot more here than you may think.

Staff Writer; Jerry Long


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