A lot of things change as you mature. Health is definitely one of them. But it can go either way- positively or negatively. Here’s how to take care of your health as you mature to keep it on the positive end of the spectrum.
For starters, you need to know which warning signs merit medical attention like unexplained weight loss, changes in bowel habits, shortness of breath, and sudden headaches. So, be sure to speak with your doctor at your next checkup about medical warning signs that could come up, so you know to prevent them.
1. Get Regular Checkups
Of course, regular physical exams and screening tests are an important part of preventive care. It’s important to regularly discuss your check-up schedule with your doctor regarding a variety of factors. Find out which screening tests you need and how often. If you wear dentures or have a bridge, ask your dentist to check the fit every so often. As we age our hearing and eyesight can be affected, so it’s important to get them checked regularly, as well.
Talk to your doctor about mammograms and other cancer screenings (men and women). This will depend on your risk factors and family history. You can also perform a monthly self-exam (That are plenty of guides on the internet along with signs of early-onset breast cancer.)
Along with screenings, routine pap smears, are recommended, as well. Women between the general age range of 20 to 60 should be tested every 3 years. But it may differ if the cervix has been removed.
It’s also worth doing a periodic medication review with your doctor to stay up to date with your medication. (Be sure to discuss the side effects of what you are taking as well as what medications or chemicals should be avoided based on the medications you are taking.)
2. Use At-Home Preventative Care
As you mature, you may become more and more concerned about having an accident at home when no one else is around to help you. In this case, if you spend a decent amount of time alone at home, you should think about getting medical alert devices. Hopefully you will never have to use them but having one of these at your house to alert the correct emergency authorities if you experience a problem could save your life. And if it never comes up, it will still provide peace of mind that you are being taken care of… just in case the worst were to happen.
3. Watch Your Diet
When it comes to your diet, “Eat More fruits and vegetables” along with, “Cut out sugary and fatty foods” are standard pieces of advice. You may hear them a lot, but it’s for a good reason However, there’s more to diet than just these two maxims, useful as they may be.
Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals can cause multiple diseases. When buying food at the market or store, check the labels or the actual produce in order to ensure it is safe to eat. Watch for any deficiencies and supplement them accordingly.
Before taking a supplement, always ask your doctor if it’s safe, especially if you’re taking a prescription medication. Some supplements they may recommend include calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B6, or vitamin B12.
While it’s preferable to consume home-cooked food, it still doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe. Here’s how to make sure it is:
- Maintain hygiene and wash before cooking. (Hands and Ingredients)
- Separate raw and cooked ingredients
- Store in cool temperatures
- Use safe water and raw materials
4. Dental Health
Ahh the nightmare! Losing your teeth and wearing dentures for the remainder of your life is a fear that may face. But this can be prevented if you keep up with your brushing and flossing! Flossing helps to prevent gum disease by removing pieces of food and plaque from between the teeth. If it’s left to build up, you might notice sore or bleeding gums, and gum disease can also be linked to diabetes, strokes, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Other Useful Tips
You definitely need to be up-to-date on shots. When we are younger, we tend to ignore common shots such as the flu shot. But it can become essential to keeping you safe as you mature.
Some other general tips to remember aside from the specific tips provided above:
- Get rid of stress
- Try to obtain adequate rest, preferably 8 hours
- Practice some form of movement or exercise daily. (Even 30-60 minutes does the trick)
- Start spending more time outside (A nice, leisurely stroll outside can cross tips 3 and 4 off your list at the same time!)
- Reduce the amount of smoking and drinking you may be indulging in.
- Protect your cognitive function with activities like reading, puzzles etc to stimulate the mind.
Remember, A big part of getting older also includes tightening your purse strings. But when it comes to health, you can’t put a price on that. But luckily if you form these habits right now, your health won’t cost you an arm or a leg. Literally and figuratively.