How to Help the Process of Healthy Aging
As we get older, change becomes harder to imagine. We tend to get in the “all is said and done” mindset, especially when it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes.
But at Bella Vista Health Center, we believe strongly in a different mindset, the one that tells us, “It’s never too late.”
The way we see it, it doesn’t matter if you were never athletic, a vegetarian, or interested in the outdoors. What does matter is that you make a decision to live and age as healthy as you can. Small changes can have really big impacts.
Healthy aging starts right here, right now, wherever you are.
Staying physically active with regular exercise can help you prevent chronic disease, control your weight, lower your blood pressure, and boost your mood. No need to spend hours a day at the gym. You can get excellent benefits from daily walks at a moderate pace. If you’ve led a fairly sedentary life until now, start slow and just do what you can. If you walk just to the end of the block and back every day, it won’t be long before you start wanting to go further. And when that happens, go for it.
Stretch it out
When you’re not active, your muscles shorten and stiffen, decreasing your flexibility and range of motion. This makes it more difficult to get active. Light stretching on a daily basis improves your flexibility and can relieve the discomfort of chronic conditions. And if you take a yoga class, you’ll improve your strength and balance as well. Plus, all that optimism from the social environment can also have a positive impact on your health.
Maintain a healthy weight
There’s a reason diet and exercise go hand in hand: Our bodies were made to move, and healthy eating helps our bodies work smoothly and efficiently. Even though it may be difficult at first to make major changes in your eating habits, once you start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, it won’t be long until you wonder how it was you ever lived without your carrots and apples for lunch. Maintaining a healthy weight lowers blood pressure, risk of cardiovascular disease, and risk of cancer. If you’re unsure of what your optimal weight is, talk to your doctor.
Visit your doctor regularly. Get your yearly check-up. Get your flu shots. Get screened for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. Preventative screenings and immunizations can help you stay healthy and allow you to address any medical concerns that do arise while they’re still at a treatable stage.
Social engagement by way of family, classes, church, or community centers can help you stay optimistic as you age. That may not sound like such an important matter, but research has shown that a positive outlook may help you live longer and avoid developing chronic conditions.
Lend a helping hand
Volunteering can actually help you meet some of the other objectives of healthy aging. It can help you stay physically active, and if you’re outdoors, in parks or nature reserves, you get the added benefits of vitamin D and fresh air. Volunteering can also combat depression by keeping you in social contact with others. Doing for others and for your community can strengthen your self-confidence, give you a sense of purpose, and take your mind off your worries. Talk about a recipe for optimism!
We support healthy aging
At Bella Vista Health Center in Lemon Grove, we provide quality, compassionate care that promotes healthy aging. All of the residents in our skilled nursing facility receive nutritious meals, opportunities for exercise, yoga, meditation, social activities, and many other services that help support them through the aging process.
While skilled nursing care is an important part of what we provide at Bella Vista, there’s so much to what we do. Optimism, nurturing, and good old-fashioned love – it’s just who we are.
Come in and see for yourself.