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Healthy Aging

It’s September, and that means it’s healthy aging month.

Here are some tips for tackling healthy aging in 3 areas:

 Cardiovascular health:

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Try walking, swimming or any other active activities you enjoy. Regular moderate physical activity will help you maintain a healthy weight and lower blood pressure.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium. A healthy diet can help you keep your heart and arteries healthy.

heart health

  • Manage stress. Stress can take a toll on your heart. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways – try journaling!

Bones, joints and muscles:

  • Get adequate amounts of calcium. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,200 mg a day for women age 51 and older. Dietary sources of calcium include diary products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products, such as tofu. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, ask your doctor about calcium supplements.
  • Get adequate amounts of vitamin D. For adults ages 19 to 70, the Institute of Medicine recommends 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. The recommendation increases to 800 IU a day for adults age 71 and older. Although many people get adequate amounts of vitamin D from sunlight, this might not be a good source for everyone. Other sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as tuna and sardines, egg yolks, fortified milk, and vitamin D supplements.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, tennis and climbing stairs, and strength training can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.

running

  • Avoid substance abuse. Avoid smoking and don’t drink more than one alcoholic drink a day.

Your memory:brain health

  • Eat a healthy diet. A heart healthy diet might benefit your brain. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This can help keep your memory sharp.
  • Stay mentally active. Mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape — and might keep memory loss at bay. Do crossword puzzles. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument.
  • Be social. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others.

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