Your 60’s are your golden years as well as a sensitive phase of life. Many senior adults finally start to de-stress their mind and rest after years of hard work, while also falling in monotony and stiffness. This leads to several medical issues or even death.
Thus, one should take proper care of their overall health in order to live a longer and happier life.
Don’t think that just because you have reached such a long age, it’s useless for you to start now. The changes you make now will not only improve your health but also reverse the damage of past mistakes.
What is Longevity?
Longevity is defined as the average lifespan under ideal conditions. It has increased drastically through the century due to progressive medications and standard of living.
Long back, any man was hardly expected to live past the age of 65 and now it’s stretched to 80 or even 90! It might even be possible to live longer if we follow the ideal methods of living.
How to Increase Your Longevity?
Our genetics only determine our longevity for a maximum of about 30%. It depends on our lifestyle – food habits, attitude and environment how long we actually will be able to live on.
Hence, trying to increase it would require making positive improvements in our lifestyle as we age. Here are 9 effective ways to increase longevity in your 60’s.
1. Live with a Purpose
As you age, you get a lot of free time in your hand with fewer things to spend it on. This results in sitting idle in front of the TV or books for long hours, decreasing your physical as well as mental activities.
Studies have shown that most senior adults tend to die within 3 – 4 years of retiring due to this lack of purpose. Because after all, if we do not have a purpose to live, what does any of it even mean?
To deal with this lack of sense, you can take up a retirement job. It will offer you a sense of purpose along with fresh and happier life.
Older people also gather a lot of wisdom and knowledge that takes a lifetime to acquire. The younger generation looks up to you for advice and guidance.
even if you can’t seem to find a purpose, remember that sharing your wisdom and experience is a great purpose itself. You can even take up the profession of a life- coach or publish your own book.
2. Take Care of Your Body
After you retire, your body ought to do just the same. Don’t let it happen as too much unmonitored rest can make your body rest permanently! The body is built to be active. So go outside daily and do exercises or yoga.
It will keep you fit as well as happy. In addition to this, when you go outside your skin gets exposed to sunlight, thus producing Vitamin D. This vitamin is necessary for bone health as well for depression, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
It also prevents some autoimmune disorders, cancer, fractures and even high blood pressure. You can also get vitamin D through supplements but sunlight is the most natural and inexpensive way to receive it. However, prolonged exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer.
A good exercise will also help your body to have a good amount of sleep, which is very essential at this age. A senior adult is advised to have at least 8 – 9 hours of sleep on a daily basis. With good sleeping habits, you can have plenty of energy for the upcoming day
Related: How to Stay Fit As You Age
3. Keep Your Brain Engaged and Mind at Peace
It’s a known fact that our brain needs exercise. Being intellectually engaged benefits the brain by keeping you healthier and happier. It loves to learn new things, solve puzzles and make connections. If we don’t allow the brain to stimulate, it will eventually get weaker.
You can give your brain this constant stimulation by engaging yourself in solving puzzles and learning a new skill or language. Be sure that you find things that interest you and challenges your brain.
Stress has unhealthy effects on your body as well as on your mind in the form of negative thoughts. It can trigger harmful behaviours such as drinking, smoking or comfort eating. Too much stress even leads to medical conditions such as depression or heart disease.
Stress reduction techniques such as – focusing on breathing, listening to calm music, meditation and yoga help you to relax.
4. Add More Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet
The more fruits and vegetables you eat the healthier you will be. Consuming items like cheese, meat, burgers can form junk around your heart plus make your arteries tough. This causes the blood pressure to rise and your heart works harder. Henceforth, making your heart prone to disease.
Besides, eating vegetables fills you up only with a few calories compared to non-veg. As you age, your digestive system becomes more sensitive. Natural nutritious food like fruits and vegetables will make digestion easier. It will help you have a more comfortable bowel movement hence, maintaining your body weight.
Moreover, we almost have all the essential nutrients in vegetables as compared to animal products. So why not eat what Mother Nature already has in store for us?
5. Have a Positive Attitude Towards Aging
According to studies, if you can develop a positive attitude towards aging you can effortlessly add up to 7.5 years to your life.
A positive attitude affects your stress level that further affects your body. As a result, if you begin to dread aging that would show similar side effects in your behaviour as well as your body.
You should always keep reminding yourself of the positive aspects of aging such as wisdom, knowledge, spiritual growth, relaxation, etc. Ask yourself, what you find good about aging and let us know!
6. Spend Time with Loved Ones
As we discussed earlier, elderly people with bad mental health, lack of purpose and loneliness tend to die earlier than the rest. Spending time with your loved ones is an all-in-one solution for your mental peace.
It reduces your stress, keeps you happier and gives you a good company. It is itself a purpose to want to live on. Being socially connected also makes you less likely to take on harmful behaviours and more likely to take care of yourself.
This, as a result, will also minimize the stress effects on your body, promoting good health.
7. Maintain a Healthy Sex Life
Sex can be very helpful in improving your health and boosting you mentally. This intimate need is ageless. Nowadays more and more senior adults are open about their sex lives. While sex may not feel the same way as back in your younger days but that doesn’t reduce the benefits it has on you.
It reduces the risk of prostate cancer, shrinkage of the vagina and several other genital conditions that lead to irritation. Decreasing the blood pressure, it also helps you sleep by relaxing the blood vessels, mind and soul. It also releases human-growth hormones which help in skin elasticity, reducing wrinkles and firming your muscles etc.
In addition to this, sex helps to release endorphins and oxytocin from the brain. This leads to a good mental state which eventually aids towards having a good attitude.
8. Avoid risks
Even if you take care of all the things above, it still won’t matter if you don’t stay away from any unnecessary risks. It is not an unfamiliar fact that life for senior adults is sensitive. You’ll have to be careful with each step to be safe.
There can be physical risks as well as mental risks. Physical risks include any sort of situation that will harm your body, like – falling, getting electrocuted, getting burns while cooking, etc. While the mental risks may include taking a tremendous amount of stress that will lead to a nervous breakdown or even heart attack.
Preventable risks can be avoided by wearing seatbelts while driving, resisting risky and violent situations, avoiding risky sex, not walking over wet surfaces, etc.
To make it easier, your main focus should be working towards having better attentiveness and be self-aware. This will ensure you to be able to automatically process your movements and dodge most of the risks, both mentally and physically.
9. Understand your Health
Throughout the years you must have been used to the regular rounds of medical check-ups. If you’re not yet familiar with your prescriptions, you’re making a big mistake.
Not understating your medications and treatments can be a big threat to your life. Be sure to know how, when and why to take your medicines. Ask the doctors about your doubts, research online and make sure you understand your own health. Go for regular check-ups to be updated on your health.
This will not only allow maintaining a good health but also prepare you to take proper care of yourself, in case of emergencies.
It must be a little tough to keep up with all of the above routines right away. Start taking one solid step at a time and before you know it, you’ll fall on the road of longevity with your healthy habits.
Drop your comments and queries below in the comment box. Let us know if this article helped you and suggest your own ways to maximize longevity after 60’s! We would be looking forward to hear from you!
Contact author: @aparajitaa.b