A healthy lifestyle helps keep the body fit and the mind alert. It helps protect you from disease, helps you fight disease, and helps prevent chronic disease (disease that doesn't go away) from getting worse. This is important as you get older and begin to notice twinges in muscles and joints and a decline in the strength and stamina you once took for granted. A healthy lifestyle includes good healthcare, good nutrition, weight control, recreation, and regular exercise. Avoid harmful substances and do what you can to keep safe. Another part of a healthy lifestyle is stay mentally active and socially involved.
Recreation is not limited to sports and team events. It includes any activity that provides relaxation, interest, enjoyment, and exercise. Recreation provides an outlet for physical, mental, and social energy. It can give a sense of worth and achievement. It can help you stay healthy and young at heart as you get older.
We spend much of our adult lives working, getting to work, getting away from work, and worrying about work. Retirement, even if we've been looking forward to it, leaves a pretty big hole to fill. The way you fill that time can make a big difference in your health. You may also lose a sense of your importance when you quit your job. Recreation offers fulfilling ways to rechannel your time and energy and an opportunity to recover a sense of meaning in your life in new ways.
You need regular but not overly strenuous exercise. It doesn't make sense to get too ambitious and put your back out or tear a knee cartilage. Try to walk at least a mile a day, or do some other form of exercise if you prefer. Many senior centers have organized walking groups, sometimes in shopping malls before the stores open. Senior centers often have aerobic exercise classes, swimming, and dancing, too.
Smoking and heavy use of alcohol are major factors in diseases of the lungs, heart, and circulation; cancer; motor vehicle accidents; and home accidents. Talk to your healthcare provider if you need help quitting. By the way, it is easier to quit or cut back if you start exercising regularly at the same time.
Take care of your personal safety as well.
Mental and emotional health is as important as physical health. Keep in touch with friends and family. Stay as active as possible. Continue to learn and challenge yourself. Things you can do to stay mentally active are: