As we age, our bodies change, and many of those changes can be detrimental to health. With old age comes several physical ailments that could prove fatal if not treated or controlled correctly. However, there are certain habits that senior citizens need to give up as soon as possible to avoid serious complications.
Taking care of your body is extremely important at all ages, but when you’re over 60, the importance increases dramatically. This is why seniors must give up some unhealthy habits immediately so they won’t cause further damage to their health. Quitting these 13 unhealthy habits will likely make your life longer and happier.
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Smoking is one of the most harmful habits today, especially among older people who shouldn’t smoke at all. Many studies have proven that tobacco causes cancer and other severe illnesses, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). For this reason, elderly individuals must quit smoking because it would prevent them from living their lives in pain and discomfort.
2. Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse has been associated with many conditions, including liver diseases, heart problems, strokes, and stomach ulcers. If you want to prolong your life significantly, you should stop drinking alcohol altogether. Too much alcohol consumption can lead to serious health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, cancer, obesity, and many more. Professionals who have obtained degrees from some of the best online AGNP programs believe that heavy drinking also weakens bones and worsens osteoporosis, resulting in fractures and broken hips.
3. Poor Diet
Eating the wrong foods will only put your health at risk. Your diet should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to get enough vitamins and minerals. In addition, it should be low in fat and salt. If you don’t eat the right food, your immune system won’t work properly, and your body will develop deficiencies and a weakened state. Your diet should consist of high-quality proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy products, and lots of water.
4. Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a big problem among older adults, who often have insomnia for various reasons. Insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep or sleep through the night, which can cause serious health concerns and even death in some cases. Some doctors recommend that people aged 65+ need 8 hours of sleep daily, although this recommendation may vary depending on each individual. If you cannot sleep well at night, you should consult your doctor immediately.
5. Excess Weight Gain
Being overweight is another factor that can shorten your lifespan, especially among older people who have already experienced several medical problems. Obesity is closely related to different types of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, depression, and other serious illnesses. Therefore, older adults must maintain their ideal weight by exercising regularly and eating nutritious foods.
6. Negative Attitude
Negative attitudes can have a huge impact on your overall health. They affect your mood and mental state, directly affecting how well you cope with stress, anxiety, fear, and other negative emotions. Older people who have a poor attitude towards life often suffer from an array of health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes. To live a happy and healthy life, you need to think positively about yourself and everyone around you.
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7. Lack of Exercise
Regular exercise is beneficial for both young and old people alike. It helps you stay fit, improves your flexibility, and reduces inflammation in joints. If you decide to start working out, you’ll see positive results within a few weeks. You should do strength training exercises three times per week, such as squats, push-ups, and lunges. Exercising should be combined with a balanced diet to achieve desired results.
8. Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem has been proven to be a major factor that triggers psychological disorders. If you lack confidence in your abilities and feel inferior to others, you’re more likely to experience depression, anxiety, sadness, anger, rage, and many other mental health issues. Older people usually suffer from low self-esteem because they feel tired and useless after retirement. By starting a new hobby, you can boost your confidence and improve your chances of enjoying a healthier and happier future.
9. Inappropriate Medication Use
Overusing medications is a bad practice that can cause both short-term and long-term harm. Most elderly individuals take too many medicines without consulting their doctors first. This habit can cause several symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, confusion, and constipation. The good news is that you can avoid this problem by visiting your doctor regularly and discussing any concerns you might have.
10. Ignoring Pain
Many older people ignore the pain that occurs in their bodies. However, ignoring pain can result in serious complications, affecting your mobility and making it difficult to perform daily tasks. As a general rule, you should always listen to your body and seek medical attention if you experience chest pain, excessive thirst, changes in vision or hearing, numbness or tingling in extremities, fever, coughing up blood, etc.
11. Lack of Social Interaction
Social interaction is one of the keys to a longer life. People who surround themselves with friends and family are less likely to experience loneliness and depression, two significant health risks. To socialize with others, you should join local groups, attend events, volunteer, help the needy and become a part of a community.
12. Avoiding Medical Treatments
Some seniors refuse to undergo surgery, radiation therapy, or other treatments because they fear the side effects. Although these treatments can have some adverse effects, there’s no reason not to try them if you want to prolong your life. In most cases, patients who receive treatment early experience fewer complications and enjoy a higher quality of life.
13. Ignoring Depression
Depression is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 or over suffers from depression. If you’re suffering from depression, then you should speak to your doctor and ask for appropriate medication and therapy. There are several ways to treat depression, but it’s important to remember that some symptoms require immediate medical assistance.
Older people have difficulty coping with age-related issues, such as loss of mobility or chronic pain. Moreover, they can experience emotional and physical changes that make it difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. The good news is that there are several things you can do to prevent aging-related health problems such as managing your alcohol use disorder and slow down the process of cellular damage. Above all, you should eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.
Which of the above habits surprised you? Share your thoughts below!
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