How To Live and Age Well in Your 60s and Beyond
Turning 60 is a big deal. You’re entering a decade where, if you’re like most individuals, you’re planning to close the books on your work career and begin the next chapter of life – your retirement. It’s a chance to start anew, in a sense, and there’s no better time to start adopting a lifestyle that will help you live well and age well throughout your 60s … and beyond.
“Today’s 60 is not your grandmother’s 60,” says Allison Yancey, Executive Director of Residences at Wellpoint, an Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care community in Huntsville, Alabama. “Retirement and seniorhood these days are all about feeling good and doing the things you’ve been dreaming about. That’s why one of the best things you can do is take steps to optimize your health and adopt healthy habits, so you can continue to do the things you love and want to do.”
Allison says that living and aging well comes down to one thing: caring for yourself. “Focusing on whole-body wellness and caring for your mind, body, and soul is essential for living well and aging well. It’s more than just eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise … it’s being the very best you possibly can be.”
In honor of National Wellness Month, we’ve compiled some of the top tips for helping you live a healthy, happy, and fulfilled life, whether you’re just starting on your journey or have been walking the path for a while.
- Change can start today.
It’s never too late to start taking care of yourself. Studies have shown that even people well into their 80s can make positive changes to their well-being when they adopt a health and wellness-focused lifestyle. Individuals who focus on living well and aging well understand that there’s no defined “destination” for which they’re striving. It’s taking steps every day to live your best life, and you do the best you can. There’s a sense of positivity and optimism that comes from saying, “I’m going to live better starting now.” Why wait?
- A positive attitude will get you far.
Ever known those people who seem so youthful and vibrant that you’re shocked when you find out how old they are? It just goes to show that attitude really can be everything when it comes to aging well. Studies have shown that older adults who look at aging as a positive thing – instead of dreading it and trying to stave it off to remain “young” – end up having greater life satisfaction as they age. That positive attitude also translates to better overall health, an improved ability to recover from illnesses, better mental health, and a happier outlook. The best way to age well and live well is by understanding and accepting that aging is a natural progression and not something to dread. When you shift your thinking to mull over all the benefits of aging – more financial stability, a stronger sense of self, more wisdom – you’ll be amazed at how great getting older can feel.
- Stay active.
Getting regular physical activity has zero downsides and all the upsides. Individuals who get regular exercise (about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) have better immune systems, are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, have better mental health and brain acuity, are more likely to recover quickly from an injury, and are more social than their non-exercising counterparts. It doesn’t take a lot to reap the benefits of exercise. Walking, gardening, or doing leg lifts while standing at your counter are all great ways to stay active. If you don’t currently have an exercise routine, start small and build from there – even a little can have a significant impact on your health.
- Keep your brain active, too.
Your brain needs just as much exercise – if not more – than your body. Doing things that get your neurons firing will help keep your mental pathways and cognitive abilities sharp and nimble. The good news is that keeping your brain active is as easy as reading a book, doing a crossword puzzle, or even just interacting with friends. Exercising your brain by staying curious, being open to learning new things, and finding new hobbies will give you a more positive outlook, better mental health, more energy, and a better overall state of wellness.
- Eat a healthy diet.
You are what you eat, and eating a healthy diet gives you the best possible fuel to help your body age well. Fill up your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats to achieve a balanced, tasty eating plan. By contrast, reduce your intake of processed meats, refined sugars, trans fats, and alcohol – all of which wreak havoc on your body and can increase your risk of various diseases.
- Plan ahead.
Or, in other words, look forward to the future. What sort of goals do you have for yourself today? Tomorrow? Within the next year or five years from now? Setting goals and a plan to get there will help you have something to strive for. Yes, retirement should be a time to relax and have fun – but having something to strive for helps individuals remain active, youthful, and excited about the future. So, don’t be content just to sit back and let the world pass you by – having goals and dreams will help you live well and age well far into your senior years.
- Stay connected.
“Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver; the other gold.” It’s no secret that friendships and close relationships are some of the best parts of life. Staying social doesn’t just make us happier people. It actually helps us live longer, stay healthier and be more engaged with the world around us. Research shows that people with a vast social network have a 50 percent chance of living better and longer than those who are isolated.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
Good sleep is important for helping you look and feel your best. After all, who doesn’t love being well-rested? But it also has amazing implications for your inner workings as well. Getting a good night’s sleep helps reduce your risk of developing diseases like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and others. Sleeping deeply through the night also helps your brain slow the progress of aging and can keep your mind as nimble and agile as possible. So, get a good night’s sleep – doctor’s orders!
Where It All Comes Together
At Residences at Wellpoint, we provide an exceptional experience for those who desire Independent Living, Assisted Living, or Memory Care in the Huntsville area. As part of the broader Wellpoint Community “campus,” we cultivate an engaged, intergenerational community unlike any other. Here, we celebrate well-being with an array of social programs; innovative, on-site medical technology; a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle and so much more.
Here, our residents enjoy complete freedom of choice as well as the ability to plan their days however they choose. This is because we take the tedious routines of everyday life off your hands so that you can enjoy your life any way you wish. Go on an outing, enjoy the community, get fit in the fitness center, enjoy our dining bistro or shoot a game of pool in the sports/billiards bar. It’s all waiting for you.
No matter what your needs are, we can meet them. Our lifestyle philosophy supports every need along your journey, whether you desire Independent Living, need the assistance of our Assisted Living program, or begin to need Memory Care. However your needs may change, we offer on-site medical assistance and supportive services so you can continue enjoying the engaging lifestyle you love. Contact us to learn more!
Call us at 256.274.5312 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.