For many, age 60 marks the beginning of a decade full of changes. Some may plan to retire, and others start up small businesses. Some settle in to help take care of their grandchildren, whereas others update their passports and take off on adventures around the world. And some decide to do it all!
This new phase of life provides endless opportunities to live your life to the fullest. However, it also requires attention to well-being and health.
Whether you’re looking for a few more ways to maintain good health at 60 or wondering where to start, here are seven tips for living a long life of health and happiness.
1. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Most of us hear it throughout our lives — “Be sure to eat your fruits and vegetables!” Although this phrase rings true in every phase of life, it is especially true as you age, according to research conducted by the National Library of Medicine about nutrition’s effect on aging.
The results of the study showed that diets that are low in carbohydrates, rich in vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, cereals, and unsaturated fats, and contain antioxidants, potassium, and omega-3 can:
- Decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity.
- Reduce the risk of telomere shortening.
- Promote an overall healthier life.
The next time you’re at the grocery store or your local farmer’s market, pick up a few extra pieces of fruit and your favorite veggies!
2. Exercise or Move Every Day
Much like a healthy diet, daily exercise is encouraged at every age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carving out time for regular physical activity is one of the most important things older adults can do for their health. It can:
- Prevent or delay health problems.
- Build muscle strength.
- Help you continue to complete daily activities without dependence on others.
The CDC recommends that you:
- Engage in moderate-intensity activities for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Strengthen muscles at least two days a week.
- Improve balance three days a week, using exercises such as standing on one foot.
That said, this is not an all-or-nothing recommendation. Some amount of physical activity is better than none at all.
When it comes to the type of movement, choose what makes you most excited. For some, it might mean taking long walks in nature, attending fitness classes, practicing yoga, or dancing. Others might find interests that aren’t commonly considered physically engaging — such as gardening — fit easily into their current lifestyle.
3. Keep Your Brain Active
Research shows that people who engage in new experiences or make efforts to go beyond their mental comfort zones stay mentally and physically younger.
There are plenty of meaningful activities that stimulate the mind, such as:
- Auditing a class at your local university.
- Learning to play a musical instrument.
- Joining a book or writing club.
- Taking painting, sculpting, or calligraphy classes.
4. Stay Positive
Your attitude can impact your longevity. According to research from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), optimism is related to an 11–15 percent longer life span and greater odds of living to the age of 85 or beyond.
Optimism isn’t an intrinsic character trait but rather something a person develops. Many optimistic people stay positive by creating gratitude lists, acknowledging and accepting what can and cannot be controlled, and turning off the news (from time to time), among other methods.
5. Be Productive
It’s not uncommon for adults in their 60s to lead more sedentary lives. However, there are many benefits to staying physically and mentally active. We’ve already listed quite a few in this article, but you can also stay active by socializing, volunteering, cooking healthy foods, running errands, or anything that enhances a sense of purpose in your life.
6. Maintain Your Social Life
A strong social life relates to many of the tips we’ve already discussed. Connecting with friends, family, and people outside of your immediate social circles can benefit you in many ways, including providing you with higher levels of physical well-being, a more optimistic attitude, and lower levels of depression.
7. Be Consistent with Medical Care
As a healthy adult in your 60s, it’s recommended that you make at least one visit to your primary physician every year for preventive care and general checkups.
Additionally, stay informed about your health so you can easily find, understand, and use appropriate services to make health-related decisions and advocate for your care.
Good Health and Good Times at WesleyLife
As you find ways to celebrate all this decade has to offer, look to a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living.
Whether you prioritize socialization, convenience, community involvement, physical and mental health, or a combination of these, our communities support independence and help you live a good life, whatever that means to you.
Find out more about how we can support you by reading our guide to living your best life.