It’s time to take your health and wellness seriously. According to the National Council On Aging (NCOA), approximately 49 million Americans are 65 years and older, with that number increasing to 98 million by 2060. For the majority of those adults, good health will ensure their independence, productivity, and overall security at that age. However, millions of people struggle with daily challenges such as chronic diseases, physical inactivity, falls, oral health problems, or behavioral health issues, which can all affect your quality of life. In order to live your best life as you age, pay attention to these 50 tips for optimal health and wellness. Besides, who wants their health to get worse? Nobody, obviously. But what is necessary to start improving your health? Here are 50 tips and tricks that you can start implementing one at a time. By the time you get through all 50, you will be looking and feeling your best.
50. Recharge Your Own Batteries.
Many people are so constantly rushing from one activity to another, from one person to the next, from one obligation to the next, that they never take the time to experience solitude. Solitude is not loneliness; it is being alone intentionally so that you can reconnect with yourself and recharge your batteries. You may not be able to get away for an hour every day, especially if you have kids and regular obligations outside of work. However, regularly getting away from the crowd, the hustle and bustle, and reconnecting with yourself to recharge your own batteries is an essential component of health and wellness.
Sweating is your body’s way of releasing toxins that have built up. When you do vigorous exercise that causes you to sweat, you do more than help your heart keep ticking longer, burn calories, and build muscle. You detoxify your body so that it is cleaner from the inside out. A Zumba class is a great way to get the exercise that will get you all sweaty. Hot yoga is a less-intense form of exercise designed to open up your sweat glands and get the sweat pouring. Gardening and yard work are also great ways to sweat, get exercise, and beautify your space.
Far too many people neglect their regular tooth cleanings and dental exams. Why bother when you already brush and floss every day? There is great benefit in regular cleanings and having a professional make sure that your teeth are as healthy as possible. Neglecting regular dental exams is ultimately neglecting your health and wellness because your teeth and gums are important to looking and feeling your best. Call your dentist and schedule one if you have not had a cleaning in more than six months. Then stick with it!
Dental care is about more than having a healthy mouth. Sure, you want to have a great smile (who doesn’t?), but did you know that most germs get into your body through your mouth? Oral hygiene is an integral part of total-body health, not just mouth health. Make sure that you brush two to three times per day and floss daily. Limit foods that can cause bacteria to grow on your teeth and lead to cavities, especially sugar, as well as acidic foods that can wear down your enamel, such as citrus. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
You may not be able to drink eight glasses of water per day. Whose bladder can handle that without sending them to the bathroom every half-hour? Nevertheless, you can drink two glasses of water each day, and two glasses are better than none. Start your day off with a glass of water and have another one to help rehydrate your body in the afternoon. If you are a soda addict, start replacing one soda each day with a glass of water and a healthy snack. You will start looking and feeling better almost immediately.
Far too often, when we think of health and wellness, we focus on what we can do to improve our productivity at work. However, you are so much more than what you can produce at a job or the paycheck you can bring home. What are some things that are fun and that make you feel like you really enjoy being alive? Maybe it’s reading a book, watching a favorite television show, getting outside for a hike, going out in a canoe, or cooking a fantastic dinner from scratch. Make sure that you regularly do something that you consider fun.
You may not have a green thumb and have avoided getting house plants because you do not want to kill an innocent plant. But did you know that house plants are an excellent way of naturally filtering the air in your home? They can even boost your mood and enhance your creativity and problem-solving abilities. Head over to a plant nursery and see the most low-maintenance plants that even you cannot kill. Turning your home into a green space is almost certain to lead to a happier and healthier you. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
If you cannot remember when your last wellness check was, you may want to go on and schedule one today. You may not feel bad, but preventative medicine is much more effective than cancer treatments or kidney dialysis. A wellness check will allow the doctor to examine what problems may be developing before they become chronic conditions. Your doctor may even ask you questions about things that you thought were normal but may actually be warning signs. Regular wellness checks can make sure that you keep your health in check before, not after, problems develop.
Organic foods are produced without pesticides and have a long list of harmful chemicals not allowed inside them. Many of those pesticides and chemicals are known to cause chronic disease, including cancer, so you are best off eating organic as much as possible. Organic foods are better for the environment and the farmers who produce them. They also tend to taste better because they are grown more responsibly and shipped much more quickly (without added preservatives, they spoil faster, so they have to be shipped bought quickly). Your body and the planet will thank you.
Soda is one of the absolute worst things that you can put into your body. The sugar alone can send your blood sugar on a spaceship and then crash back down, which will leave you feeling exhausted and depleted (and in need of another soda). If you think diet soda is the solution, think again; sugar substitutes are worse than sugar itself. There are also numerous chemicals in soda and a dangerous pH. If you want to develop long-term kidney problems, cavities, diabetes, and any number of chronic health conditions, keep drinking soda. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
Drinking a green smoothie does not have to mean that you stop at a super expensive health store and shell out $20 each day for something so fancy that you cannot even pronounce it. You can make your own green smoothie for less than $5 a day by blending spinach with berries and plant-based milk. You can get creative and look for more recipes or even come up with your own! Having a green smoothie for breakfast is an excellent way to start your day with a burst of nutrition and ensure that you will have more energy throughout the day.
And no, we do not mean that you should eat Skittles every day. Eating foods with different colors — naturally different colors, not artificially colored fake food, like candy — helps ensure optimum nutrition. Other colors in foods tend to indicate a separate complex of nutrients. If you eat oranges, mangoes, and carrots every day, you are definitely getting enough Vitamin A and Vitamin C but are missing out on many other critical nutrients. Make your plate as multi-colored as possible at mealtime so that every day, you eat a veritable rainbow.
You may have convinced yourself that you are helping someone who is not doing anything for you. Maybe the toxic relationship in your life is a bad roommate, a needy sibling, an unpleasant uncle, or an old friend who needs you to be her personal cheerleader. You may not have realized how difficult this toxic relationship has become because it is such a normal part of your life that you cannot imagine living without this person. But letting go of unhealthy relationships frees you up for healthy, meaningful, and fulfilling relationships. So let them go, and open yourself up to better relationships.
Most Americans do not get nearly enough fruit and vegetables, and as a result, their health suffers from insufficient vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Additionally, instead of eating these healthy foods, far too many people fill up on meat, chips, and desserts, none of which favors your body. Filling half your plate with veggies is a great start towards better portion control, and you will eat fewer calories and get more of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that your body needs to stay healthy. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
If you have trouble getting exercise every day — maybe you are just not motivated to go to the gym by yourself — the solution could be getting involved in a group fitness class. Examples include Zumba (yes, following Zumba videos on YouTube is fun, but there is no substitute for getting up and moving around with other people), a spinning class, or a cardio class. You can make friends and cheer each other on as you start reaching your fitness goals. Exercise and social activity will benefit your overall health and wellness in many ways.
You may be tempted to start each day with coffee. You may even have a cup of coffee beside your bed when you go to sleep to have it there when you have to get up! Coffee has great health benefits and can help you wake up and stay alert and focused, but it is no substitute for plain water. Starting each day by drinking a glass of water helps all of your cells rehydrate and can do wonders for your skin. Start drinking water before coffee (and stop pouring sugar onto your coffee; that is the worst way to start the day).
Apple cider vinegar may not be the most appetizing thing in the world, but consuming a teaspoon of it in a glass of water is a great way to boost your health quickly. Apple cider vinegar aids in digestion, relieves bloating, reduces inflammation, stabilizes your blood sugar levels, and improves your immunity. For best results, mix one teaspoon of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of water each morning and drink it before eating or drinking anything else. To protect your teeth, use a reusable straw (avoid disposable straws like the plague because they are death to the environment).
Do you tend to go out to eat on your lunch break at work, or maybe skip lunch altogether so that you can get through a project that you are working on? Neither option is doing you any favors for your health and wellness, and eating out every day has got to be taking a toll on your bank account. Start packing a healthy lunch every day, and make sure that you take your lunch break so that you can recharge your own batteries. Eat your lunch, and then take a short, brisk walk to get your blood pumping and energy levels back to where you need them.
If your mornings consist of hitting the snooze button until you have to dash out of bed and run out the door while still putting your shoes on and trying to slurp down a cup of coffee, then you are not setting yourself up for a good day. Setting up a healthy morning routine will completely change how you approach each day and help you meet the challenges with more focus. Start getting out of bed earlier and do what will help you get a better start to your day. That may include meditation, exercise, reading scripture, or making a phone call to a loved one.
Do you have an old friend that you just have not managed to see in a long time? You may be drifted apart because your lives became so demanding, but you would still love to get back in touch with this person. Send them a quick text or email and see if you can meet up for dinner or coffee sometime in the next week. You may not end up restarting an old friendship, but connecting after time apart can do your heart some good. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
A negative outlook can do more than mess up your mood, and chronically sour people can actually have shorter lifespans and develop chronic health problems. Being happy is good for you! While you cannot always be happy every minute of the day — there is a whole spectrum of emotions that we all feel because we are human — you can develop a positive outlook on life that will help carry you through the more difficult times. Cultivating positivity is an excellent way to boost your overall wellness while boosting your mood so that even when hard times hit, you remain happier and healthier.
Smiling is more than a way to flash your pearly whites at people; and it actually improves your mood and helps you have a more positive outlook on life. Fake smiling and fake laughing do not count because faking will make you feel bitter and annoyed at the other person. Look for ways throughout the day to smile genuinely, like you cannot help but smile because you feel so good. Maybe you saw something funny online and want to share it with a coworker, so you approach that person with a smile before telling the joke or showing the meme. Watch a funny movie with a loved one (or by yourself). Start smiling and feel your best!
An essential part of a healthy sleep routine is going to bed at the same time each night and then waking up at the same time each morning. Try going to bed at the same time each night for a week and see if your sleep health has improved. You may find that you have more energy and are more productive throughout the day — you are actually getting what you need to get done! — because you are sleeping so much better. If you are having trouble falling asleep on time, make sure you get enough exercise and limit caffeine.
People who use a fitness tracker that measures how many steps they take throughout the day are more likely to get better exercise than those who do not. One reason could simply be that people who do not use a fitness tracker overestimate how much they are really moving. In contrast, those who have a FitBit, Apple Watch, or similar device have a number to measure how much they are moving. If you want to get in 10,000 steps per day and are unsure of how many you get regularly, invest in a fitness tracker and get yourself moving.
Have you not had your eyes examined in a while? Even if you do not need corrective lenses, regular eye exams can detect problems such as glaucoma and cataracts before they become problems. What about mammograms, colonoscopies, Pap smears, skin cancer screenings, and prostate checks? No one enjoys having to go through testing, but remember that preventive medicine can help detect risk factors or the early stages of the disease before severely impacting your life. Call your doctor and schedule routine tests that you have not done in a while. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
Far too many adults are chronically sleep-deprived. The result is reduced productivity, loss of focus, inattention, and worse health. After a while, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to chronic health problems and even shorten your life expectancy. While drinking more coffee may seem like a short-term solution, there is no alternative to getting high-quality sleep every night. Most adults need 7-9 hours each night. Make sure that you give yourself at least an hour to wind down at the end of the day so that you are able to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night.
Many people have very reasonable fears that are holding them back from living their best life now. The best way to deal with your fears is to begin taking steps to overcome them. If you are afraid of public speaking, start speaking up more when you are with a group of people. The career opportunities that can open up to you if you are willing to lead a meeting in the board room could be tremendous! Maybe you are afraid of heights. If so, start taking baby steps towards being higher and higher (within reason; do not put yourself in danger) to start feeling better high up.
Laughing induces the production of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that make you feel happy. This explains part of why you feel so much better after a round of laughing! Taking the time to laugh every day can do wonders for your mood. And while taking time to laugh may feel artificial and fake, think about the time you take to do things that are not necessarily helping your overall health and wellness. Invite a friend, turn on a funny movie, and then enjoy some deep belly laughs. You will both feel better! Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
Getting a fitness tracker is not enough if you are not going to be doing more to build exercise into your daily routine. Taking the stairs is a great way to get started. Instead of waiting for an elevator and standing inside with people you do not know, who are spreading germs in an enclosed space, take the stairs. You will get your heart pumping and your muscles going for an extra burst of energy in the middle of the day. You will also burn more calories (and shed some of the stress hormones that can quickly build up) throughout the day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Your deodorant is crawling with chemicals that have no right to be on your skin and seeping into your body. Same with your makeup, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and everything you are using unless you are making sure that it is made with only natural ingredients. And remember that there is no FDA standard to define what a natural ingredient is, so you will have to check for yourself to see how many of the elements you can pronounce (if you can’t pronounce it, it probably was made in a laboratory).
You know that you should never mix bleach and ammonia because the result will be a toxic gas that could quickly kill you and everyone around. But how many of the cleaning products you use are harmful because they contain harsh chemicals, even if they won’t kill you right away? An excellent way to improve your health is only to use nontoxic cleaners. If you want to save money, you can easily make some at home by yourself! Otherwise, you can look at the growing options of nontoxic cleaners hitting the market.
If you are a smoker, you are poisoning your body and cutting your life expectancy significantly. The smoke you are regularly exhaling is inhaled by the people closest to you — your significant other, your kids, your parents, and your siblings. The dangers of secondhand smoke are as severe as those of regular smoking. Set a date to stop smoking, and stick to that date. Join a support group, talk with your doctor, try Nicotine patches, and do whatever you need to do to bust the habit. Your wallet, health, and loved ones will thank you. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
If you work behind a computer, your work chair may be causing back problems that are impeding your overall health and wellness. Unless your chair is ergonomically balanced and comfortable to sit in for long periods of time, it may contribute to pinched nerves, poor posture, and other problems associated with chronic health problems. One solution is to swap out your work chair for a yoga ball. A yoga ball offers more options to move around and keep your spine positioned well while working at your desk. You could also switch to a standing desk so that you are not sitting down.
You may be too tired to brush your teeth for two minutes. However, that does not mean you should not clean them. Perhaps you do not have the time or energy to go on an hour-long walk, but just walking around the block is better than not getting any exercise. You may not be in the mood for a salad, but having an apple with dinner is better than no fresh fruits or vegetables. Instead of aiming for perfection and punishing yourself when you fall short, aim for better than not at all. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
Your family’s medical history is an invaluable resource in helping you, and your doctor determines your long-term health goals. If you are a female and the women in your family have a history of breast cancer, you and your doctor will know that you need mammogram screenings more regularly than other women may need them. If high blood pressure or diabetes runs in your family, you can share that information with your doctor and learn what preventive measures you can take now to stave off those problems later. Spend a day connecting with relatives so you can find your medical history.
If you work at a desk, then you are probably used to a very sedentary lifestyle in which getting up and moving is not necessarily baked into your day. As a result, you may start feeling lethargic, and your circulation is probably not as good as it should be. Start changing this by standing up every half-hour. Stretch your legs, arms, and torso to get your blood pumping again and help wake you up. Get up and walk to the water cooler to refill your water bottle. Furthermore, use half of your lunch break to take a short, brisk walk.
You may eat yogurt regularly, but did you know that many of the probiotics in yogurt cannot survive the acidic environment in your stomach? As a result, they do not get to your intestines, which really need them! Taking probiotics is an excellent way to boost the health of your gut, which in turn improves the health of your entire body. Start taking a probiotic first thing in the morning with a glass of water. A good probiotic will have a casing that can survive stomach acid so that the good bacteria pass into the intestines, where they can make themselves nice and comfy.
How long has that mayonnaise been in there? Does it smell like vinegar and have spots of mold growing on it? How many expired items lurk in the back of your fridge and your pantry? How many sugary products do you have lying around, waiting for the opportune moment to consume them all in one sitting? Take an inventory of your refrigerator and pantry to determine what foods you have on hand and what changes you may need to start making to your grocery shopping habits. You probably need to start buying less sugar and more fresh produce. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
Far too many people are deficient in vitamin D, and the reason why is not that they are neglecting to take their supplements. Vitamin D supplements can be beneficial in the winter months, especially for people who live in frigid regions that do not get enough sunlight. But for the most part, vitamin D needs to come from the sunlight. Moreover, there are additional benefits to sunlight beyond the sunlight vitamin, including feeling better and regulating your internal clock more effectively. Take a walk in the sun (within reason), and see how much better you feel afterward.
All too often, stress creeps up — or jumps in our face — and gets the best of us, quickly derailing our improved health and wellness efforts. Managing your stress by intentionally taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do to develop long-term health. Get regular exercise so that your cortisol, which is a primary stress hormone, can stay in check. Do things that you enjoy, like taking hot bubble baths at night, to help replace the stress with positivity. Spend time with friends instead of sitting by yourself and ruminating about the hard things going on.
Not wearing good shoes that support your feet and back can lead to chronic health problems. Wearing non-supportive shoes occasionally is not too much of a problem. That is unless you already have issues and have been told by a doctor that you should only wear supportive shoes. However, having a pair of supportive shoes on hand can do wonders for your health. You will no longer be able to make the excuse of not having shoes when you know that you need to get out, enjoy the fresh air, and get some exercise. Also aim to get supportive dress shoes to wear to work and on special occasions.
Gratitude is for more than Thanksgiving. People who are grateful for what they have are happier and content with less, whereas people who cannot see the benefit of what they already have often keep grasping for more. Things will not ever make you happy, but gratitude will. Cultivate an attitude of thankfulness for what you have. Thank the people in your daily life who make it easier, like the cashier who checks you out when buying groceries and the bus driver who helps you get to work in the morning. Not only will you feel better, but so will the people who experience your genuine gratitude.
Food labels contain a wealth of information to help you make better decisions about what you are putting into your body. Instead of grabbing the items at the grocery store that you are habitually used to purchasing, take a moment to look at the food label. How much salt does this item have? Furthermore, how much sugar, saturated fat, and cholesterol does it have? How many ingredients does it have? The healthiest options have very few ingredients; an apple has only one element: the apple! Being a savvy reader of food labels will help you determine which foods are healthiest.
Slow cookers can be absolute miracles for preparing healthy, tasty dishes on busy weeknights. You can add the necessary ingredients in the morning, turn the slow cooker on, and have a nourishing stew, soup, or another dish that is sure to please anyone by the time you get home. Recipes for slow cookers abound online. If money is tight, you can usually grab a used slow cooker at a thrift store for less than $15. Pressure cookers have also become popular again recently, and they can save lots of time and energy in preparing dinner. Keep reading for more wellness tips for a healthier lifestyle as you age.
So much of what is packaged as health food is overly processed and full of chemical preservatives, so much so that far too many people have no idea of what “food” is supposed to be! Real food has limited ingredients and is close to the ground. Choose plain yogurt with probiotics still intact over-processed yogurt loaded with sugar. Eat an apple and some almonds or peanut butter instead of a protein bar. And for a fun outing, go to a local farm so that you can pick some of your own produce and then use it to make jelly or fruit leather without any chemicals added.
Intermittent fasting is more than a health-food fad; it has real benefits for people. However, it is not for everyone, so there is no shame if IF is not working out for you. IF involves intentionally not eating for a set number of hours during the day, such as 16 hours (maybe from 5 pm until 9 am), and then getting all of your nutrition during the other hours. The idea is to give your digestive system a break so that it can work more optimally while also taking advantage of the benefits of your body being in a fasting state. IF can be a great way to lose weight.
Washing your hands is one of the best habits you can develop to prevent the spread of illness. During the covid-19 pandemic, people got really good at washing their hands! But now that covid is on its way down does not mean that hand-washing is any less critical. Wash your hands before eating, before cooking, after using the restroom, and any time they are visibly soiled. Rub them for 20 seconds (the amount of time needed to sing “Happy Birthday” twice) with soap, and rinse them well. Use lotion if necessary to prevent dried skin.
You may be tempted to go for the front-row parking spot, even if doing so means driving around the parking lot for 10 minutes and waiting for someone to pull out of the area you want. Why not save that 10 minutes and a lot of the stress associated with parking lots by parking towards the back? The extra walk will be counted towards your daily exercise (if you use a fitness tracker, those steps will be included in your daily quote). Furthermore, after you are finished shopping, finding your car will be easier because fewer people park in the back.
How many junk drawers do you have cluttered with things that you forgot that you even have? When was the last time you went through your closet to take inventory of the clothes, shoes, and accessories you have and what you don’t need? Start getting organized by cleaning one thing out at a time. It may be your junk drawer, closet, or car trunk. Take the items that you do not need to a thrift store so that the money from them can go towards a good cause. Keep reading for a final health and wellness tip that can make your lifestyle healthier.
If you have not changed your air filters in a while, then the air quality in your home and car could be suffering. Moreover, you are breathing that lousy air! Changing your air filters is a quick and easy way to make sure that the air you and your loved ones are breathing regularly is as clean as possible. House plants, open windows when the weather is nice, and an air purifier can also improve the quality of the air in your home. And if you are a smoker, stop smoking now! Everyone’s air will be much cleaner because of your efforts.