If the first six months of 2017 are any indication, healthcare and health insurance coverage for Medicare beneficiaries could change drastically at any moment. Whether it’s uncertainty about the American Health Care Act (AHCA), aka Trumpcare, repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or concerns about President Trump’s proposed budget making cuts to Meals on Wheels, there is a lot happening that may easily cause anxiety.
This stress, along with aging, may affect your hair, eyes, skin, heart, muscles, and bones—but aging well can be “easy as pie” when you make the right choices. It starts with taking the right steps in exploring your preventive services in Medicare, which can prevent the inducing or escalation of various health conditions that affect seniors. So we suggest you adopt these everyday habits to keep you healthy and feeling well. After all, as Betty Friedan once said, “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
1. Make it a habit to get seven to eight hours of sleep
You probably know that seven to eight hours of sleep each night allows your body to recover energy and is important for proper functioning. Not only is sleep important to your body, it also plays a part in your emotional health and cognitive functions. According to the National Sleep Foundation, proper sleeping patterns can lead to improved memory as well as revitalization of young and healthy skin. Seniors who don’t get an adequate amount of sleep have a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. It’s also important to note that lack of sleep negatively affects your brain’s function and speeds up the aging process.
2. Think positively, it goes a long way
According to a study done by The Journal of the American Medical Association, “Seniors who think of age as a means to wisdom and overall satisfaction are 40 percent more likely to recover from a disability than those who see aging as synonymous with helplessness or uselessness.”
3. Get regular check ups
Visiting the doctor regularly will help diagnose health risks at an earlier stage, thus preventing any issues from becoming serious. Your doctor will be able to tell you what changes should be made to your health as a form of precaution. Since you will be seeing your doctor consistently, make sure your physician is someone you’re comfortable with.
4. Eat well, since you are what you eat
As your body ages it’s important to maintain a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and fish. According to Harvard Medical School, this diet can help ward off heart attacks, strokes, and premature death. Rich foods in Omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts, salmon, and flaxseed, help your skin manufacture the essential oils it needs to protect itself and can help skin look younger. In contrast, sugary and fatty foods like chips, soda, and white bread—can speed up the aging process.
5. Keep exercising
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, “The average woman can lose 23 percent of her muscle mass between ages of 30 and 70. You lose muscle more rapidly as you age, but exercise—resistance workouts in particular—can increase mass and strength, even well into your 90s.” According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, “Staying fit may also reduce age-related memory loss.” Physical activity is so important because it can decrease your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, as it strengthens the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning.
6. Stay Socially Engaged as You Age
Staying socially active can progress your quality of life. With caring friends and family, your emotional health can improve getting you through all of life’s obstacles. Those of us with strong social ties were shown to have a 50 percent higher chance of living longer than those with poor or insufficient relationships.
The new Medicare Plus Card saves you up to 75% on things not covered by Medicare
Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Luckily, those on Medicare can now start saving on out of pocket expenses like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing, and more. Over 1 million people have already received their free Medicare Plus Card.