Healthy aging means investing time, energy and attention into good health habits and positive lifestyle changes that can contribute to overall wellness. It is important to stay fit – body and mind, to help us age well, delay frailty and prevent illness.
How do I stay healthy as I age?
Eat healthy foods
Fuel-up on powerhouse veggies. This article has dietitian advice on how to incorporate more vegetable superfoods in your diet and how they can impact your health.
Drink alcohol in moderation
As we age, our bodies metabolize alcohol more slowly, so drinking two or three beers at age 65 can have the same effect as seven or eight beers consumed at age 20.
Drinking also poses more of a challenge in older adults who have a pre-existing health condition such as diabetes, or kidney or bladder problems, as their organs are already compromised and unable to process alcohol like they once did. Prescription and over-the-counter medications, such as cold medicines, can also amplify the effects of alcohol.
Learn more about the potential causes for older adults to misuse alcohol, how to spot symptoms of alcohol abuse and how to get help for loved ones.
Physical activity has many benefits and is essential for living a healthy life into old age. On a daily basis, being physically active improves your quality of life as it:
- Increases energy level
- Improves mental sharpness
- Lowers risk of dementia
- Decreases stress, anxiety or fatigue
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Lowers risk of falls or a hip fracture
Learn how to exercise to avoid frailty.
Keep your brain and body active
Whether it’s doing Sudoku puzzles or learning new skills, keeping your brain active is an important part of maintaining memory and overall healthy aging.
A great way to have fun with others and stay mentally and physically fit is to join an activity or fitness program at your local seniors centre, community centre or library. They often offer a wide range of leisure activities to suit your interests, from book clubs and chair yoga, to Spanish lessons and carpet bowling.
Municipalities typically publish their leisure guides one month before the start of each season, so be on the lookout then for guides inserted into your local newspaper or displayed at your local library or community centre. You can also find the guides online by typing into your web browser, “leisure guide” followed by your city’s name.
To find a seniors centre, community centre and library near you,
dial 2-1-1 to speak with a bc211 information and referral specialist or visit bc211.ca.
Learn about what dementia is, common signs and symptoms and how to get help.
Learn about the benefits of volunteering on healthy aging.
Take care of your emotional well-being and other ways to thrive in old age
Find easy, practical health and wellness tips you can begin to keep fit and thrive as you age.
See articles and videos about aging well from HealthyFamiliesBC.
See the B.C. Government’s guidelines for aging well.
- New electronic assessment tool helps seniors age well
- ‘Home is Best’ in action
Digital tools and health apps
Find online tools, smartphone apps and interactive content to help you take control of your health.
- Healthy eating for seniors handbook