Our health needs change as we age: What worked for you when you were younger, may not help much during your golden years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention age brings a higher risk of chronic diseases, including dementia, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. Read on for 5 things you should stop doing right now—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Dr. Allen Conrad, BS,DC,CSCS, the owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center warns that it can be dangerous to do certain exercise moves in your 60s, including plyometric, HIIT, sit-ups, running at full speed, and weight lifting on consecutive days. While plyometric exercises (such as planks) are effective and can improve speed and power, over 60 there is a higher risk of tearing a muscle tendon. Intense ab exercises can hurt your back, HIIT can put too much stress on your joints, running can result in fractures, and weight lifting too often can result in injury, due to the extra recovery time muscles need as we age.
The Rx: Instead, he suggests water exercises, walking at a comfortable pace, alternating lift days, and back knee crunches.
The CDC notes that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are most common in adults 60 and older, and the risk increases with age. They suggest looking out for 10 warning signs, and if you notice any of them, contacting your doctor ASAP. “Early diagnosis gives you the best chance to seek treatment and time to plan for the future,” they say.
The Rx: Watch out for
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure
- Confusion with time or place, among others
Moving is incredibly important for older adults, per the CDC, who remind that some physical activity is better than none. “Older adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity gain some health benefits. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do,” they say.
The Rx: “If you go beyond 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity (60 minutes a day, 5 days a week), or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week), or an equivalent combination, you’ll gain even more health benefits,” says the CDC.
We hope you got vaccinated. At your age especially, it’s essential you’re protected. And just because you have been, don’t think you’re bulletproof against COVID-19. Dr. Fauci warns it is possible to get infected after vaccination and pass this infection along to your kids. “It is possible that you will see people who are infected get breakthrough infections despite the fact that they’re vaccinated in general,” he told CNN yesterday. “When you have a breakthrough infection with a vaccinated person, the level of virus in the nasopharynx is lower than if you have an asymptomatic infection in someone who’s not vaccinated. We haven’t formally proven yet how much diminution there is in the likelihood of transmitting it to someone else, including children. And that’s one of the reasons why you’ve got to be careful when you’re dealing with something like the Delta variant.”
The Rx: The World Health Organization recommends wearing a mask even if you are vaccinated. If you live in an area where vaccination rates are low, consider taking precautions.
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If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. And at your age, that’s a problem. “Seniors are also at greater risk for dehydration because of how body composition changes with age. Older adults have less water in their bodies to start with than younger adults or children,” says the Cleveland Clinic. “Water is necessary for nearly every bodily function, from lubricating joints to regulating body temperature and pumping blood to the muscles. So not getting enough of it can have serious health consequences.”
The Rx: Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. And to get through life at your healthiest, don’t miss these Everyday Habits That Age You Quicker.