Consume a healthy diet
When it comes to consuming a healthy diet, it’s important to focus on the types of foods you eat and your overall dietary pattern, instead of on individual nutrients such as fat, dietary cholesterol or specific vitamins. For example:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and seafood, vegetable oils, beans, nuts and seeds.
- Eat less red meat, processed meats, highly refined and processed grains and sugars, whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods, and sugary drinks.
Eating well can also help protect you from certain health conditions that occur more frequently among older adults such as osteoporosis, stroke and cardiovascular disease. If you have questions about your diet, talk with your doctor about ways you can make better food choices.
Continue preventive care even when you’re healthy
Screenings and immunizations are still important and can help protect you against illness and disease. Recommended immunizations include:
- An annual flu shot. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.
- A shingles vaccine if you’re age 50 or older. Shingles causes a painful rash that can last for months.
- A pneumonia vaccine if you’re age 65 or older. The vaccine prevents pneumococcal disease, which causes severe infections of the lungs (pneumonia), bloodstream (bacteremia), and lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
Make sure you also get regular screenings, including blood pressure, vision, hearing, depression, dental checkups or other screening tests as recommended by your doctor.
Stay Active as Much as Possible
Being physically active — doing everyday activities that keep your body moving, such as gardening, walking the dog, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator — can help you continue to do the things you enjoy and stay independent as you age.
Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing some diseases and disabilities that often occur with aging. For example, balance exercises help prevent falls. Strength exercises build muscles and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Exercises to keep you flexible and strong, and help boost your endurance can give you the freedom of movement you need to do everyday activities.
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