Your 60s can be a wonderful decade filled with many years of great health, but adopting positive lifestyle choices is key to maintaining overall good health. "As people age, their bodies change, and they may need to make some adjustments to their lifestyles to stay healthy," Dr. Rene Armenta, board-certified bariatric and general surgeon with Renew Bariatrics told us. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with health experts who share their tips for staying healthy and what people after 60 should never do. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Worrying About Your Age
Dr. Syd Miller, Ph.D., C. Psych adds, "From a mental health perspective the most important thing you should never do after 60, is to think of your age at all! Many people have argued that with increasing longevity, 60 is the new 40. From a positive aging perspective there are many more healthy productive years ahead of a person at the age of 60."
Cooking Food Over 300 Degrees
Kent Probst, personal trainer, kinesiotherapist and bodybuilder with Long Healthy Life explains, "Eating foods cooked at high temperatures significantly increases your risk of cancer and causes inflammation. This is a hard habit to break since so many foods, such as those that are deep-fried, just taste so good. Cooking your food under 300 degrees will reduce your risk of cancer and slow the aging process."
Never Give Up Having a Healthy Sex Life
Dr. Miller says, "Research is clear that sexual desire remains stable throughout our lives. Just ask about all the bed hopping that goes on in facilities for older adults! With a positive aging approach of staying physically and mentally fit and active, your sexual performance can remain healthy and strong as well!"
Eating Too Many Simple Carbohydrates
Probst states,"Food high in simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and white flour, causes significant inflammation in the body and greatly increases the risk of disease. Again, the good taste makes this habit hard to break. Following the Mediterranean diet or Anti-inflammatory diet will decrease your risk of disease, while allowing you to eat delicious food."
Dr. Armenta reminds us, "Smoking is one of the worst habits a person can have at any age, but it's especially dangerous for seniors. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease and other serious health conditions, and increases your chances of developing lung cancer. If you're a smoker over 60, consider quitting today so that you can preserve your health and enjoy many more years to come."
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Probst states, "Not getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Chronic insomnia can lead to heart disease, poor learning and memory, diabetes, depression, weight gain, and premature skin aging. This is a hard habit to kick because many people don't place enough importance on sleep. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night over the long term will reduce the risk of disease significantly."
Never Believe the Best Years of Your Life are Behind You
Dr. Miller says, "While it is true that youth is wonderful, the best years of your life may actually be ahead of you! First you may have the potential for more leisure time. Your child-rearing responsibilities are likely ended or reduced and your career may be winding down or have become more established and less time-consuming. All this can leave you with more time to pursue your interests and passions. Plus you may now be at a point financially where you can afford to do things you couldn't do before. With more time and more money, your best years are definitely ahead of you!"
Not Staying Hydrated
"Dehydration makes the kidneys work harder and may lead to kidney disease and dangerously low blood pressure," Probst explains, "Individuals should drink 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight for healthy kidneys. This is a hard habit to break since many people have gotten used to a lifetime of not drinking enough water."
Not Being Physically Active
Chronic lack of exercise can lead to heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes, just to name a few. Many people just don't like exercise. It helps to have someone to exercise with and an activity you enjoy. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous cardiovascular exercise to significantly reduce the risk of disease. Vigorous intensity is 70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate. Moderate intensity is 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate can be determined by subtracting your age from 220. If your age is 40, then your maximum heart rate is 180."
Never Use Your Age as an Excuse for Not Doing Something
Dr Miller shares, "In the era of positive aging, the adage "You are only as old as you feel" is really true. If you use your age as a reason why you can't do something, that message will stick with you and you will begin to feel older and older. On the other hand if you don't think of your age at all when setting out to do something, you will remain forever young."