Want to stay healthier? There are some common and pragmatic habits that can help you stay healthier across the lifespan. From washing your hands to reducing the risks of a fall in the home, preventing illness and injury could be the key to maintaining holistic health as you get older.
Want to stay healthier as you get older? There are some common practices and smart habits that may keep you healthier as you age. Keep yourself free from illness and injury with these tips and talk to a reputable retailer about mobility aids that can help you age in place gracefully and healthfully.
Consider these 5 habits to help you stay healthier:
1. Wash Your Hands
The first thing that anyone can do to protect their good health is to wash their hands, a lot. National Handwashing Awareness Week in early December brings attention to the wide host of infections and illnesses that can come from the germs on unwashed hands. Clean hands can prevent many different sicknesses that could compromise overall health and well-being. Teach children at a young age to wash thoroughly and often.
2. Move It or Lose It
This next healthy habit should come as no surprise: exercise every day. Have you heard the adage, move it or lose it? It is true failure to get physical activity can make you stiff, sore, and less flexible, which is the ideal mix for a nasty fall. Plus, about 20 minutes of brisk activity or exercise daily like walking or dancing- can stimulate feel-good neurons in the brain to improve mood.
If you suffer from joint pain in your knees or ankles, try something low-impact to get your exercise in. Some good options involve anything in the water, like aqua aerobics or simply swimming. These are gentler on joints while still providing the therapeutic and health benefits of resistance training. It is a win-win!
3. Get Your Flu Shot
Also, in early December is National Influenza Vaccination Week, which brings us to our next healthy habit: getting your flu shot. This observance strives to spread and disseminate information pertaining to the value of getting vaccinated for the flu as well as the health risks of influenza for all demographics. Talk to your doctor or practitioner about getting your flu shot and maintaining protection against certain types of this difficult illness. While the influenza vaccine does not protect against every strain of the flu, it may help you prevent the most common and transmittable, which can also help to keep you healthier over time.
4. Care for Your Teeth
A lot of people often overlook oral and dental hygiene as being a critical component of holistic health and well-being. This is a mistake. Oral care and the condition of your teeth and gums can impact and reflect overall wellness. If you have an infection in your teeth or gums, it can travel to other parts of the body. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar can spread from your mouth to major organs, causing a heart attack, stroke, and clots all dangerous and deadly. Protect yourself with visits to your dental provider, at least once a year but more often as recommended. Brush regularly, floss daily, and eat a range of whole foods to protect your teeth and prevent gum disease, which is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.
5. Reduce Fall Risks
Around 36 million falls are sustained by adults each year- and of these, around 32,000 resulting in death. In fact, falls are the leading cause of accidental death among seniors.
Use these suggestions to lower your own risk of a fall:
- Feeling unsteady on your feet? Inform your doctor right away. Also, if you have taken a fall, let your provider know.
- Talk to your provider and/or pharmacist about your current medications and whether any of them could make you feel unsteady, dizzy, or tired.
- Another cause of falls is vision impairment. Make sure to have your eyes checked each year and wear corrective lenses, as recommended by your eye doctor. Annual exams can also detect cataracts or glaucoma, both of which can impair sight and contribute to a fall.
- Wear proper footwear, not just socks, in the home to help minimize slips and falls.
- Maintain a clutter-free path through the home environment. Keep it wide and clear.
- Install grab bars in your bathroom, near the toilet, sink, and tub.
- Enhance lighting around stairs, doors, and thresholds anywhere that there is the potential for a fall.
- Talk to your doctor or practitioner about mobility aids and equipment that enhance access around the home, while reducing the risk of falls and subsequent injuries.
Remember that every second, someone over the age of 65 sustains a fall. It is estimated that in this country, one in four seniors fall every year.
Use these tips and practice these five habits regularly to stay healthier across the lifespan. If you are worried about a debilitating fall, talk to the mobility experts at Pacific Mobility; we offer quality mobility aids and equipment that make the home more accessible, while also reducing the risk of a nasty fall.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)