USDA_Food_PyramidAs you age, your metabolism slows down. For many, this means that you are suddenly faced with issues that you have never experienced before.  It can be difficult to readjust when you’ve spent your whole life embracing a less-than-healthy diet or inactive lifestyles. Here are a few tips on how to make good decisions and maintain a healthy weight into your golden years.

Consult medical professionals. Everybody is different. Literally – every body is different. Make sure to visit your doctor for regular checkups and tell them when you’re feeling off, even for seemingly minor issues. Mentioning a weird bump on your arm or thinning hair can alert your physician to problems that are much larger and deeper-rooted. Don’t just suffer through aches and pains – these issues can sometimes be fixed with very simple solutions.

Eat healthy. Food is more than just fuel for us humans – it can affect a wide range of factors, from your energy levels to your mood to your bank account balance. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet and stay away from preservatives and manufactured junk food. Keep in mind that even the healthiest diet can lead to weight loss or gain, depending on the volume of food you’re actually eating, so make sure to find an appropriate balance.

Stay active. Regular exercise doesn’t have to be extreme, so forget the treadmill, situps and jumping jacks. Simple, enjoyable activities can keep you active, like going for walks.  If you live in areas like the suburbs, there is probably a lot to do within walking distance. If you live in a rural area, make sure to bring a companion or your cell phone with you, as there may not be people around if you get into any trouble.

Don’t smoke. Do we really need to explain why? Smoking wreaks havoc on your health and endangers the health of those around you. If you don’t think you can quit smoking, there are alternatives today that, while they aren’t quite healthy, are still better options than cigarettes.

Have a drink every now and then. Moderate alcohol consumption is recommended as it can reduce the chances of heart disease as well as other health benefits. This means between one and fourteen units per week for women, and up to twenty-one units a week for men.

Various studies have shown the advantages of these strategies, especially when all five strategies are combined, which isn’t hard to believe at all. Take a look at your own life. Do you feel better when you eat healthier? Listen to your own body. You only get one, you know!

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