How to Stay Healthy in Your 60s

Your 60s can be an exciting period of transition in life. You might retire, travel or begin new endeavors; whatever the case may be, health and wellbeing should always remain top of mind.

Habits such as eating healthily and exercising regularly are advantageous at any age; however, as we age the need to focus more closely on these areas increases.

1. Eat a Healthy Diet

As we age, our metabolism slows and our ability to absorb nutrients becomes impaired. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein will help ensure you meet all of your nutritional requirements.

Healthy habits not only lower the risk of serious disease, they can also enhance your quality of life. For example, strengthening muscles and bones reduce the likelihood of serious falls that could result in fractures, extended hospital stays and reduced quality of life.

Consume foods rich in calcium, vitamin D and B12 to maintain bone health. Aim for low-sodium items; season your dishes with herbs and spices for additional flavoring; if chewing is difficult try soft foods like milled whole grains, soft cooked vegetables/fruits/nut pastes/butters as alternatives.

2. Exercise Regularly

At 60, people often embark on an important transition. Many begin considering retirement or caring for grandchildren or other elderly relatives.

Regular exercise can help to keep your body in tiptop condition, lowering the risks associated with falls, heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins which combat stress hormones while improving sleep quality and increasing energy levels.

People in their 60s should drink lots of water — particularly during exercise sessions. As you get older, your sense of thirst may lessen, leading to dehydration which can cause constipation and low energy. Older adults should also consult their physician regarding getting an annual flu shot as well as routine health checks.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is essential in your 60s. Sleeping is more than just about shutting your eyes and nodding off; it also serves to strengthen the immune system and fight disease.

Your 60s may bring with them more forgetfulness than in earlier years, which should be expected as part of aging – not an indication of Alzheimer’s. If memory problems continue, however, see your physician immediately.

Sleep requirements change with age, but you can ensure a restful night’s rest by keeping certain factors in mind. For instance, make an effort to go to bed at approximately the same time each night and refrain from napping in late afternoon/evening hours. Also note that caffeine can make sleeping harder so it may be wiser to cut back or quit drinking coffee several hours before going to sleep.

4. Take Care of Yourself

No matter if you are still working or retired, taking extra steps to safeguard against health issues that may develop at this age is paramount to staying in good health. Your physician may suggest changing your diet or medication, and getting regular health screenings.

Sleep, physical activity and avoiding smoking are key to lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious medical conditions. You should also manage stress which could contribute to depression.

At 60, you may notice dilated superficial blood vessels known as telangiectasias on your face that can be treated using laser to make you appear younger. Mild forgetfulness may also become apparent, although this should not be taken personally; having a positive outlook, socializing regularly and doing activities you enjoy can all improve mental wellness and help ensure longevity in life.

5. Maintain a Positive Attitude

Positivity can help keep you healthy as you age into your sixties, and could extend the length of time without serious illness.

As individuals transition into their 60s, life often presents them with new challenges and opportunities. Retirement may beckon or caring for adult children, grandchildren and/or aging parents may present additional responsibilities that cause added strain on an already full plate. This may increase stress.

People with more positive outlooks tend to lead healthier lifestyles and enjoy greater overall health; studies show optimism may even extend lifespan by 11-15 percent! So it’s essential that we try our hardest to be more positive, even in difficult circumstances; you could reduce stress through practicing mindfulness or finding an activity you enjoy doing, such as practicing mindfulness meditation and finding an activity or hobby you enjoy doing.