7 Unhealthy Mistakes to Never Make After 60
While bad habits are awful, they are unacceptable and can prove disastrous for people over 60 years of age. When it comes to your health after 60, you need to be more vigilant, take more care, and follow your physician's directives to avoid compromising it. Here are seven health mistakes you cannot afford to make while over 60. Read on to find out more, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Not Making Sleep a Priority
The belief that people sleep less as they get older is wrong. It is an assumption that many older adults make whenever they find it difficult to have a sound night's sleep. According to researchers, people older than 50 have at least eight hours of sleep. Getting six hours or less of sleep each night increases their risk of developing dementia in their late 70s.
For years, researchers racked their brains on the relationship between sleep and cognitive decline. Coming to a conclusion had been difficult since it proved hard to determine if lack of enough sleep is one symptom of the brain change that leads to dementia or whether it only helped cause the changes.
A new study concluded that people who don't get sufficient sleep in their 50s and 60s were more likely to get dementia as they grew older. According to the research, people in their 60s who slept for six hours or less were 30% more likely to develop dementia than their counterparts who slept for seven hours. The latter adults were diagnosed with dementia almost three decades later.
Not Holding On to Your Social Connections
Many people don't know that loneliness can kill. According to a 2018 study, isolation is likely to double your risk of dying from a cardiovascular-related disease. Also, the National Institute of Aging says that social isolation leads to heightened risks of cognitive decline, depression, a weak immune system, and obesity.
Men are more likely to suffer from social isolation. It is, therefore, vital to keep those ties that bind well fastened as you age as they might help you get out of a dark place or avoid a deadly health condition.
Forgetting to Drink Enough Water
We all know the importance of hydration. What most don't know is that water intake is a matter of life and death as both children and older adults are at a higher risk of dehydration consequences. That is because they have a lower water volume in their bodies.
Also, older adults keep taking medications for various reasons, which increase their risk of dehydration. Another cause of dehydration in older people is their less acute sense of thirst. They, therefore keep forgetting that they are supposed to drink water. Severe dehydration causes:
- Kidney and urinary problems
- Disastrous heatstroke
- Hypovolemic shock
Each man needs an average of 3.7 liters of fluids daily while women need at least 2.7 liters. However, 20% of your daily fluid intake originates from food. You need to supplement the remaining 80% to remain healthy. As you age, your risk of dehydration increases tremendously, making it vital for older adults to start implementing hydration habits as soon as possible.
Going Overboard with Exercise
While exercise is essential at any age, it could be harmful if overdone, especially by people over 60. Cleveland Clinic has a suggestion for people over 60. They had this to say "if you are going for a walk, walk slowly and steadily for a few minutes before picking up the pace. Relax, breathe, and don't be afraid to take it slowly at first. You'll find that it comes more easily as you develop a routine."
As people age, they are at a higher risk of developing bone problems such as osteoporosis. Doing high-intensity interval training exercises can exacerbate such conditions leading to more health problems. As a person over 60, aim for moderate exercises such as walking and dancing and strength exercises such as yoga and situps.
Failing to Keep Your Brain Sharp
As people age, their brains change leading to cognitive changes that they experience. According to the  Alzheimer's Association, it is never too late to start social and mental activities that fuel your brain health.
Consider learning a new skill, start a new hobby, or go for formal education, as these could prove beneficial. As mention, remaining socially active can help you delay the beginning of dementia. Keeping your brain sharp as you age has more health benefits than you could imagine. Get out of your comfort zone and learn something new today.
Failing to Comply with Dietary and Medication Restrictions
People over 60 are more likely to have chronic health complications such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Medications for such ailments include insulin and anticoagulation drugs. Also, these conditions call for a change in your diet and avoiding excess sugars and sodium.
While talking to Eat This, Not That! Health, Dr. Darren P. Mareiniss, who is an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine said "failing to take medication can lead to avoidable hospitalization, morbidity, and even death." People over 60 therefore need to follow all the medication and dietary restrictions to avoid compromising their health in the process.
Continuing to Smoke
Stopping the nicotine habit is beneficial for everyone regardless of their age. When you are over 60, quitting smoking can help you improve your health, and even save your life. You experience improvements almost immediately as according to the American Cancer Society, when you quit smoking:
- Your blood pressure and heart rate drops 20 minutes after stopping your smoking habit
- You get improved circulation and your lung function also improves in a fortnight
- The carbon monoxide present in your blood drops to normal within days
You will notice more improvements within the next three months, and by one year after quitting you will have a lower risk of a heart attack. And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss The #1 Cause of Diabetes, According to Doctors.