Living a full, healthy, and life as you get older means focusing on the quality of the years as well as the quantity. “Your gender, genetics and psychological differences are all at play when it comes to aging,” says family medicine practitioner Donald Ford, MD, MBA. Here are five things you shouldn’t do after 60—doctor’s orders. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Exercise is incredibly important to prevent sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss). “The best way to limit the extent of loss of muscle strength is by staying physically active all through life. But if you’ve been sedentary and have lost strength, the answer is still exercise,” says physical therapist Gary Calabrese, DPT, who recommends combining aerobic and strength-training exercises to maintain healthy muscle mass as you get older.
Did you know that adults who sleep less than five hours a night are twice as likely to get dementia compared to those who get seven to eight hours of sleep? “Our findings illuminate a connection between sleep deficiency and risk of dementia and confirm the importance of efforts to help older individuals obtain sufficient sleep each night,” says Rebecca Robbins, Ph.D,
Collagen peptides have been proven to reduce joint pain for both athletes and older adults, so make sure to add them to your diet. “Collagen peptides can help protect your ligaments and tendons,” says Beth Czerwony, RD. “So they’re worth a try for anybody who has arthritic pain or who works out a lot.”
Retired and suddenly have a lot of time on your hands? Don’t become complacent about your brain health. “There is now ample scientific evidence that keeping your mind active is good for brain health. But what’s the best way to do that?” says Jill Suttie, Psy.D. “Recent studies show that computer-based exercises designed to improve brain function have been effective at increasing memory, information processing, reasoning, attention, and problem solving skills among elderly participants. In some studies, successful training in one skill area (e.g., short-term memory) led to improvements in areas not covered in the training (e.g., executive control), suggesting that training benefits may ‘generalize’ to multiple brain functions and improve overall cognitive health.”
If you’re over 60, the chances of getting COVID-19 and dealing with complications from the virus are already higher. But if you’re not vaccinated or you’re behind on your boosters? That’s just asking for trouble, doctors say. “The older a person gets, the higher the risk. This is likely because patients lose immunity as they get older,” says infectious diseases expert Dr. Abinash Virk. “The older they are, the more immune dysfunction they have. That causes them to have a higher risk of complications from COVID-19.”
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.