Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Foundation of America

10 Steps for Healthy Aging

Living a healthy lifestyle becomes even more important for better aging. The things we do to keep body and heart healthy—nutritious diet, physical activity, and social connections – also can help promote brain health and wellness. Here are 10 steps for successful aging:

1. Eat Well

Adopt a low-fat diet high on fruits and veggies, like strawberries, blueberries and broccoli. Take daily vitamins. Limit intake of red meats, fried and processed foods, salt and sugar.

2. Stay Active

Brisk walking benefits brain health, while aerobics can boost your heart rate, and weight training builds strength and flexibility.

3. Learn New Things

Pick up a new hobby like playing tennis, learn to speak a foreign language, try a cooking class, or something you haven’t done before.

4. Get Enough Sleep

At least 7 to 9 hours is a good night’s rest. Insomnia or sleep apnea can have serious physical effects and negatively affect memory and thinking.

5. Mind Your Meds

Medication can affect everyone differently, especially as you age. A medication that didn’t trigger side effects in the past can suddenly cause an abnormal reaction. Talk to your doctor about all medications, whether over-the-counter or prescriptions.

6. Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol

Smoking can increase the risk of other serious illnesses, while too much alcohol can impair judgment and cause accidents, including falls, broken bones, and car crashes.

7. Stay Connected

Invite friends and family over for a meal, board games, or just to hang out. Maintaining an active social life is important for mental health and keeping a positive attitude.

8. Know Your Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is high, get it under control under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

9. See Your Doctor

Maintain checkups. Health screenings are key to managing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Speak with your physician about any concerns or questions you have about your health.

10. Get a Memory Screening

Our brains need regular checkups, just as other parts of our bodies do. A memory screening is a quick, easy, non-invasive exam for our brains. Talk to your doctor about getting a screening as part of your annual wellness exam or call the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at 866-232-8484.