It starts slowly—you may start panting after climbing two floors, miss your regular bus, or you can't remind the name of that actor from The Hudsucker Proxy. In your mind, you may feel a decade or two younger than you actually are, but aging is eventually catching up with you. This is the last moment you need to start treating your health seriously and dropping bad health habits. The good news is that you can still make a difference—"it is never too late to take up a new health habit at any age. Small changes lead to long-lasting results for our well-being," says Dr. Krystal L. Culler, DBH, M.A., founder of the Virtual Brain Health Center. "Start today and reap the benefits for your brain and body," she encourages. Read on to learn about habits you should never do after age 60—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID And Should Tell Your Doctor.
You Ignore Proper Hydration
"As you get older, your sense of thirst diminishes. Older people tend to be dehydrated more than younger people because they do not have the sensation that they are thirsty. This causes issues with Urinary Tract Infections, blood pressure fluctuations, decreased activity, fatigue, electrolyte abnormalities," says Manish B. Patel, DO. "Good rule of thumb is that your pee should be a light yellow color similar to straw. If it is too dark, then not drinking enough. If it is clear, then you may be drinking too much water."
You Don't Change Your Workout
"Many people who want to start working out or who have worked out in the past jump back into working out. They do the workouts they have done forever. Now, as people get older, certain activities may cause more injuries than not," says Dr. Patel. "As people get more years, they should start concentrating on more restorative training, balance, calisthenic and weight training. Weight training will continue to increase the amount of bone formation and help with less injury and falls."
You Stay On Medication for Years
"The goal of medication is to supplement your health to bring your body into proper hemostasis. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes are the primary prescription for the majority of health problems," says Dr. Patel. "People need to stay vigilant in making sure that they are trying to get off medications or decrease the dose that they need."
You Don't Get Vaccinated
"Many individuals skip their childhood vaccine boosters and do not get the flu vaccine yearly. With COVID-19 bringing vaccines to the forefront, so has vaccine disinformation," says Dr. Patel. "People should consult their primary care physician and get up to date on vaccines. After the age of 60, many try to take that retirement vacation they have been holding off. Ensuring a good time means staying healthy."
You Skip Regular Eye Exams
"Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over 50 in the United States. It's easy to miss the early stages of AMD because you may not experience any symptoms," says Dr. Ryan Young. "Later in the disease process, It can cause blurred vision, distortion, and eventually total loss of your central vision. It's important to have regular eye exams to protect your vision proactively."
Drinking Caffeine Past Noon
"It takes an average of 5 hours for half the level of caffeine consumed to drop in our bodies and upwards of 10-15 hours for it to no longer have an impact on our bodies and brains. To get a restful sleep, switch to decaffeinated beverages after noon or by mid-day," says Dr. Culler. "Remember that caffeine is also a diuretic and may increase trips to the bathroom and require more fluids to quench our thirst. Reach for water to keep hydrated."
Avoid Trying to Bank Sleep
"Do not plan to make up sleep throughout the week or on the weekends for lack of sleep that occurs. We are not able to "bank" our sleep, and it is a myth of aging that we require less sleep with age," says Dr. Culler. "In our sixties and beyond, we should still aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Make sleep a daily priority and rest well."
RELATED: Everyday Habits That Lead to Aging
Stop Blaming Your Age
"Avoid blaming your age. How we view our own age has a direct impact on our health, dementia risk, longevity, and more," says Dr. Culler. "It is to our benefit to embrace a more positive view of our aging experience- our health depends on it!" And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.