Welcome to your 60s! The years ahead hold so much potential for new adventures and time spent with friends and family. And in order to enjoy these years to the fullest, it’s important to focus on your health. While your 60s are called the Golden Years, these are also the years when serious health concerns like weight gain, heart issues, and rising blood pressure1 can impact your quality of life. But there’s good news: implementing daily health practices - including fitness and nutrition - alongside scheduled health checks can help ensure your physical and mental health stay in top shape over the next decade. Studies have found that your 60s are the happiest years of your life2, so it’s important to develop some healthy lifestyle practices so you can enjoy these years to the fullest. Here are some tips for healthy living in your 60s.
How To Stay Healthy In Your 60s
The 60s bring lots of exciting times; from retiring to spending more time with family, you want to ensure you’re healthy so you can enjoy every moment. And staying healthy in your 60s is critical, because these years see many changes in your health. By implementing good daily health practices and working with your doctor, you can help keep your physical and mental help in great shape throughout your 60s.
Changes To Your Health
You might still feel like a kid in your 60s - especially if you have grandchildren, pets, or an active partner keeping you on the move - but your body is still going through a lot of changes. You might have already noticed some of these changes: your skin might be feeling more fragile, or you feel like your metabolism has slowed down.3 Thankfully, you don’t have to slow down - in fact, the 60s are a good time to ramp up some healthy living practices, especially in the areas of nutrition and health checks.
While your metabolism might have slowed down, you actually need to eat more of certain nutrients, especially calcium, vitamin D, and B12.4 It’s also important to include plant-based foods and healthy fats to support your body’s changing needs. Focus on taking any necessary vitamins and supplements, and ensure your diet contains nutrient-rich foods. For example, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with protein sources from fish and beans, can meet the nutritional needs of your body as it moves through your 60s.
Read more: 6 Easy Food Swaps to be More Heart-Healthy
Your Doctor: A Partner in Health Checks
While staying active and maintaining a well-rounded diet are important parts of staying healthy in your 60s, it’s also crucial to meet frequently with your doctor for all routine health checks. Your doctor will focus on age-appropriate screenings, and will monitor your blood pressure, weight, and hearing.5 For women, meeting with your doctor for routine health checks is especially important for ensuring breast and bone health.
Heart Health Tips
Heart health is a major concern as many people move into their 60s, and this concern is not unfounded; by age 60 to 79, approximately 71 percent of women will have heart disease.6 Thankfully, there are some concrete steps you can take to ensure your heart stays healthy throughout your 60s and beyond.
Read more: Maintaining Heart Health
Exercise: Keep Fit and Stay Healthy
The thought of an exercise program doesn’t always spark joy. But given the evidence that exercise after 60 may prevent heart disease and stroke,7 it’s a good idea to exercise in a way that keeps you fit and meets your body’s needs. And there’s even more good news: exercise doesn’t have to feel like a workout. Dancing, paddleboarding, and skiing are all great exercises that can help keep your heart healthy - and also have you feeling like a kid at the playground again.
Daily Heart Health Practices
In addition to an exercise and fitness program, there are some key daily habits you can implement to work toward heart health in your 60s. For example, excess stress can lead to negative mental health, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.8 By exercising regularly, spending time with friends and family, and getting enough sleep, you can help manage stress on a daily basis.
Health Tips For Women
A focus on women’s health is especially important in your 60s. Here are some healthy living tips to ensure your 60s truly are your Golden Years:
Pick up those weights - Loss of muscle mass not only makes daily tasks more challenging, it also leads to loss of bone strength. By incorporating weight training into your exercise routine, you can increase bone strength, improve balance, and decrease body fat.9
Talk to your doctor - Key screening tests are critical in your 60s. For women, these tests include a bone density screening, mammograms, and potentially a colonoscopy.10 By developing a health check plan with your doctor, you can ensure you’re getting the preventative care and treatment you need to support your body in your 60s.
Pack in the nutrients - For women in their 60s, a nutritionally-balanced diet can make a huge difference on long-term health. By incorporating a diet rich in whole grains, fruit and vegetables, and lean protein, you can help ensure your body is equipped to face chronic health concerns like osteoporosis, heart health, and inflammation.11
Health Tips For Men
Now isn’t the time to slow down! Here are some quick tips for ensuring good health practices for men in your 60s.
Schedule those appointments - Often, the last thing you want to do is call your doctor to schedule preventative screenings. But it’s important; regular screenings for health risks like heart disease and prostate cancer can help you stay ahead of chronic health concerns in your 60s.12
Move your brain - Yes, your brain! While you might have a good workout program in place, it’s also important to exercise your brain. You might join a book club, sign up for classes at a local community college, or volunteer - anything that keeps your brain active and learning.
Prioritize sleep - And not just any sleep - as a man in your 60s, you want to make sure you’re getting quality sleep each night.13 Focusing on developing a good sleep routine can help you feel more alert and awake throughout the day, giving you more energy to do the activities you love.
There’s no one-size-fits-all for healthy living in your 60s. But by keeping up with routine health checks, prioritizing healthy eating, and finding an exercise routine that works for you, you can help ensure your mental and physical health stay in top shape throughout your 60s and beyond.