‘Healthy Aging’ is an important and attainable goal

Dr. Brandon Tong, DO, Cucamonga Valley Medical Group

By Dr. Brandon Tong, DO

We’re all getting older! That’s a simple fact of life that no one can change. Healthy aging, however, is something we all should strive for in the second half of our lives.

The so-called golden years can produce some of our most rewarding decades. The key to healthy aging is a healthy lifestyle.

The good news is that living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult or an unattainable goal. Just the opposite, in fact. It will take a commitment and common sense, but you can do it!

Here are a few tips for any generation, but especially our seniors:

• Stay active. Exercise. Take a daily walk. Even if it is only a short distance, it’s better than sitting on the couch for hours. Ride a bicycle, take a swim, whatever works for you. Exercise helps control your weight, boosts your mood, strengthens your bones and muscles, and even helps you sleep better.

• Take stock in your health. Schedule regular check ups with your physician. Know the importance of screenings for cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, cervical cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and osteoporosis.

• Watch that diet. Eat whole foods. Make sure to consume plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and low-fat dairy while avoiding fatty meats, butter, sugar, salt and packaged foods.

• One lesson the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is the importance of mental health. Loneliness impacts your health negatively and can make you more likely to have dementia or depression. We all need to better understand mental health. Minimizing anxiety and maintaining social connections among friends and the community both are important.

• Manage your medications. Make sure your prescriptions and their respective doses are appropriate. Your situation may change over time, which makes those routine check ups even more important.

• Kick (or curb) the habit. Cut back on alcohol. Too much can harm your liver or have other adverse effects on your health. Don’t smoke. It’s never too late to quit.

Remember, age is a number. But healthy aging is a way of living.