As we age, we often start to feel pain we’ve never felt before. Daily activities become difficult, and waking up stiff in the morning becomes the norm. But sometimes, a few changes to your lifestyle can be the key to feeling happier, healthier and pain-free. It’s never too late to begin living a healthy lifestyle that will benefit you for years to come.

Regular exercise

There are many benefits to exercise, even into your senior years. Exercise can help you maintain and lose excess weight, promote better sleep, improve immunity, enhance strength and muscle tone, and increase your mobility and balance. Physical fitness releases chemicals called endorphins that interact with the receptors in your brain that have shown to reduce your perception of pain. Stick to low-impact activities like swimming, cycling and yoga.

Get regular checkups

Be sure that you are making regular visits to your doctor, dentist and optometrist for your normal check ups. As we get older, it’s important to routinely check things like your thyroid, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Preventive care can help reduce your risk for pain later in life. You may also want to talk to your doctor about family members who suffer from hereditary pain conditions or diseases that cause pain.

Consume a high-fiber diet

Try to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet by cutting out processed foods in favor of high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods. A high-fiber diet will help with a slowing metabolism that often comes with age and will help you to eat fewer calories and still stay full. This will aid in weight loss to reduce the amount of weight put on your joints.

Getting started

  • Keep a log – Recording your daily activities not only holds you accountable, it is a reminder of how far you’ve come, and how you can improve.
  • Stay motivated – Following fitness blogs or forums, as well as joining a support group, can help you stay motivated to take good care of your body.
  • Get support – Take a class or enlist a workout buddy to help support you through your health journey.
  • Safety first – Be sure to use common sense when exercising by sticking to low-impact exercises, listening to your body and going at your own pace.

Additionally, make sure you’re logging enough sleep time, stay socially active with friends and family within your community, take all your medications as directed by your doctor, limit alcohol consumption, and cut out smoking.

Growing older can be challenging, but taking care of your health should always be your top priority. A healthy lifestyle will help you live a longer, pain-free life. For more information on pain management, call the pain specialists at Cedar Rapids Pain Associates today at (319) 540-8251 to schedule your appointment.