Whether you’re eight or 80, there are plenty of steps you can take to increase the chances of a long, healthy life. Here are some recommended by everydayhealth.com:
Young Children - teaching children the habits of a healthy lifestyle can help enable them to live a long life. Set the right example by serving - and eating - a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean protein sources, and whole grains.
Keep your children active by limiting television time and encouraging them to walk, bike, and play games outdoors. If all goes well, children will grow strong and healthy and will want to maintain these habits into their adulthood.
Teens - talk with teens about drinking and smoking early on . You can get them up to speed in the later grades of elementary school, but keep the conversation going as they get older and gain exposure to beer and cigarettes. Encourage them to ask any questions they might have and tell them they can always come to you when faced with a difficult decision, such as whether to try alcohol or tobacco. Keeping the communication lines open between you and your children is your best strategy to prevent their alcohol and tobacco use and help them live a long life.
Your 20s - strengthn bones with good nutrition and regular exercise. Taking steps to maintain bone health during young adulthood will increase your chances of having strong bones for a long life. Make sure to consume plenty of bone-strengthening calcium through low-fat or nonfat dairy products, dark green vegetables, and foods that are fortified with calcium. You can also help keep your bones strong by regularly doing weight-bearing exercise, like walking, jogging, tennis, and dance.
Your 30s - get regular check-ups. Yearly check-ups to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol, and other vital signs can provide an early alert to any health conditions that need to be managed. The earlier a problem like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure is diagnosed and treated, the less damage it can do to the body. And working with a health care team to manage a health condition through diet, exercise, or medication can help increase longevity.
Your 40s - bodies change with age and and the risk of becoming overweight increases. Being overweight can reduce longevity, since excess pounds put you at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Help prevent weight gain by focusing on good for you foods and doing enough exercise to burn as many calories as consumed. Step on the scale regularly and nip any weight gain in the bud before it grows out of control.
Your 50s - start getting cholesterol, blood pressure, and cervical cancer screenings when you are younger, other screening tests should be scheduled later in life to detect certain cancers early on. According to the American Cancer Society, women should begin getting regular mammograms at age 40 to detect breast cancer. Both men and women should start colorectal cancer screenings at 50. Talk with your doctor about other important exams that may be needed, such as bone density screenings for osteoporosis, hearing tests, and vision checks.
Your 60s - an important part of disease prevention at every age, but the influenza and pneumonia vaccines get even more important in your 50s and 60s. The risk of becoming hospitalized from the flu increases dramatically in older people, and most people who die from the flu or pneumonia are over 65 years old. Get a flu shot every year; in most cases, if you’re over 65, the pneumonia shot will be a one-time only injection. Also talk to your doctor about getting the vaccine to help avoid the painful shingles, or zoster, virus.
Your 70s -Keep your mind sharp by regularly exercising your body and exercising your brain - read, take up a new hobby, or even sit in on a university class. Additional healthy lifestyle habits that will continue to serve you well include not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, eating healthfully, sleeping well, and spending time with loved ones.
Your 80s - prevent falls with regular balancing exercises and vision checks Ask your doctor if any of the medications you take might increase your fall risk and what can be done about it. And make your home safer by improving the lighting and removing any tripping hazards like small area rugs and loose wires.