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Better With Age: 4 Tips to Stay on Top of Your Health

Mind, Spirit, Body

Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia — the risk of many diseases increases with age. But if you’re in your 60s or beyond, you would probably rather think about how to enjoy your retirement than worry about illness.

So how can you be sure you’re on top of your wellness? Amy Lin, MD, a family medicine physician at Adventist Health Simi Valley, recommends a few tips to make these your healthiest years.

1. Keep up with routine screenings

Regular health checks are vital at any age, but there are specific screenings you should get if you’re over 65. “Beyond yearly physicals, we like to screen for colorectal and breast cancers, lung cancer for people at high risk, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and osteoporosis,” Dr. Lin says.

She also recommends that you don’t wait for symptoms. “Diagnosing a disease in the early stages,” she explains, “can drastically improve outcomes and be the key to your longevity.”

2. Make choices for natural health

As you age, you face an increasing risk of chronic illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, heart disease, arthritis, hypertension, cancer and diabetes. A healthy lifestyle could reduce the severity of these conditions or stave them off entirely.

“I work with people to develop plans for healthy lifestyles,” Dr. Lin says. “That can include regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet and limiting consumption of salt, alcohol and tobacco.”

3. Train your brain

You can slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by engaging in mentally or socially stimulating activities such as taking classes, volunteering, joining community groups, playing puzzle games, reading, doing arts and crafts, or playing an instrument.

“Bottom line,” Dr. Lin says, “anything that engages your mind and makes you flex your thinking skills is good for your brain.”

4. Manage chronic conditions

“If you’re already coping with a health condition, we can work together to manage your disease and reduce the likelihood of more severe symptoms or comorbidities,” Dr. Lin says. For instance, if you have osteoporosis, your provider will probably recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements.

For those with diabetes, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and manage your glucose level. Prioritizing physical activities supports joint health if you have arthritis.

Work with your provider

Visit our Find a Doctor tool to find a primary care provider near you and schedule a visit.