True or False? Test Your Knowledge with Our Healthy Aging Quiz
Some of the changes brought on by aging are unavoidable, but many can be slowed — or even prevented — by leading a healthy lifestyle.
Are you doing everything you can to stay physically and mentally fit? The answers to the following quiz questions might surprise you.
- 1. True or false: Walking is one of the best ways for older Americans to get fit.
Exercise is vital for maintaining good health as you age. However, staying fit doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Walking can help you control your weight, improve your balance, and boost your mood. It can also reduce your risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease and other illnesses.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, taking 8,000 steps per day lowered the risk of death from all causes by 51% in adults over the age of 40. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
- 2. True or false: It isn’t safe for seniors to lift weights.
Not only is strength training safe for most older adults, but it could also help you live longer. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that muscle mass was an important predictor of longevity for people aged 55 and up.
Research also shows that weight training can increase muscle strength and functionality, boost your metabolism, reduce the risk of diabetes, ease joint pain, and prevent cognitive decline. It also improves balance, mobility, and bone density. The CDC recommends that Americans of all ages do strength-training exercises at least twice per week.
- 3. True or false: A healthy diet can reduce the risk of many age-related diseases.
The answer to this question should be obvious. Maintaining a healthy diet is vital for your overall well-being at any age, but it can be especially important as you get older.
Studies show low-salt diets lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, while a Mediterranean diet can significantly reduce the risk of cardiac illness. Research also shows that combining a low-salt diet with a Mediterranean diet can improve mental cognition.
The CDC recommends that women over 50 eat between 1,600 and 2,200 nutrient-packed calories per day, while men 50 and up should consume between 2,000 and 2,800 calories.
- 4. True or false: Seniors don’t need as much sleep as younger adults.
Seniors need just as much sleep as younger adults. However, the aging process can make it increasingly difficult to get enough rest. Studies indicate that between 40% and 70% of older adults have sleep issues.
Common causes of sleep disturbances in seniors include medication side effects, nighttime urination, and sleep apnea. Lack of sleep can increase the risk of accidents and certain health conditions, including dementia. Consult your doctor if you’re not getting at least seven hours of sleep per night.
- 5. True or false: Mental health is just as important as physical health as you age.
As you get older, mental wellness is essential to your overall health and quality of life. Staying socially active with friends and family can help reduce loneliness, depression, and the risk of certain health conditions.
Studies have shown that socially isolated older adults are more likely to suffer from heart and lung diseases. Research has also found that loneliness is associated with memory loss and mental decline. Keeping in touch with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, joining social groups, taking classes, exercising, and meditating can all boost your mood and improve your mental wellbeing.
- 6. True or false: Seniors are “too old” to quit smoking.
It’s never too late to quit, and many of the benefits happen right away. For example, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood decline just hours after you put down your last cigarette, and your circulation improves in mere days.
Over the long-term, quitting will reduce your risk of cancer, stroke, lung disease and heart disease. If you’re not concerned with your own health, quitting will also reduce second-hand smoke exposure for the people around you, such as your children or grandchildren.