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We’ve all probably heard the standard advice for staying healthy—to eat better and exercise. But what that means for each individual can be different. For example, someone diagnosed with diabetes will have different requirements to stay healthy than someone who isn’t. And likewise, someone who is obese will need other methods to be healthy than someone in a normal health range. Dietary and exercise guidelines are also different for people of different ages. Given that staying healthy might have a different meaning for everyone, there are considerations you can make and certain tips that you can use no matter your stage in life.

Shield your skin from the sun

Exposure to the sun has plenty of health benefits. It’s where we get our vitamin D that helps our bones absorb calcium. And it’s also a good natural cure for a lot of health conditions, such as eczema and jaundice. However, too much exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer, wrinkling, skin spots, cataracts, and suppressed immune system. So, not matter what your age, it’s important to protect your skin as much as possible. Using sunscreen is crucial regardless of how long you plan to be in the sun. The FDA recommends a product with no less than an SPF 15, and it should be reapplied every couple of hours. You can also cover up with long sleeves and shade yourself with umbrellas or caps. And finally, limit your exposure during the hours of 10 AM to 4 PM when UV rays are the strongest.

Drink plenty of water

You probably already know that it’s important to drink water, but what you may not know is just how serious the benefits are. For one thing, staying hydrated is important for brain function. Even being slightly dehydrated can affect memory and concentration. Dehydration also has a major impact on energy levels, causing fatigue and slowed performance in people of all ages.

Hydration also affects bowel functions. Commonly, people who are often constipated are not drinking enough water. Also, drinking plenty of water is show to increase metabolism by up to 30%, aiding in weight loss or maintenance. In fact, one study revealed that people who drank half a liter of water before their meals ate less and lost 44% more weight than the ones who did not drink the water before they ate.

Find the right physical activity for you

Everyone needs some type of physical activity and the best exercise is something you already enjoy doing. For example, do you enjoy playing basketball? Install a hoop over your garage and get your kids or friends to join in twice a week. Or do you enjoy aerobics? Join your local YMCA or health club and take classes a few times a week. If exercise is a chore that you hate, start small by incorporating moderate activity into your daily routine. Maybe take the stairs instead of the elevator in your building. Or walk in place during commercials while you’re watching TV. This will eliminate the need to find extra time in your schedule, but will allow you to insert small healthy habits into your day.

Aside from finding something you enjoy or working activity in, there are other considerations that need to be made. Children aged 5 to 18 need to get aerobic, bone-strengthening, and muscle-strengthening exercise regularly for about an hour every day. The schedule could include dance lessons, running, or playing on the playground, and three days of weight-bearing activity like weight-lifting or certain sports. It’s important to encourage them to limit their sedentary behaviors. Gaming and watching TV should be scheduled in increments and only after they’ve gotten plenty of exercise.

Adults aged 19 to 64 should stay as active as they can, but may require a bit less activity than younger teenagers. It’s recommended that their activity contain at least 150 minutes a week of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as power walking or tennis. They also need to incorporate at least two days a week of strength training to stay strong and keep their bones healthy. As they get to the older end of this age group, adults might possibly have to modify their activity to accommodate any problems with movement or other health concerns.

Adults aged 65 or older should remain as active as possible for as long as possible. If they were active and healthy up to this point, there is usually no need to change their routines. They still need about 150 minutes a week of aerobics and two or more days of strength training. As seniors get older, they will notice changes in their own body that require modified exercise. It’s also important to get regular checkups at their healthcare center in Pikesville, MD or local town to make sure they are not overdoing any of their activities and causing damage.

Get plenty of sleep

Studies show that a lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, not to mention the toll it takes on your mental health. Although there is no one set amount of sleep everyone should get, there are certain guidelines created from years of research that vary by age. For instance, a newborn should get 14-17 hours of sleep per night, but an infant aged four to twelve months can get a little less at 12-16 hours. Teens require about 8-10 hours, while adults can get about 7-9. These needs will change from time to time, though, depending on the circumstances. For example, someone who is ill may need a few more hours a night to recuperate. Or someone who has experienced a sleep deficiency over the last few days might need to make up for that sleep.

Most people are able to gauge their sleep patterns by their natural body rhythms, while others may experience difficulty getting enough. If you have trouble getting enough sleep, it’s possible you might need to talk to your doctor. They can perform sleep studies to find out if you have a sleep disorder and possibly prescribe you something to help. Or you may simply need to make a few changes to your routine, such as shutting down all your electronics an hour before bedtime or buying a more comfortable bed. You can also try natural remedies, such as herbal teas or meditation.

Get regular checkups

Getting regular checkups can save your life. Your doctor may be able to catch health problems while it’s still early enough to treat them. Certain health risks increase as you age, and your physician will know what questions to ask and what to look for. But in addition to getting examined, you should also find out what things to look for yourself. Do your research and learn facts about prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and alzheimer’s. While it’s not good to live in fear, it is good to understand what symptoms you need to report to your doctor.

Do something for yourself

Don’t neglect your mental health. One of the key factors to living an emotionally healthy and happy life is taking care of yourself. Pay attention to things that affect your anxiety levels. Take time to relax and focus on healthy activities. And never stop learning. It’s never too late to do something you’ve always wanted to do. If time constraints are an issue, there are plenty of accredited online and continuing education degree programs where you can get a good education and continue to grow at your own pace. Just taking the time to make your well-being a priority will do wonders for your body and mind.