Getting older can be challenging, more so when living with a chronic illness. You aren’t able to do many of the things you used to enjoy when younger and every day is an effort to keep your body healthy. However, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. With the right plan, you can live a fulfilling and long life and even overcome some of the challenges associated with old age and chronic ailments. How do you do it? Here are 4 steps to living a good quality of life despite your age and chronic disease.
1. Aim to be Physically Fit
Pain and inexperience may hinder you from starting an exercise regime, but a qualified personal trainer can help you create and maintain a regular workout schedule. Go for a trainer specialized in training people with chronic conditions and understands post-rehabilitation training. Also, check whether they offer strength and conditioning training, plus nutrition and weight management. If you are going through cancer treatment, get a strength and conditioning specialist, cancer exercise specialist can offer personalized fitness training and agree to work together with your doctor to craft a healthy diet and workout plan.
Physical exercise helps deal with pain, promotes better circulation, and improves mobility. You also keep your weight in check, relieve stress and anxiety. Also, practice meditation, which reduces stress and at the same time energizes your brain. Additionally, meditation slows down your brain’s aging process, which promotes a healthy life. You also increase tolerance, become more mindful and reduce negativity.
2. Follow Your Doctor’s Recommendations
Your doctor understands why you have to take the prescribed drugs or eat specific foods. Prescriptions help your body fight illnesses, while a healthy diet gives your body the strength to keep up with daily activities. If you have diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe a special diet that helps maintain an optimal weight while giving you the nutrients you need to stay healthy. Make sure you eat the recommended foods, and if possible, get a nutritionist to work with you on your dietary needs.
3. Stay Active
Unless you are very sick, stay active and involve yourself in activities that make you happy such as visiting family, volunteering, or sightseeing. Happiness makes you less stressed. You also don’t think so much about the illness. This is the time to travel or indulge in activities you’ve always wanted but make sure to get your doctor’s approval first. Cultivate a fulfilling life that strengthens your mind and gives you a purpose.
4. Have a Support System
Surround yourself with people who care and understand your condition. Have family members, friends, and doctors you can reach out to when you need help. You may not have the strength to take care of all your responsibilities, such as running errands, driving yourself around, keeping your home clean and tidy, but with help from family and friends, your life becomes more manageable. Also, have a support system for older adults living with chronic diseases in your area. You will learn how to better take care of yourself, and it’s a chance to make new friends.