In order to age gracefully, you need to monitor your health regularly and develop good habits. This is particularly important for older individuals. Here are a few essential tips that can help you feel young and healthy as you near retirement age.

1. Keep an open dialogue with your physician

Regularly ask for age and gender-appropriate examinations that could help you stay healthy. For example, all women over the age of 50 should ask their doctors to test them with bone density equipment to avoid osteoporosis and similar conditions. Men need regular prostate exams, and all older people should test their blood pressure and cholesterol regularly.

Be aware of warning signs for serious age-related conditions and tell your doctor if you notice pain or any other potential disease symptoms. By keeping an open dialogue with your physician, you can also get exercise and diet advice that can help you continue to feel young as you age.

2. Minimize stress

Stress contributes to age-related health issues like high blood pressure. Avoid stress by exercising regularly and taking up hobbies. Discuss conflicts with coworkers and family members as early as possible to avoid arguments and other stressful situations.

Don’t try to treat stress with alcohol or tobacco. As you age, alcohol and tobacco use will take a greater toll on your body, so watch your intake carefully. If you have chronic stress, discuss medication options with a physician or make an appointment with a psychologist.

3. Exercise

You can keep healthy blood pressure, minimize stress and get more energy by working out regularly. Try incorporating some light cardiovascular exercise for 20 minutes a day. Many individuals walk or jog as they get older, but there are dozens of ways to incorporate 20 minutes of exercise into your daily life. Activities like housecleaning and gardening can provide a great moderate workout. Talk to your physician before starting an exercise plan, especially if you are 65 or older.