Stay steady and strong

Even though your body changes as you age, those changes don't have to limit your independence, energy, or enthusiasm for the activities you enjoy. The key to healthy aging is a healthy lifestyle.

Our online programs can help you manage chronic conditions, reduce pain, sleep better, and more.

Keep moving

Photo of people hiking

Do something active each day — something you enjoy and that maintains your strength, balance, flexibility, and heart health. Physical activity helps you stay at a healthy weight, prevent or control illness, sleep better, reduce stress, avoid falls, improve your balance, and look and feel your best.

As you get older, you can lose lean muscle, leaving you at risk for falls. Try these strength exercises.

Review more exercise recommendations and get motivated to move.

Eat well

Combined with physical activity, eating nutritious foods in the right amounts can help keep you healthy. As you get older, you may find that you need less food, so make every calorie count. Many conditions— such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis — can be prevented or controlled with dietary changes and exercise. A healthy diet also provides the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

And don't forget the importance of water in your diet. Along with fiber, water helps prevent dehydration and constipation.

Maintain a healthy weight

Your metabolism may slow down as you get older. Extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Use our BMI calculator to find out what you should weigh for your height.

Get to your healthy weight and stay there by eating right and keeping active. Be inspired by the many benefits of maintaining your weight.

Get plenty of restful sleep

Most people need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. Some require less. The number of hours you sleep each night is not as important as how you feel when you wake up. If you do not feel refreshed, then you probably need more sleep. Some health conditions can also cause daytime sleepiness, so talk with your doctor if this persists.

Some older adults struggle with insomnia and may benefit from these suggestions for getting a better night's sleep.

If you smoke, it’s not too late to quit

We have many resources to help you quit smoking. Start by creating a quit plan, then get the coaching and support you need (including medications), and learn how to handle withdrawal and stay smoke-free.

Take steps to avoid falls and other accidents

Although home accidents such as burns and falls are the main cause of injury among older adults, the good news is that most of these accidents can be prevented. Follow these suggestions to help prevent accidents and stay safe.

Brush up on basic dental care

Your teeth and gums will last a lifetime if you care for them properly, which includes daily brushing and flossing and getting regular dental checkups. Learn more about basic dental care, including effective tooth brushing and flossing and preventing gum disease.

Tune in to hearing changes

As we age, a number of changes within the ear can affect how well we hear. Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions that affect people over age 50. Learn what you can do to protect your hearing and cope with hearing loss.

Hearing aids can correct hearing loss for approximately 95% of people with hearing impairment. Sign on to My plan and coverage to learn about our hearing aid products and services in participating regions.

Take care of the skin you're in

As you get older, your skin grows thinner, gets drier, and becomes less elastic. Although you can't prevent every change that occurs with age, you can help keep your skin looking and feeling as healthy as ever. Learn more about skin care.

Focus on your vision

By age 50, most people become aware of changes in their vision, including a gradual decline in the ability to see small print or focus on close objects (presbyopia), a decrease in sharpness of vision, or trouble distinguishing subtle color differences and contrast.

Learn about other common eye problems and find vision services in your area.

Related links

Health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health

Reviewed by Tracy Lippard, MD, July 2019