The latest US Census Bureau statistics reveal that nearly 15 percent of the total population are age 65 or older. Fortunately, aging is not like it was for most of our grandparents. People are living longer than ever and often remain active and relatively healthy for the rest of their lives simply by following a healthier lifestyle.

These essential health and wellness tips can help seniors do just that.

Quit Smoking

One of the best things anyone of any age can do is to quit smoking or never start in the first place. It’s the quickest path to ill health and premature death, leading to stroke, heart failure, cancer and many other serious health issues. It also causes more wrinkles as it weakens skin elasticity.

Keep Moving

The more you move the better. You don’t have to run, think gentle exercises like swimming, walking and yoga. The most important thing is to stay active. Aim to do something you enjoy every day that will help promote heart health and maintain strength, balance and flexibility. Improving balance and flexibility will help prevent falls, one of the most common injuries in older people.

Eat a Nutritious Diet and Maintain a Healthy Weight

As we get older, our body’s metabolism slows making it easy to gain weight. It’s more important than ever now to eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes whole, unprocessed foods focused on plenty of fruits and vegetables. Added weight increases the risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

Take Care of Your Eye Health

Good eyesight is something that many of us take for granted. Protecting your vision is crucial to preventing age-related eye issues, including common conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma. Start taking eye health supplements that contain vitamins and antioxidants that are essential for vision, and consuming lots of bright orange and yellow veggies along with dark leafy greens which are known to help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Wearing sunglasses whenever you’re out in the sun is a must for protecting eyes as well.

Use Your Brain

Keep challenging your mind, staying mentally active to preserve brain health. Continue to learn by taking a class or simply playing word games and puzzles. Reading is another great way to keep yourself mentally sharp. The more mentally active you are, the less likely you’ll suffer from mental decline or develop dementia and other age-related brain conditions.

Manage Your Stress Levels

Exercise is great for combating stress, but you may also want to practice relaxation techniques, especially when your stress levels are high, such as deep-breathing or meditation. It’s also important to socialize, spending time with friends and having fun.

Keep in Touch with Family

If you’re separated by distance from loved ones it can be difficult to spend time with them in person but make it a point to take advantage of technology like Skype and FaceTime so that you can at least have some face-to-face contact – it’s important for your health.