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Understanding your health needs and striving to meet them is an important part of being a senior. Maintaining your health through simple lifestyle choices will minimize age-related decline and help you live a long and happy life. Whether you want to stave off illness, maintain your independence, or wake up feeling good each and every day, here are some great ways you can meet your health goals.
Keep Your Meals Healthy
Eating healthy can be difficult when you’re homebound. Fortunately, technology has made it simple for anyone to stick to healthy meal plans by allowing ingredients and ready-made meals to arrive right at your door. Shop your local grocery store from the comfort of your own home. Or, use meal delivery services to receive ingredients for wholesome meals that only require some simple cooking. Alternatively, bring a smartphone app shopping list with you to the grocery store to ensure you only pick up the healthy foods you intended.
Eating healthy will ensure your organs, muscles, bones, immune system, and brain remain free from health issues and function optimally as you age. You need many essential nutrients to support these functions including fiber, protein, vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega 3’s. Aim to eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies, as well as plenty of lean protein, to ensure you’re getting all of these nutrients from your diet.
Get More Quality Sleep
Seniors tend to get much less sleep than younger adults, often suffering from higher rates of insomnia and other sleep disorders. However, The National Sleep Foundation explains that most sleep issues experienced by seniors are due to illnesses and the medications used to treat them. This is unfortunate, since getting quality sleep is key to feeling good during the day. If you experience daytime fatigue and have trouble sleeping at night, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about how medications or psychological conditions may be affecting your sleep. Doctors will be able to help you pinpoint and address any health issues that may be contributing to your poor sleep, including obstructive sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
Ensure you make time to exercise every day, striving for a combination of cardio, flexibility, and strength training. Exercise will help you improve flexibility, bone density, and balance to prevent injury from falls. It will also reduce the woes of fatigue, depression, anxiety, and pain. It’s important that you exercise safely so you don’t get hurt. Chair squats and wall push-ups are joint-friendly ways to strengthen both your upper and lower body. If you’re doing yoga for practicing flexibility, keep a chair nearby for support. This will keep you from falling if you lose balance. Another great idea is to head to your local pool to do aquatic exercises for a safe, full-body workout.
Socialize More Often
According to Bethesda Health Group, being social is one of the keys to healthy aging. For one thing, it helps keep your mind sharp and reduces your risk of dementia. Socializing has also been found to stave off depression and stress. To get connected with people, pursue your hobbies and passions within your community. Find out if there are groups you can join where you can participate in activities with others who share your interests. Senior centers are wonderful places for engaging with people while playing mentally stimulating games or setting up group outings.
Stimulate Your Mind with Hobbies
Hobbies have numerous benefits for seniors, from beating boredom to improving cognitive functioning. Try to pick up hobbies that challenge your mental abilities to enhance your memory and problem-solving skills. Learning to speak a new language or play an instrument are fantastic options. Other hobbies such as gardening, knitting and painting are more meditative and perfect options for soothing a stressed mind.
Don’t wait until you feel unhealthy to start making changes to your lifestyle. Being preventive about aging will help you tackle the sources of illness and pain before they become a problem for you. These healthy habits will soon become second nature as you work to maintain your quality of life well into your golden years.