Our health and well-being are our most valuable assets, but often, we do not realize this until it’s too late. If you are fortunate enough to be stepping into your senior age, placing your physical and mental health at the forefront of your mind is the best course of action. With a few lifestyle changes and a bit more attention to your safety, you’ll be able to enjoy your senior years more fully. Here are a few tips that will help you in your senior years.
Maintain a healthy diet
It’s essential that you, as a senior, make sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs even as you get older. As our digestion slows down with age, focusing on whole foods rich in fibers is key. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts should be an integral part of your daily diet. You might not feel thirsty, but make sure you drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, too. Needless to say, limiting sugary and fatty foods is also important. A healthy diet will help you maintain a healthy weight, shielding you from conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
As you become less active, your calorie intake may also decrease. However, this is problematic since it makes it difficult to intake the appropriate amount of nutrients daily. While you shouldn’t rely solely on supplements to get your daily dose of vitamins, your doctor may recommend that you introduce some supplements to your diet. Calcium and vitamin D are just two of the common examples. However, be sure that you follow your doctor’s advice on this matter.
Stay in motion
The next critical lifestyle adjustment that seniors should consider is introducing more physical activity to their routines. Firstly, a bit of regular movement will help you maintain your weight, in combination with an appropriate diet. Secondly, it is also crucial for keeping your mobility at a high level. Physical exercise is also great for your immune system, and it will keep your mental health in check, too. Pick a physical exercise that is appropriate for your current level of mobility. Low impact exercises won’t put too much pressure on your joints but will still give your muscles a bit of workout. Walking, biking and swimming are just some of the examples, but you can also enroll in a yoga or aerobics class for seniors.
Keep your brain in use
Just like you keep your body fit through physical exercise, you should also devote some attention to keeping your brain in shape through mental exercise. In your senior years, engaging your brain often will help prevent dementia, so pick up a few crosswords and other brainy puzzles. Starting a new hobby and learning new things are also great strategies. Languages and musical instruments are particularly beneficial for our brains. You can even combine physical exercise with mental exercise by signing up for a dance class and reaping double the benefits.
Get enough rest
The next tip that you should not disregard in your seniorhood has to do with sleep. Getting proper rest is just as important as getting physical exercise. And our bodies’ sleep demands do not diminish with age. Even if you don’t feel sleepy, 8 hours of sleep is what’s going to keep your immune system and mental processes in check. It is when the body restores itself, therefore, any sleep deprivation will show its effects. Seniors often struggle with sleep, though. Your level of daily activity decreases so you might not feel as tired at the end of the day. There can be other underlying reasons like chronic pain or even a condition you may not be aware of. If insomnia keeps giving you a hard time, it is recommended to get to the bottom of it.
Quit harmful habits
As you are placing more attention on your health status, one thing that cannot go ignored is harmful habits. Whether you are a smoker or you have a habit of overconsuming alcohol, mending these bad habits can not only improve your life quality but might even expand your lifespan. Quitting bad habits is never easy, so if you don’t seem to make any progress by yourself, seeking help is also an option.
Don’t neglect your health
The next important health advice in your senior years is consciously monitoring your health and tackling issues at once. Firstly, you should not skip your regular health checkups even if you feel fine. Prevention is always superior to treatment and if your doctor has the chance to identify conditions before they become prominent, they’ll be able to treat them more effectively. Additionally, consider your quality of life and don’t hesitate to correct any issues that are making your life more difficult. For instance, if your missing teeth prevent you from eating a healthy diet, look into natural-looking dentures. If your eyesight makes it difficult to read subtitles, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
To maintain your health in your senior years, you should also give some thought to your physical safety. Recovery from injuries can be long and tedious for seniors so making sure that you don’t disregard safety considerations and make your environment as safe as possible is paramount. For instance, if your limited mobility is making it more and more difficult to use your bathroom safely, consider remodeling your bathroom so that the danger of falls is minimized. Install grab bars wherever necessary and deal with slippery surfaces for good. Additionally, continue using your mask when going out and try avoiding crowds to prevent infection.
Keep in touch with people
Finally, remember that people are social creatures. As seniors’ social circles become smaller, isolation becomes a threat. However, this is a dangerous threat that can lead to mental and even physical health complications. Make sure, thus, that you are keeping in touch with your friends, family, and acquaintances. Spend time with your loved ones and seek out new opportunities to socialize. You will notice what a big difference it makes.
There is no reason why you should let your health dwindle in your senior years. Follow these 9 tips and you’ll make the most of this wonderful period in your life!