As we get older, being mindful of our health becomes even more essential to our everyday lives. Staying active, exercising, and eating well are all fantastic ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle as we age. Here are a few guidelines to follow for healthy senior living!
Keep up with exercise
Exercising regularly can improve your balance, help keep you mobile, improve your mood by reducing feelings of anxiety and depression, and contribute to better cognitive functioning. It’s also an important part of managing some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis.
The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like swimming or taking a brisk walk) each week. You can break this down into 30 active minutes a day for five days a week, which might make it easier to keep up with.
If you have Medicare and you’ve suffered a fall or an injury recently (and feel a bit wary of attempting light exercise) talk with your doctor about trying a Medicare-approved knee brace or back brace. Wearing physical supports can help keep your joints stable and protected even post-injury.
Eat healthy and stay hydrated
The digestive system slows down with age, so high-fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains are as important as ever. Because seniors are prone to dehydration, they should drink plenty of water to stay energized and sharp. It’s also important to be mindful of portion sizes and make sure you are getting a good balance of the five main food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, lean protein, and fiber.
Talking to your doctor can help you get a better understanding of your individual dietary needs. This can be especially important if you have a health condition like diabetes or high blood pressure that can be better managed through healthy eating.
Get plenty of rest
Not only can sleep reduce your stress level, but sleep is how your body repairs itself. For this reason, getting an adequate amount of sleep can result in a stronger immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off viruses. Sleep is also important as you get older because it can improve memory and concentration. Aim for at least seven and a half to nine hours of sleep per night.
An often overlooked healthy habit is staying connected and socializing. When it’s safe to do so, spending time with friends and family members can boost quality of life, including both physical and mental health. Maintaining these social connections, even virtually or over the phone, can help reduce stress and the risk of anxiety or depression; it may also help cognitive health as we get older.
There are plenty of ways to maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle as you get older. Maintaining good habits, eating right, and listening to your body can all make a world of difference when it comes to staying healthy!