Aging brings about many changes, including physical, mental, and emotional ones. These changes are sometimes negative and sometimes positive, and as you get older, you should do everything you can to focus on the positive ones and prevent the negative ones. One way to do this is by adopting healthy habits that you can live by.
Taking care of yourself by implementing healthy habits can add to your quality of life in many ways. Engaging in these healthy habits takes some effort, but it’s worth that effort to feel better, be healthier, and live the life you want as you get older.
By adopting these healthy habits for seniors, you are giving yourself a better chance at a healthier life during your golden years.
Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle for Seniors
Practicing healthy habits provides enormous benefits for seniors. This is more important now than ever, as people are living longer now than they did 50 years ago. The average life expectancy for Americans was 68.14 years in 1950, and by 2020, that number had increased to 78.83. Today, it’s not uncommon for seniors to enjoy healthy, active lives well into their 80s and 90s.
Having a healthy lifestyle can help you enjoy your daily activities, maintain your independence, prevent memory loss and certain diseases, boost your immune system, strengthen your body, improve your physical and mental health, and get the most out of your senior years.
7 Healthy Habits
The habits that you begin now can stay with you as you get older and improve the quality of your life. Seven healthy habits to live by are:
1. Exercise Regularly
Daily exercise is an important part of staying fit and healthy. Walking can be a great option for many people, weight-bearing exercises can improve strength and muscle tone, and taking exercise classes can be a good way to try new workouts. If you struggle with mobility issues, there are plenty of chair exercises for seniors that you can do at home. Seniors should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, according to CDC guidelines.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
As you get older, your nutritional needs change. Your body absorbs nutrients less effectively, your metabolism slows down, and your appetite may decrease as you age, which can lead to malnutrition. Eating a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, fiber-rich foods, and whole grains can help you get the nutrition you need and maintain a healthy weight, both of which play a part in your overall fitness.
3. Avoid Excessive Alcohol
According to the National Institutes of Health, seniors should avoid drinking excessive alcohol, which means not having more than seven drinks per week. Consuming too much alcohol over a long period of time can lead to liver damage, immune system disorders, and cancer. It can also contribute to serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, and memory loss.
4. Keep up on Medical Appointments
Make sure you see medical professionals on a regular basis. This includes annual visits for physicals, dental care, and vision care. Regular office visits also encourage you to make sure your prescriptions are refilled when you need them.
5. Stay Socially Active
Make sure to stay socially active by spending time connecting with family and friends or finding ways to connect with others. Without social interaction, you could feel isolated and even depressed. This could be anything from volunteering in your community to joining a book club or hobby group. Attending church or religious services can also be a great way to connect with others.
6. Stimulate Your Mind
Seniors should engage in activities that encourage mental stimulation. Reading, doing crossword puzzles, learning a new language, working on art projects or hobbies, and taking a class are just a few ways to get the cognitive stimulation your brain needs to keep your mind sharp.
7. Get Adequate Sleep
Getting adequate sleep will leave you well-rested and ready to take on your day. If you have trouble sleeping, try sticking to a sleep schedule, avoid caffeine in the afternoons and evenings, or try relaxation techniques to reduce stress. If you still have difficulty getting the sleep you need, you should talk with your doctor, because sometimes medications can have side effects that include insomnia.
By adopting these healthy habits, you are giving yourself a better chance at a healthier life during your golden years. Getting older shouldn’t have to mean that you can’t enjoy everything that life has to offer, and by implementing these seven habits and sticking with them long-term, you increase your ability to live the amazing, fulfilling, healthy life that you deserve.
About the Author:
Joseph Jones has been writing senior care and aging-related articles for years. He got his start while writing for a personal blog before he was offered to work at California Mobility in 2018 as the Content Marketing Manager, creating highly informative guides and health awareness articles for aging adults. He’s currently contributing to a variety of blogs in the senior health industry in hopes to spread information about taking care of seniors and what to expect in the aging process.
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