Older individuals experience many changes as they age. For this reason, they need to alter their lifestyles to remain fit. People who practice a healthy lifestyle at a young age get to enjoy life more as they age and can be seen hale and hearty even at an old age.
There are many healthy living tips for seniors which, if followed properly, can bring great health benefits. Healthy habits make a huge difference even to those who are prone to certain illnesses or have been neglecting their overall health in the past.
Steps to Healthy, Joyful Aging
Consider helping your seniors with these 10 easy and effective healthy living tips for seniors which will definitely improve their overall health and wellness.
1. Balanced Nutrition is the Key
Eating a healthy diet as you grow old keeps you in fine fettle. With time, your digestive system tends to slow down. Unless you exercise enough to digest your food, incorporating high fiber foods like fruits, wholegrain, vegetables and vitamins into your diet become necessary. Seniors will benefit from such healthy eating as it will lessen the chances of getting heart diseases, stroke and even cancer!
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Furthermore, as people age, they tend to feel less thirsty. For this reason, seniors are more prone to dehydration as they consume less water. Seniors should make sure that they drink plenty of water so they stay energized. Water also prevents urinary tract infection and constipation.
Another problem seniors experience is the lack of appetite. There are several reasons reported for appetite decline in seniors. Managing it by simply enhancing the flavor of food can actually do wonders.
Now let’s discuss some ways in which you can help support healthy eating habits in seniors.
- Pay attention to serving sizes and don’t forget to read nutrition labels
- Take small bites and eat slowly to improve digestion
- Take regular vitamin and mineral supplements
- Don’t forget to stay hydrated
- Try eating with more people to encourage appetite
- Avoid alcohol if you can or, at least, limit it to one drink a day
- Try eating less junk and sodas
- Consume probiotics to reduce constipation and enhance immunity
2. Mild to Moderate Physical Activity
Exercise is extremely important no matter what stage of life you are in. This becomes even more significant when it comes to seniors as ideal weight prevents chronic health problems. Moreover, regular exercise can also let seniors complete activities of daily life.
Moreover, along with eliminating anger and depression, physically active seniors have improved energy levels and memory. So if they keep their health under control and do mild to moderate exercise, seniors can actually boost their overall fitness.
Even though there is a huge range of physical activities that are good for seniors, a health care professional must be consulted before starting off with one. Here are some of the most effective exercises for seniors.
Studies show that walking for an hour or more can help you lower the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Seniors who suffer from joint pain can reduce their step count accordingly.
Yoga with a chair:
This is a very low-impact exercise and is extremely suitable for seniors. It improves balance, mobility, flexibility and strength. Also, it boosts mental efficacy and helps seniors sleep well.
Doing exercise in water is beneficial for those with arthritis. Natural resistance against water puts less stress on joints and helps improves strength, balance and flexibility. Further, it is proven that daily aerobics is a great way to remain fit for people with lung cancers.
Another option for low impact exercise which helps build strength and has also improves flexibility and balance.
Muscle atrophy leads to hormonal imbalances but bodyweight workouts can help counteract that. Furthermore, you can include resistance band workouts in your routine to strengthen your core for better balance and flexibility.
3. Mental Peace First
Just as you need to take of your physical health, one of the best healthy living tips for seniors includes nurturing good mental health. Mind stimulation and engagement with what’s going on in the world around you delay dementia and Alzheimer’s. Also, being mentally active can lessen the chance of undue stress and anxiety.
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Let’s talk about a few ways you can use which will help maintain good mental health as you age.
- Solving puzzles
- Playing games to ward off boredom
- Reading and writing
- An effort to learn something new
- Learning a whole new language
4. Be Social
Staying connected with friends and family is the easiest of all healthy living tips for seniors. Socialization has many benefits like positive mood and also it adds to your physical activity.
It is better to visit your loved ones in person but for seniors who cannot do that, the alternative is to use applications like Zoom or Skype. Sending letters and virtual communication are also great ways to correspond with family, friends and neighbors.
5. Have Plenty of Sleep
As we grow old, our bodies experience a drop in deep sleep which, as a result, makes less melatonin. This leads to greater chances of developing insomnia and frequent waking and restlessness throughout the night.
However, if you get plenty of sleep, you can improve your concentration and memory formation. Sleeping enough also helps the body repair any cell damage that happened throughout the day. Studies show that sleeping helps to revitalize the immune system to ward off harmful diseases.
6. Visit Doctor Regularly
Regular check-ups with your primary care physicians help in the early diagnosis of health problems before they become incurable. A wellness visit after every two years is recommended by doctors for older individuals. These visits consist of basic checkups like vitals and an assessment of your overall health. In these visits, the doctor can also do some other tests like hearing and vision.
It is also crucial to visit the dentist every 6 months to avoid getting caries and mouth infections which can influence your systemic health.
7. Screen for Eyesight Changes
Usually, a noticeable change in eyesight occurs by age 50. Seniors with weak vision should consult their eye specialist annually for changes. Issues such as glaucoma must be assessed at each checkup to avoid the risk of developing blindness. Make sure to have the right pair of glasses as this will also lessen the chance of seniors falling.
8. Prevention is the Best
One of the best healthy living tips for seniors is prevention. Once you make regular visits to your physician, make sure you take advantage of the preventive care they provide. Preventive measures include regular screenings, vaccinations and tests. Note that if you notice an unusual body change, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Some of the preventive care measures are listed below:
- Get annual pneumonia and flu vaccinations
- Keep testing for your cholesterol levels
- If you’re a woman, make sure to get a pap test and mammogram every 2-3 years
- Get tetanus vaccinations every 10 years
- Shingles vaccinations
- Bone density scan especially for women
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
9. Take Supplements as Necessary
Including essential supplements in your diet can help boost your immunity. Make sure to ask your doctor before consuming any supplements, especially if taking prescription medicines. Some of the recommended supplements include Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and calcium.
10. Avoid Contact With People Who Are Sick
One way to prevent sickness year-round is to avoid contact with people who are sick or have a cold. For example, if there is endemic flu, avoid going out for a while or at least limit contact with people until conditions become stable.
If going out becomes necessary, wear a proper mask. If you are the one caring for someone with flu, wear proper PPE and don’t forget to take appropriate precautions.
Sometimes older adults feel lonely, low, sad or depressed because of all the experiences they’ve been through. Loss of loved ones, health issues or financial issues, all affect their health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle certainly adds to their happiness.
By following these healthy living tips for seniors, one can actually improve the ability to cope with the demands of daily living. Remember that it is never too late to become healthy. Pushing yourself a little will ultimately bring benefits. So what are you waiting for? Follow this simple guide and start leading a healthy life.