One of the top concerns of senior citizens is deteriorating health and overall wellbeing. If you’re worried about staying healthy as you grow older, you’re not alone.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things seniors can do to stay healthy and improve their quality of life.
Read on for our top 10 essential lifestyle health tips for seniors.
- Stay Active
For seniors looking to maintain their overall wellness, regular physical activity is essential. Exercise keeps your body fit and working properly, helping you stay healthier for longer.
Even if you’re not used to leading an active lifestyle, it’s not too late to start. The more you move, the stronger and fitter your body becomes. You might even find yourself in better shape than you were in ten years ago!
The trick to any successful fitness regimen is to find a healthy activity you truly enjoy. For example, if you struggle with finding the motivation to go to the gym, try going for a walk or a bike ride instead. Swimming is also an excellent physical activity if you’re looking for something with minimal impact on your joints.
For seniors with limited mobility, you can still incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle. Any activity is better than none. For instance, simply lifting your arms up and down can gradually build your strength over time while helping you burn calories in the meantime.
- Stay Hydrated
Most health experts recommend a minimum of at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day for everyone, including children, adults, and seniors. However, you should aim to consume even more than this on a typical day. There’s really no cap to how much water you should be consuming.
Track your water intake by purchasing a big water bottle with measurements to help you get a better idea of how much you’re consuming. Maintain a goal of at least 64 ounces every day, drinking more than that if possible. This will help build a healthy habit of staying regularly hydrated.
Try to sip on water consistently throughout the day, even if you’re not thirsty. Do not substitute this for coffee, juice, or any high-sugar beverages, as these can deplete your energy levels and cause major health issues down the road. Avoid artificially sweetened beverages too, as these can also have adverse effects on your health.
If you’re having trouble keeping things interesting, there are plenty of healthy ways to dress up your water. For instance, you can try infusing fresh fruits and herbs, such as cucumber, lemon, and mint. Or you can brew pitchers of your favorite unsweetened iced tea to switch things up.
- Eat a Healthy Diet
You’re probably familiar with the saying, “you are what you eat.” For children, adults, and seniors alike, there’s a lot of truth to this phrase.
Think of your body as a machine. Healthy food will provide the proper fuel to keep it running for longer, while junk food will only slow it down. It’s extremely important to keep a healthy diet if you’re looking to increase the quality and longevity of your life as you grow older.
Incorporate lean proteins in your daily diet, such as chicken, fish, and turkey. Try to avoid red meats, as they have been linked to higher risks of diabetes and heart disease.
Seniors should also be eating plenty of dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, along with other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. If you’re not a fan of the taste, try low-sodium seasonings and sauces to change up the flavor.
Healthy fats are a great thing to incorporate into your diet as well. Try snacking on avocados, hard-boiled eggs, and nuts throughout the day. Just be sure you’re minding your portion sizes, as some of these can be quite high in calories.
Lastly, it’s very important to avoid processed foods and foods that are high in sugar. If your health allows it, it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while, but heavy consumption of these foods can cause your health and energy levels to decline fast.
- Maintaining a Healthy Weight for Seniors
As with any age, maintaining a healthy weight is paramount for seniors. Excessive body weight has been linked to many harmful conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. If you’re looking to stay healthy and independent for years to come, it’s essential to keep your weight in check as you get older.
Unless you have a health condition that’s affecting your weight, this should be manageable with proper exercise and diet. Prioritize your health and wellness by eating healthy foods and leading an active lifestyle. Don’t forget to monitor your weight and make adjustments if necessary.
If you are struggling with your weight, consult your physician as soon as possible. They can help you adjust your diet and exercise programs to get you on the right track. They can also diagnose possible medical conditions that could be causing your body to hold onto excess weight.
- Manage Your Stress Levels
Keeping your stress levels at a minimum is important at any age, but it is especially important for seniors. Stress can severely impact your health, leading to weight gain, mood disorders, and even heart conditions. That’s why it’s essential to stay in tune with your body and your surroundings to ensure you’re managing stress properly.
One way of doing this is by incorporating activities you enjoy into your daily schedule. Take a walk outside and enjoy the surrounding nature. Read a book to keep yourself happy and occupied.
In addition to this, it’s important to openly communicate your emotions with your friends, family, and loved ones. If something is bothering you, don’t keep it to yourself. You may end up too far inside your own head, which is stressful at any age.
If you need additional assistance, seek out a therapist or group therapy sessions to improve your emotional health. Just be sure you’re staying true to yourself and not burying your feelings.
- Stay Mentally Stimulated
Once seniors have passed the age of retirement, it might be an adjustment to find new ways to occupy your time. Try not to remedy this with excessive television or napping, as these can lead to depression and other seriously harmful conditions.
Instead, pick up an activity that makes you happy. Start a knitting project, paint a painting, do a puzzle, or take a ceramics class. There are so many hobbies out there for you to try, and they can be very beneficial to your health.
If you’re not sure what to try, check out your local park districts for group classes and activities. You could end up picking up a new skill that brings a whole new realm of joy to your life. As long as you’re keeping your mind stimulated, you’re increasing the quality and longevity of your life.
- Keep an Active Social Life
As you get older, it can be easy to fall into a cycle of solitude. If you do this, you may be setting yourself up for depression and deteriorating health down the road.
For seniors, it’s especially important to maintain connections in your daily life. Be sure you’re reaching out and nurturing your existing relationships, rather than expecting them all to come to you. Everyone gets busy sometimes, and it’s the responsibility of both parties to keep any relationship going.
If you are looking for more friends your own age, many seniors find meaningful connections in a Senior Citizen Center. These places coordinate group outings and games to help you maintain an active social calendar. By staying active and keeping lots of social relationships going, you’ll keep yourself healthier in the long run.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting a proper night’s sleep is especially important for seniors who are looking to stay healthy for as long as possible. Your body needs time to rest, and it’s essential that you make time for it.
Getting plenty of sleep increases mental clarity, boosts energy levels, and helps you maintain a good headspace at any age. If you’re seeking a healthier lifestyle, it’s an absolute must.
- Go Outside
Human beings need fresh air and nature, especially seniors. Taking a walk outside or simply sitting outdoors can do wonders for your mental health.
If you’re finding yourself confined within four walls for longer than a day, it’s important to make time to enjoy the outdoors. That way, you can enjoy fresh surroundings and appreciate the beauty of the nature that surrounds you. You’ll be amazed at the impact it has on your mood.
- Focus on Prevention
Seniors are at a higher risk of accidents, disease, and other adverse health conditions. If you’re looking to avoid these and live a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to stay aware and proceed with caution whenever possible.
For example, seniors can have devastating injuries resulting from a fall. If you stay mindful and prioritize your personal safety, you can avoid these types of accidents. Also, by keeping an eye on your health, you can avoid many preventable diseases that seniors face in their lifetime.
Stay Healthy at Any Age
Getting older doesn’t mean you have to give up your health and happiness. By keeping these health tips for seniors in mind, you can set yourself up for a long and happy life.
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