Things might not be as easy to do as when you were younger, but there’s no reason you can’t be healthy and active as you move through your senior years. Even if you’ve never done anything for your wellness, there’s never been a better time to start. Those who keep a healthy lifestyle and focus on wellness will have more energy and better health to see through these golden years.
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These 11 tips are especially for the wellness and health of seniors. Start adopting them now to feel like the best version of yourself at any age!
Table of Content
- 1. Eat for good health
- 2. Take supplements and medication as instructed
- 3. Keep your hands clean
- 4. Don’t ignore stress
- 5. Make time for your sleep
- 6. Focus on prevention
- 7. Drink more water than before
- 8. Take care of your mental health
- 9. Spend time with others
- 10. Don’t forget your teeth
- 11. Always be active
- Safe Exercises for Seniors to Stay Healthy
- Why Staying Healthy is Important as You Age
1. Eat for good health
Your foods will give your body the vitamins, minerals, and essential antioxidants to keep you healthy, active, and fighting disease. In particular, eating more plant-based foods like fresh vegetables and fruits will help boost your immune system and keep your gut health strong. Choose lean meats for your proteins and whole grains to keep you feeling satiated.
Additionally, you’ll want to limit your intake of fatty and sugary foods. These can set off inflammation in your body. At an older age, it’s even more important to eat foods that fight off inflammation as it often leads to chronic disease. Berries, fatty fish, broccoli, avocados, mushrooms, and peppers are excellent choices for anti-inflammatory action. Use some green tea and extra virgin olive oil when cooking to help your body get the best of everything it needs.
2. Take supplements and medication as instructed
Even the young and healthy will take supplements to complete their dietary requirements. As most seniors are prescribed medications for other conditions, you must discuss with your doctor any supplements you can and should take. Always start with that checkup first before ordering vitamins and supplements.
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Your doctor may suggest calcium and vitamins D, B6, or B12. However, in your 70s and beyond, ensuring that nothing you take will impact any medication you’re on is vital.
3. Keep your hands clean
If the pandemic taught us anything, we could do it with cleaner hands. Before eating or touching anywhere on your face, wash your hands. Make sure you clean them after using the bathroom too. This will keep rogue germs from getting into your system. Beyond 65, your immune system needs all the help it can get to stay strong. This simple step can keep you from falling ill from pathogens you encounter.
4. Don’t ignore stress
Perhaps you’re in retirement, but that doesn’t mean life is without its stresses. Many things can keep you up at night worrying about a fixed income. But all that stress brings out cortisol, the hormone your body creates when stressed. Too much of it, it can cause trouble for your immune system.
Staying active is a great way to keep stress at bay. You may also find that meditation and yoga help you feel on top of the things that cause you stress. It could be a walk along the lake or at the park, playing cards with friends, or even petting an animal. As each person is different, find something that helps you relax and do it every day.
5. Make time for your sleep
Another way to handle stress is to get enough sleep. This is the time when your body is busy repairing itself. Getting the right amount of sleep results in better immunity, which means you’ll stay healthier.
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Trouble with sleep?
That’s another one to discuss with your doctor. Often, there are underlying causes. As you age, it is much more common to wake up to use the bathroom, sometimes more than once. Some conditions like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome may also be the culprit. Get a checkup and express your concerns to your doctor, who can help you find the best sleep.
6. Focus on prevention
That old expression about a stitch in time is also true about health as you age. For those 65 and older, you should never miss those yearly vaccinations. If you can prevent getting sick, why wouldn’t you? Vaccines for the flu, pneumonia, and meningitis are recommended for your age group.
Additionally, take advantage of health screenings. These will check for cholesterol, colon cancer, heart problems, and other common health problems with age. When you keep things in check, you are more likely to prevent them and even turn things around if your doctor finds something wrong.
7. Drink more water than before
As you move into your 70s and 80s, drinking water is even more important. At this age, you’re more prone to dehydration. You must keep sipping water in these tender years so your mind and body stay finely tuned and healthy.
8. Take care of your mental health
Most people think of health as getting exercise and eating right. Some remember that sleep is a critical part of the equation. But another one that gets ignored is mental health. To keep your mind sharp, read and write every day. Crossword puzzles and word games are another way to stay sharp.
If there’s a hobby or activity you’ve wanted to try, go for it! Trying new things will stimulate your mind and make you feel younger inside and out!
9. Spend time with others
If the family lives nearby, make sure you have time with them. Spending time with grandchildren can help keep you young and brighten your mood, which wonders for your overall health.
When there’s no family nearby, you can spend your time until the next visit with others in your age group. Make friends with neighbors or join a senior group. New to town? Find your community center or gym with programs designed especially for seniors so you’ll have something to do.
10. Don’t forget your teeth
Bone loss and oral health decline are common parts of aging. But to keep your teeth intact and your gums in good health, brush, and floss daily. You’ll want to do everything you can to keep chronic inflammation away so you can stay healthier all over.
11. Always be active
Naturally, the last tip is about exercise because it is one of the most important points for health and wellness in your senior years. You don’t need to participate in a triathlon, but daily exercise within your capabilities helps chase away depression. It also improves your overall energy and even activates your mind. A simple daily walk can keep you healthier for longer while keeping your immune system strong.
Safe Exercises for Seniors to Stay Healthy
Along with the tips above, putting exercise into your life ensures you won’t be sedentary. To have an active lifestyle, you’ve got to get started to reap the benefits of better health and longevity.
As part of the aging process, physical exercise may not come as easily to those in their 70s and 80s. But if you get moving, you’ll feel happier and less likely to depend on others. No one ever wants to burden loved ones, so keep active to avoid it. You’ll also avoid falls that can put you out of commission when you are active because you work on maintaining balance. Often, seniors fall because they’ve lost a sense of balance.
Exercise means more energy to do what you love with the people you love. It fights disease, keeps your mind sharp, and can help you sleep better at night. The mind and body are closely linked, meaning that a healthy body means the mind is healthy too. Regular exercise may even reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s or dementia, so grab your sneakers and prepare for these safe exercises for seniors!
Not only is being in the water cool and refreshing, but it’s also an easier way to get in a workout without putting pressure on your joints. The water’s buoyancy removes that stress from your joints while creating natural resistance, as adding weights would do. When you engage in water aerobics, you build strength, balance, and flexibility with minimal stress on your body. Plus, you’ll likely have to join a class for this, which means you’ll make new friends trying to keep active and healthy like you!
But if there’s no class, you can use your pool. Be sure that your doctor gives you the go-ahead for this exercise, and you can do aqua jogging, flutter kicks, leg lifts, or standing push-ups along the wall while in the water.
There are senior yoga classes if sitting in a yoga class with people 50 years your junior is intimidating. Chair yoga is among them, allowing for a more accessible way to build muscle strength and flexibility while improving your mobility and balance.
With chair yoga, you will have less stress on your joints and muscles, making it easier for older age groups. Chair yoga also boosts mental health, helps you sleep, and improves mood.
Use resistance bands
If your doctor authorizes it, you can get resistance bands to use at home. These stretchy rubber strips add more resistance yet are ideal for beginners. They can help strengthen your core, from which all the body’s movements come, which helps your balance, posture, and mobility. They’re easier to use than weights; you don’t have to worry about hurting your toe if you drop one!
Want to keep things simple as you work on your senior health and wellness? Start with walking. You can walk with friends or on your own. Get up to 10,000 steps daily unless you have difficulty walking or joint pain. Your doctor can help you set a reasonable goal that works for you. While it might not seem as strenuous as other forms of exercise, walking can lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer. It can also help prevent stroke.
Find a place to walk that is safe and on your level of fitness. If you live in a hot climate or don’t fair well outdoors in the heat of the hotter months, take your walk to the nearby mall, where you can safely walk in calm and air-conditioned surroundings.
Fight muscle loss with bodyweight exercises
Using your weight to fuel your workouts will help prevent muscle loss for those in good health and mobility. Do it now before it’s too late, as muscle loss can cause hormone problems and make it hard for your body to process protein. You’ll need an excellent mat to soften the impact from the floor when you do lying hip bridges, bird dogs, and side-lying circles. You can also do squats, though modify them so you squat above a chair. That way, you can sit and rest if needed.
If you’re still quite mobile, dumbbells are a great way to keep your metabolism going and enhance your control over glucose. Ask your doctor if dumbbells are a good choice for your situation. Choose lightweight ones and keep up the repetitions to help you strengthen your muscles.
Why Staying Healthy is Important as You Age
While you’ve worked hard and accomplished your share, getting old should not be your excuse for not caring for your health. Many seniors go to the gym and live independently without depending on others. How is that possible? Because they take care of their health.
Staying healthy is also ideal for getting a lower premium on life insurance in old age. If you want to avoid costs for medical expenses and other things that tend to come with age, do yourself a favor and focus on the prevention aspects to keep yourself looking, feeling, and acting decades younger!