June 7, 2018
There was a time when “getting older” conjured up images of a frail old man or woman in a rocking chair. But with advances in medicine helping us live longer and healthier, today’s seniors truly understand how to age well and continue to live their best lives possible.
Age should never define your activities or your health. Here are our top 8 healthy aging tips for seniors to ensure you continue to thrive in your later years:
Keeping it moving!
While retirement is a great time to sit back and relax, too much sitting can be bad for your health. No matter what your age, it’s important to keep moving each and every day, as regular exercise can help prevent heart disease, certain forms of cancer and may even reduce the pain associated with arthritis. It can also improve flexibility, balance, endurance and strength.
Make exercise part of your daily routine. Low impact activities such as walking, yoga and tai chi are a great way to get started if you haven’t exercised in the past. Be sure to start slowly and consult your physician before starting any new exercise routines.
You are what you eat.
Healthy eating is wise at any age. But as we age, our taste buds and cravings often change. Maintaining a well-balanced diet is essential to avoiding conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer.
Seniors in particular are often drawn to foods that are on the sweet side. Be cautious not to give into these cravings. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with healthy fruits such as apples, oranges or pineapples. Also, be sure to incorporate plenty of vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins into every meal.
The body’s ability to conserve water decreases with age, making seniors more susceptible to dehydration than other age groups. Additionally, many seniors say their sense of thirst reduces over time.
Staying hydrated is essential to keeping the body healthy. Seniors should be mindful to consume at least 64 ounces of water each day. Remember, water doesn’t just come from the faucet. Foods like cucumbers, watermelon, grapes and even blueberries are packed with fluid.
Never stop learning.
Keeping your mind active is the best way to slow cognitive decline as you age. It can also help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Take time each day to learn something new and challenge your mind. Whether that’s taking a class at a local university (tip: many universities offer courses specifically for seniors at a discounted rate!), learning a new language, reading a new book, learning an instrument or taking on a new hobby, finding ways to keep your mind engaged and curious each day will benefit you in the long run.
Be a social butterfly.
Many seniors live alone, putting them at risk for feelings of isolation, accompanied by anxiety and depression. That’s why it’s important for seniors to remain social, not matter what their age.
Regularly visiting with family and friends can help ward off feelings of loneliness. And studies show it could even help you live longer.
Recognize your limits.
Recovering from a fall or accident can take seniors away from the things they enjoy. That’s why it’s important for seniors to recognize their limits and prioritize safety. Ask for assistance with tasks that require strenuous activity or a ladder or step stool.
Take practical steps to keep your home safe such as ensuring rugs are secure, walking spaces are free of clutter and furniture, electrical cords are out of the way and that any tubs or showers have safety bars that make them easier for seniors to get in and out of.
Get plenty of sleep.
Sleep is important to healthy living at any age, especially seniors. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night is enough to ward off depression, irritability, memory problems and may even reduce your risk of falls.
Have trouble sleeping? Create a healthy bedtime routine by keeping your bedroom dark, at a comfortable temperature and noise-free.
Partner with your doctor.
One of the best ways to stay healthy as you age is to partner with your doctor and practice prevention. Regular check-ups can help detect health issues early on so you can take action. And preventive vaccines can help ward off potential illnesses such as shingles, flu or pneumonia, which can be deadly for seniors.
Your doctor can also help you create the right diet and exercise plan for your age, condition and overall health.
Since 2012, Episcopal SeniorLife Communities has offered Neighborhood Programs to seniors who live in the community to promote health and wellness. Exercise, fun and friendship are three key elements in healthy aging, and these programs provide exercise programs, nutrition education, information presentations and best of all, the opportunity to connect with others.
Additionally, moving to a senior living community is a great way to ensure you have access to everything you need to stay happy and healthy as you age. At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, our range of services and amenities are designed with seniors in mind. Eat well, be active, stay social and age well with us. Contact us today to learn more about our living options for seniors.