Are you a golden-ager who is constantly worried about maintaining a healthy lifestyle? You have reached the right place. Here are 10 essential health tips for senior citizens to enjoy old age. For decades, you have hustled to earn a living and provide for your family. Retirement is not only a turning point in the lives of elders, but it is also a milestone achieved after years of hard work. It is time when you must take care of yourself and pay close attention to your body and mind.
As we get older, the body goes through several changes. There is a decline in physical health and increased vulnerability to various medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, and more. With changes in routine after retirement, sometimes elderlies also experience a change in their emotional health. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle for seniors.
Needless to say, these and other related issues can be tackled if senior citizens are devoted to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and living.
10 Healthy Living Tips for Seniors
What is a healthy lifestyle? According to the World Health Organisation, “A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that lowers the risk of being seriously ill or dying early.” WHO explains that not all diseases are preventable, but many conditions are avoidable. Simultaneously, physical, mental and social well-being plays a significant role in living a quality life and health care.
- Eating Healthy: Eating well and mindfully is one of the first steps toward healthy living. Growing old brings changes in the digestive system, metabolism, and makes older adults susceptible to serious health conditions. Hence, it is advisable to maintain a balanced diet that provides essential nutrients to the body, tackling the challenges of old age.
A few nutrition tips for the elderly suggests an increase in consumption of high-fiber food, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, and lower the consumption of calories. This will not only help the elderly regulate their digestion, but also contribute to maintaining healthy weight and metabolism.
Getting rid of those extra ounces is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for senior citizens. Overweight or obesity is one of the primary reasons for heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes.
For elderlies, eating in social settings helps to maintain nutrition and make better food choices. So, spend time with your family or friends and make your mealtime a fun time. Also, maintaining a food diary can help older adults in their daily dietary plan.
- Exercise: Healthy Living Tips for Seniors includes staying active. Exercise and any form of physical activity are beneficial for everyone including elderlies. Working out is the key to living a healthier and happier life as it significantly contributes to physical, mental and emotional health. A simple form of exercise reduces the chances of heart disease, improves flexibility, strengthen bones, keeps the blood pressure in check, improves mental health, lowers the risk of depression, improves memory, boosts the immune system, and keeps you energetic.
Exercises for Senior Citizens
- Long walks or short strolls are a few highly recommended healthy living tips for seniors. 40-minutes of walk-in natural surroundings can benefit the elderly in many ways.
- A beginners’ yoga routine helps in improving endurance and provides increased flexibility.
- Swimming is the best exercise for full body strengthening.
- For making your exercise time more fun, dancing and simple aerobics to music is also beneficiary for seniors devoted to healthy living.
- A few exercises such as squats, the bridges, single leg stand, and heel raises can be done thrice a week for increased mobility.
- Meditation: Several studies have proven that meditation has tons of health benefits for people of all ages. It is a technique to achieve a calm state of mind and body, simultaneously. There are several techniques to practice meditation. It can be done to the tune of a calming music or in open surroundings, simply focusing on your breath. All the techniques commonly require the person to sit or lie down in a relaxed position and pay attention to the present moment.
Many benefits of meditation and yoga for seniors include improvement in memory, strengthening the cognitive function, reduces stress, provides clarity of thought and emotions, and enhances blood circulation and digestive system.
Look out for clubs and communities devoted to spreading awareness about a healthy lifestyle for seniors near you. Usually, these groups bring together elderly people to learn more about healthy habits. Physical exercises and meditation are their main focus.
- Preventive Screenings and Regular Health Check-Ups: Among many other health tips for older adults, preventive screenings and regular examination are of paramount importance. Once you hit your 50s, preventive care and regular follow-ups should not be ignored. These screenings help determine cholesterol levels, chances of heart problems, and breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
At the same time, routine check-ups should be taken seriously. It helps you learn what’s going on inside the body and how well it is functioning. As we know, an older body has lower immunity than a younger one. So, stay updated about immunizations that require to boost your immune system against serious illnesses.
- Regular Dentist Visits: Essential health tips for senior citizens also give importance to regular dental check-ups. Many may not know, but oral health is a reliable indicator of overall health and other serious diseases. Dental conditions and mouth infections can reveal if a person is suffering from any other serious illness before it’s too late. Simultaneously, aging makes older adults prone to cavities. To continue enjoying your favorite foods, it’s important to keep cavities in check and avoid any severe conditions.
- Quit Smoking and Drinking: This is a crucial step towards living a healthy lifestyle for seniors. Growing older in a healthy manner demands being more conscious of your choices. The key to a healthy and happy long life is avoiding bad habits such as drinking and smoking. Smoking and drinking not only leads to cancer and strokes, but they also have worse effects on your skin and body, leading to premature aging. It makes you look older and reduces your stamina. Stopping smoking and drinking is one of the major choices to improve the quality of life.
- Keeping Brain Active: Staying mentally active and your brain stimulated is one of the biggest healthy lifestyle practices suggested for seniors. Ignoring mental health is not a good idea. Regular reading and writing practices, indulging in intellectual games like crosswords and sudoku and trying new hobbies are essentials of sound mental health.
Keeping your brain active can lower the risk or delay mental health conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Also, it improves thinking ability and memory.
- Stay Positive and Happy: Old age and retirement bring a lot of changes in a senior citizen’s life. routine changes and so does the purpose of life. You are retired from your job and your responsibilities towards the family members have been taken over by your progeny. It may seem a difficult fact to accept at the start, however finding a passion or a new hobby can help you remain happy and give a positive outlook towards the world. Indulging and pursuing passions can ward off any feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. Pursuing what you love will give a new meaning to your life and keep you busy.
- Maintain Your Social Network: Staying connected to friends, family, and neighbors is an important healthy lifestyle practice for senior citizens. Spending quality time with your loved ones is the key to a happy and long life. Meanwhile, there are several clubs and communities where retired people with similar interests come together to spend time and share their experiences. Socializing with the people of their age-group, helps older adults stay motivated and interactive. Being socially active tackles feelings of sadness and isolation.
- Get Good Sleep: Insomnia and restlessness are some common problems among older adults. Waking up frequently at night or sleeplessness troubles many elderlies. It is said to be a normal part of aging. However, everyone deserves deep and renewing energy to stay healthy and age well.
For those suffering from sleep deprivation are suggested to do some form exercise daily, reduce caffeine intake in evenings, make your bedroom comfortable, lower screen-time before bedtime, meditate before sleeping, and keep the room temperature cool and comfortable.
More Health Care Tips for Senior Citizens suggests:
- Staying hydrated
- Incorporating Vitamin D and calcium in amounts prescribed by your health care provider
- Managing stress
- Taking safety precautions
- Practicing good hygiene
- Indulging in volunteer or charity work
- Making new friends
- And spending time in nature
Aging is inevitable, but the challenges of old age are not. With a few good habits, healthy lifestyle for seniors is attainable. Staying happy and living a long life is a choice. Adapting healthful behaviors and focusing on self-care is a perfect combination to stay healthy in older years.