A healthy lifestyle is essential to making the most of your retirement! To live your best life, it’s important to exercise both your mind and body! It’s no secret that enjoying nutritious meals is important; a good variety of foods in your diet will help reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses. And, these days we know mental health is just as important as eating right and exercising. But, sometimes these healthy choices aren’t the easiest or most convenient. Changing your diet can feel…well, like a diet. And, exercising can become more difficult with age. So, how can you age healthily without feeling like you’re dieting or pushing your body to the max? Here are 10 tips that even the most reluctant retirees will approve of!
1. Move more
Older adults who don’t get physical activity are more likely to fall or develop a disability (health.gov). Sure, you can join a fitness program if you want. In fact, as long as your doctor is behind you, so are we! But, if you’re not quite ready for a group class or you have difficulty getting out of the house – simply, move more!
How? Try walking around the house or doing chair exercises. For those who have limited mobility, these can be great alternatives!
2. Try aerobics for beginners
The U.S. Department of Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that older adults have at least 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate exercise per week (or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous activity).
How? OK, now you might want to join a program like Silver Sneakers or Renew Active. These fitness groups are geared specifically toward seniors and older adults and offer classes that are low-impact for beginners or those who have more difficulty moving! But, if you still don’t like the thought of joining a class (or transportation is an issue), then start utilizing internet platforms such as YouTube! You can find thousands of easy-to-do exercises that can be performed right in your living room. Check out Walk At Home, by Leslie Sansone:
3. Simple ideas for muscle-strengthening
U.S. Department of Human Services also says that older adults should be doing muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week.
How? This is easier than you may realize! You can give your muscles a workout by carrying bags of groceries or evening gardening. The key here is to just do it! But, if you’re feeling more up to a challenge, you can start some easy muscle-strengthening exercises at home by doing yoga or using resistance bands. Check out Silver Sneakers on YouTube to get started!
4. Get social
Nearly one-fourth of adults over the age of 65 are considered to be socially isolated (according to a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine). But, socializing is good for your mind and body, so it’s a pretty important part of healthy aging! In addition to fending off loneliness, socializing helps refine your memory and cognitive skills. It increases your sense of well-being and makes for happier days.
How? Volunteer. Get a job. Join social media. Or, even travel! Read 22 Ways For Retirees To Stay Social In 2022 for more great ideas!
5. Stimulate your mind
Keep your mind sharp by engaging in activities that offer cognitive stimulation. You’re never too old to learn something new!
How? Read, learn a new language, do some puzzles, or take a class! Many colleges offer online and in-person classes for aging adults! Some are tuition-free and some are discounted. If you’re interested in learning something new, then start here!
According to WebMD, nearly half of men and women over the age of 65 say they have at least one problem with sleeping. Sure, sleeping patterns change over time, but it’s still important for your body and mind to rest!
How? Try to stick to a sleep schedule (i.e. go to bed and wake up at the same time every day). Take short naps. Put away electronics before bedtime. And, avoid caffeine in the evening. Your stress level can affect your sleep, so find ways to reduce your stress – yoga or meditation are a couple of great ideas to try!
7. Support healthy eating habits
“Compared to younger adults, older adults are at greater risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as health conditions related to changes in bone and muscle mass, such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia, respectively. An increasing number of older adults start this life stage with excess body weight. Preventing additional weight gain and achieving a healthy weight by following a healthy dietary pattern and adopting an active lifestyle can support healthy aging.”Dietary Guidelines for Americans
How? Eat with friends and family, experiment with meals, and practice food-prep safety. Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating boring!
8. Try a meal delivery service
Nutritious meals are important. But, as you age, it can become more challenging to do all the shopping and cooking yourself. Solution? Meal delivery services!
How? They’re convenient and affordable. And, many services are specifically geared toward the dietary needs of seniors! Wouldn’t making healthier choices be so much easier if all you had to do was order meals off of a menu? Well, that’s the idea!
Make Healthy Choices
9. Visit your primary physician for regular check-ups
It’s important to get regular check-ups, including eye doctor and dentist appointments. Have your prescriptions updated as necessary, and if your doctor recommends supplements, such as calcium or vitamin D, then take them! Visiting your doctors regularly is essential to staying on top of your health!
10. Stay positive & stay realistic
Making healthy choices is less about dieting and more about your lifestyle. Set simple, realistic goals when beginning any changes. Stay optimistic and remember the beautiful life that has led you to this juncture.
Embrace your age.
Enjoy retirement. You’ve earned it.