With aging comes wisdom brought on by your many life experiences. While you may make changes in the way you live your life during your senior years, this time of your life can be a happy time filled with good challenges, optimism, and strong relationships. To get the best out of your senior years, it’s important to do whatever you can to remain healthy, both physically and mentally. Below are some tips we think will help you stay healthy, stay positive, and live your best life as you get older.
Stay Active and Get Adequate Exercise
It’s important to stay active as you get older, and getting adequate exercise is a necessary part of doing so. Before you start a new fitness program, talk with your doctor to determine if you have any limitations. If you have mobility challenges, there are plenty of effective chair exercises for seniors to try.
Ideally, you should include aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening exercises, and stretching as part of your weekly exercise plan.
Aerobic exercise includes running, cycling, swimming, and walking. Even something as simple as walking can be a great way to help maintain your fitness level. Walking helps to manage your weight, maintain strong muscles and bones, and boost your mood.
Muscle-strengthening exercise can be weight-bearing exercises using your body weight for resistance. Push-ups and planks are great examples of this. You can also use weights or resistance bands to improve strength and muscle tone.
The U.S. Department of Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends the following amounts of activity for senior adults:
- At least 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate exercise per week or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous or a combination of vigorous and moderate aerobic activity per week.
- Muscle-strengthening activity two days per week.
- When senior adults are unable to do the recommended amounts of physical activity because of medical conditions, they should do as much as they can do.
Assess Your Home’s Safety
As you get older, you may have some mobility issues, so take some time to assess your home to see if you need to make any improvements. For example, installing grab bars or non-slip flooring in the bathroom can help prevent falls.
Get Regular Check-Ups
It’s important to get regular check-ups, including eye doctor and dentist appointments, in addition to visits to your primary care provider. Have your prescriptions updated as necessary, and if your doctor recommends supplements, such as calcium or vitamin D, then take them.
Make Healthy Food Choices
At any age, it’s important to eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. Try to avoid eating too many processed foods, which are often high in sugar or sodium. Eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods, such as whole grains, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
Take Care of Your Skin
Expect that you will see some changes in your body as you start to show signs of aging, such as wrinkles or changes in skin texture, Take care of your skin by wearing sunscreen and wearing a hat or protective clothing when you are out in the sun.
Stimulate Your Mind
Keep your mind sharp by engaging in activities that offer cognitive stimulation. For example, read things that are interesting to you, learn a new language, take a class at your local community college, try your hand at some art projects, or do word puzzles.
Get Adequate Sleep
Make sure you get adequate sleep. If you are experiencing insomnia, try to stick to a sleep schedule so you wake up and go to sleep at the same times each day, and if you take naps, make them short. Put away any electronic devices that may be distracting or that you may be tempted to use. Avoid caffeine in the evening. Your stress level can affect your sleep, so find ways to reduce your stress, such as relaxation techniques, yoga, or meditation. If you are still experiencing insomnia after trying these things and you take medication, talk to your doctor. It could be that you are experiencing side effects from your medication.
Stay Positive and Optimistic
If you are feeling negative and having a difficult time, try to reframe your thoughts into something positive. Remember the things in your life for which you are grateful. You’re still living your life, you’re working to stay healthy, and you’re engaging in activities you enjoy.
Embrace your age. You’ve earned it. Everyone ages, so there’s no use in trying to avoid the inevitable. Instead, enjoy your life as you reap the benefits of the many experiences you have had throughout your life. As you begin this new phase of your life, it’s crucial that you take steps to maintain a healthy mind and body. Doing so will help you have the strength, energy, and mental sharpness to enjoy your senior years.
As always, we recommend that you discuss any health-related issues or changes you plan to make with your doctor before undertaking anything new.
Joseph Jones has been writing senior care and aging-related articles for years. He got his start while writing for a personal blog before he was offered to work at California Mobility in 2018 as the Content Marketing Manager, creating highly informative guides and health awareness articles for aging adults.
He’s currently contributing to a variety of blogs in the senior health industry in hopes to spread information about taking care of seniors and what to expect in the aging process.