Healthy Living for Seniors

Healthy living is important for people of any age, but it is even more vital if you are a senior.

The healthier and more active you are in later life, the more you can avoid physical and mental health problems and live longer and more happily. There are various ways you can live healthily, from controlling your diet and exercising regularly to socializing with people and doing things to keep your mind focused, such as reading and doing puzzles.

The following information will give you further details on how seniors can stay healthy. It is never too late to try different things, so do not be afraid to make alterations to your daily life. Making small changes, like cutting down on alcohol, giving up certain foods and joining yoga classes can be hugely beneficial to your health. Select the right changes for you and remember to have fun with the changes you make to your lifestyle.

How can seniors live healthily?

Many elderly people are healthy and active. However, it is a fact of life that the older people get, the more their bodies and minds alter. If you are a senior, there are steps you can take in order to stay as fit and active as possible. People are living longer than they used to. Perhaps this is because more and more people are looking after themselves as they get older by adopting healthy behaviors.

The two main ways for seniors to adopt healthy living is to exercise and be on the right diet. By combining those two things, seniors will see a noticeable difference in their wellbeing. Many conditions common in seniors can be prevented or treated more easily if you maintain a good diet and exercise regularly. These two ways of healthy living can lower the risk of having common conditions like arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, dementia, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Maintaining a healthy mind is also just as crucial as maintaining a healthy body, so seniors should keep their minds active on a daily basis. Here are some other ways seniors can live healthily:

  • Use medications appropriately.
  • Be involved with your community.
  • Regularly visit the doctor for routine check-ups.
  • Look after teeth and have regular dental check-ups.
  • Use alcohol in moderation.
  • Do not use tobacco products.
  • Stay involved with social activities.
  • Take vacations.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Use safety awareness to avoid accidents and falls.

Exercise and Seniors

Obviously, keeping fit and active is important at any age, but it is even more important for seniors because bodies and minds deteriorate the older people become. If you have serious health problems or your mobility is restricted, you may find it difficult to stay active. However, there are activities to suit your requirements. Simple regular exercises like slowly lifting your legs or arms can be very beneficial to staying physically fit. For seniors without any specific problems, you should regularly do aerobic exercises and activities that will strengthen your muscles, increase your flexibility and improve your balance. Water aerobics and yoga can especially be good. Apart from regular exercise routines, there are other ways you can stay active in your daily life, such as gardening, doing heavy housework and routinely going for a brisk walk.

Senior Diet Recommendations

As you grow older, your body starts to require less calories. However, you need the same amount of nutrients as you have always required. Nutrients include vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates and water. Therefore, you need to eat nutrient-dense foods that contain fewer calories. Eat foods low in fat and cholesterol, particularly trans fats and saturated fats. Here are some foods rich in nutrients that should be a part of your regular diet:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Fat-free or low-fat cheese and milk
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Seafood
  • Lean meats
  • Eggs

Avoid foods that have a lot of calories and few nutrients. These include:

  • Desserts that have added sugar.
  • Drinks sweetened with sugar.
  • Butter and other fats that are solid at room temperature.
  • White bread.
  • Pasta and white rice made from refined grains.

You should also be wary of the amount of food you eat. Many people eat more than they actually require. Therefore, make sure you eat sensibly-sized portions.

Maintaining a Healthy Mind as a Senior

As you get older, the volume of your brain gradually shrinks. When this happens, some of your brain’s nerve cells can lose connections with other brain cells or they can shrink. The blood flow in your brain also slows the older you get. These may be the reasons for cognitive functions decreasing with age, which can lead to things like significant memory loss. However, there are ways you can maintain a healthy mind as a senior. Here are some of the steps you can take:

  • Lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. It is thought that heart disease and strokes can contribute to developing specific types of dementia. By controlling your cholesterol and avoiding high blood pressure, you can avoid heart disease and strokes.
  • Regularly exercise. This can help to maintain your brain’s blood flow.
  • Get enough sleep. It is a common myth that older people do not need as much sleep. In fact, not getting enough sleep when you are older can contribute to memory loss. You need to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Socialize. Being around other people regularly can help your brain to stay sharp. If you do not have many friends, join a local activity group to meet new people and stay mentally alert.
  • Keep your mind active. There are a variety of activities that can help your mind stay sharp. Reading regularly can help your memory. It is also thought it can decrease your chances of getting dementia. Playing games and puzzles can improve your memory, creativity and ability to make decisions.
  • Do not drink or smoke excessively. By cutting down on cigarettes and alcohol, it is thought you will have better cognitive functioning. Drinking and smoking excessively can also increase the risk of dementia.

Tips for Healthy Aging

Doing exercise, eating correctly and staying mentally alert by interacting with people, reading and doing puzzles are the best ways to age healthily. As long as you stay active, mentally and physically, and you take control of looking after yourself, you can live healthily into old age. At the end of the day, it is about incorporating healthy tips into your daily life that work for you. If you hate going to the gym, for instance, go for a bike ride or a brisk walk instead. It is also important to stay in touch with your family and friends. The more support you have around you, the easier it will be to stay healthy.

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