What Every Senior Hoping to Boost Their Overall Quality of Life Should Know
By Jason Lewis of StrongWell.org
Despite what you thought when you were 25 or what you hear from the younger crowd today, your golden years can actually be the most rewarding stage of your life.
It doesn’t just happen that way, however.
As a senior, in order to enjoy a higher quality of life, you need to work for it. Here’s what you should know to make it happen.
Staying Physically Active Is Where to Begin
Although exercise can be uncomfortable for seniors suffering from some ailments or mobility issues, know this: There is always a type of workout that you can do without too much pain and the benefits of exercise are well worth it.
Seniors who exercise spend less time injured or disabled than those who don’t — 25 percent in fact. The benefits of exercise extend far beyond that, however. Seniors can expect improvements to bone health, circulatory function, immune function, and more.
Even doing a few simple stretches can have a host of positive benefits, including reduced tension and calmness within the body and mind. If you need some stretching pointers, there’s a handy infographic that can provide some assistance, or check out the Mathias Method Mobility Guide.
You Can Easily Get Your Workout Indoors
When some seniors think about exercise, they think about scary things like running around the neighborhood, pumping iron at the gym, or barreling down a track on a bike.
You may be concerned about the weather as well. How can you exercise when it’s too hot, too cold, or storming outside? It doesn’t have to be this way.
Seniors can get more-than-adequate physical activity safely indoors. Try swimming, yoga, bodyweight exercises, group fitness classes, resistance band training, YouTube exercise videos, or even fitness-related video games.
Try the Daily 30: Bodyweight Exercise Routine!
Learn how to move properly to build strength, improve mobility, decrease pain, prevent injury, and get fit, at home or in the gym!
Great for men, women, children, and seniors of all strength levels!
You Can’t Isolate Your Way to Better Health
It doesn’t matter whether you want to spend time with friends at church, call up a workout buddy to accompany you on a walk, or host a weekly card game — as long as you’re socializing with other people with relative frequency, you’re actively improving your overall well-being.
It is thought that “older people who have close connections and relationships not only live longer, but also cope better with health conditions and experience less depression.” It appears that being an active member of a social group stimulates brain activity in a positive manner.
Your Dietary Needs Have Expanded
Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits and veggies and low in sugar and saturated fat is what keep all humans healthy. When you’re 30, that’s about all it takes. But when you’re 60 and older, that well-balanced diet is necessary, but it’s not enough.
Your dietary needs have expanded. Your body now requires specific vitamins and supplements and perhaps extra nutrients.
You should work to increase your calcium, vitamin D, B1, and fiber at the very least. Also, remember to stay hydrated. You may have to drink more water than you think you should.
In the end, consult your doctor and listen to what your body is telling you.
Getting Quality Sleep May Be the Key That Unlocks It All
If you don’t give your mind and body the shutdown time it needs to replenish and recharge, then everything else you do — from diet and exercise to socialization — may be all for naught.
Sleep is vital to help you maintain and improve pretty much every aspect of your physical and mental health. For better sleep, try sticking to a strict bedtime and wake-up schedule, avoid eating in the hours before bedtime, try to limit your exposure to “blue light” (smartphone screens, computers, TV), and consider melatonin supplements.
What is the thread tying all of this together? Control. You are ultimately in control of your overall health. Sure, there are some things that are out of your control. But taking a “woe is me” or an “I’m just too old to change things attitude” won’t get you anywhere.
Make some of these smart lifestyle changes or additions and you’ll improve your overall quality of life in no time.