Essential Health and Happiness Tips for Older Adults
By Brad Krause of SelfCaring.info/
The key to happiness and good health doesn’t change much with age. Supporting the body and mind through exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and other facets of self-care are vital to our well-being at every point in our lives.
However, it does take a little bit more work to maintain your health in your golden years. If you’re searching for some simple ways to keep yourself feeling young and spry, look no further!
Set Up Your Prevention Plan
The easiest way to treat an illness or injury is to prevent it in the first place. Fortunately for seniors, Medicare includes an Annual Wellness Visit, so doctors can assess changes in your health over the years. During each visit, a doctor will ask you questions about your diet, lifestyle, and general well-being. They will check your blood pressure, monitor your weight, and provide personalized health advice based on any particular risk factors you may have. If you’re at risk of developing anything from depression to diabetes, doctors will send you for the appropriate screenings so they can help you stay on top of potential problems.
Discover Safe and Beneficial Exercises
Maintaining your physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent mental and physical decline in your senior years. Seniors should focus on low-impact exercises, especially if they have joint or muscle pain.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are four main types of exercise, and each has unique benefits:
- Aerobic activities improve heart health, cognition, and digestive functioning.
- Strength exercises build muscle, reduce pain, and boost your independence.
- Balance exercises reduce your risk of falls.
- Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles to prevent injury.
Try to fit all these into your physical activity routine for the greatest health benefits. Some exercises, like yoga, tai chi, and The Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine, can hit all four of these exercise types in one.
Join a class in your community so you can learn from an instructor—they will teach you how to stay safe and prevent straining your muscles or damaging your joints as you get started.
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!
Stimulate Your Mind Every Day
In addition to working out your body, it’s also essential to give your mind a workout on a regular basis. Puzzles, like crosswords and Sudoku, can be helpful. Just be skeptical of online brain-training games claiming to prevent cognitive decline—there is very little evidence that these work.
The greatest mental benefits come from learning new, complex things. Pick up a hobby that requires you to think, like learning a new language, quilting, or digital photography. Researchers have found that these activities can strengthen memory even better than games and puzzles.
Support Your Social Health
Another way to keep your mind sharp and stave off cognitive decline is to stay socially engaged. This can get more difficult as you advance into your senior years, particularly if you live outside of the city or struggle with limited mobility.
Fortunately, seniors can take advantage of technology to stay connected with friends and family who live far away. Forbes recommends picking up a tablet designed for seniors, such as the GrandPad. These tablets are extremely intuitive and require very little setup.
Seniors can also use social media and video chat software to interact with family more frequently. If you’d prefer to get out in the real world, join a class in your town, volunteer, or get a part-time job doing something you like.
Make a Stress-Management Plan
People of any age can experience stress. Whether caused by financial worry, loss of independence, relationships, or health conditions, it’s important to manage stress so you can avoid its various negative effects on the body and mind. Try out some relaxation activities so you know what to do the next time you start feeling stress creep up on you. Deep-breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are excellent ways to quickly relieve stress on the go.
Age shouldn’t get in the way of you and the lifestyle you want. When you’re passionate about wellness and strive for good health every day, you’re bound to thrive in your senior years. Be open to change, get ready to face challenges, and take every opportunity to secure your health for the future.
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