Research shows that good health is essential for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life.
It’s never too late to start living a healthier lifestyle. Listed below are five healthy habits that all seniors should adopt in order to get the most out of their golden years.
1. Stay Active
Regular exercise is essential for everyone, but especially seniors.
A combination of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training helps reduce mortality by building stronger bones and improving balance (two things that help prevent falls and other injuries). Exercise also lowers your risk of heart disease and minimizes aches and pains.
Seniors should shoot for a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times per week with at least two strength-training sessions.
2. Watch Your Diet
A healthy diet is another must for seniors who want to improve their quality of life.
Your specific diet will vary depending on your doctor’s recommendations and any current health issues you’re dealing with. However, many doctors recommend a Mediterranean diet for seniors.
A Mediterranean diet involves lots of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.
Seniors should also work on reducing their consumption of sodium, sugar, and heavily processed foods. These foods contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other serious health conditions.
3. Don’t Skip Your Screenings
The sooner you can catch a problem, the better your chances are of curing it -- or at least minimizing its impact.
Many seniors don’t take advantage of the services available to them. For example, during their first 12 months on Medicare, they’re offered free physical exams. After that, they can also receive a free annual wellness visit.
Seniors should also be sure to visit the dentist regularly, especially since the risk of cavities increases with age. Conditions like diabetes and heart disease are also linked to mouth infections.
4. Use Natural Pain Relief Products
As you age, it’s common to experience more aches and pains.
You may be tempted to reach for ibuprofen or another over-the-counter painkiller to help you deal with this. However, these drugs can cause serious problems for seniors, especially when they’re taken in excess.
NSAIDs like ibuprofen have been linked to ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, increased blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, and abnormal liver function.
To avoid these and other side effects, try natural pain relief products instead. For example, you can use an all-natural arthritis pain relief cream to help with sore muscles and joints.
5. Prioritize Your Mental Health
In addition to your physical health, it’s also important to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being as a senior.
Make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep. When you’re fatigued, you’re more likely to experience depression and anxiety.
You should also spend plenty of time with others, especially if you live alone. Invite your children or grandchildren over to your house, or spend time with people your own age at your local senior or rec center.
Social media and phone calls are great for helping seniors stay connected, but you should also try to plan at least one face-to-face visit a week. It’ll give you something to look forward to and shake up your routine a bit.
If you haven’t made these five habits a part of your daily life, it’s time to start. They’ll improve your quality of life and help you feel better than before!