Healthy Aging – Lifestyle Choices for a Fulfilling and Active Senior Life

Daily activities have an enormous effect on how we age. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, regular physical activity, and maintaining an active social life all play an integral part in being well.

Staying hydrated is vitally important for seniors. To stay hydrated, they should drink fluids like water, low-fat milk products, unsweetened teas and coffee and other fluids that contain vitamin D and calcium fortification.

1. Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise is integral to healthy aging. Exercise strengthens bones, prevents falls, improves sleep quality and overall enhances wellbeing and health.

Exercise helps relieve stress and elevate mood. Active seniors have lower risks for chronic diseases, depression and anxiety – plus they look and feel younger!

Exercise! Never wait another moment! Discuss with your physician which types of exercises are safe for you or join an enjoyable social workout such as walking club; yoga, tai chi or other forms of movement which promote balance and strength may also be suitable options.

2. Eat Right

Eating healthy is important no matter your age, but the importance increases dramatically during senior years.

A nutritious diet should include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources and antioxidants – molecules which fight disease that protect against aging and many medical conditions.

Older adults often face difficulty accessing sufficient nutrition and calories due to difficulties chewing or swallowing food, decreased mobility that makes shopping and cooking challenging, changed smell and taste preferences and depression. While adjusting to new eating habits can help, finding physical activities and nutritional options that are enjoyable over time may make sticking with them easier.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential to healthy aging. Unfortunately, however, many older adults struggle to get enough restful sleep each night and this can leave them feeling fatigued and irritable throughout the day – as well as leading to health complications like high blood pressure or digestive problems.

Older adults can make simple adjustments to improve their sleep. By setting a regular sleeping schedule, limiting caffeine before bedtime and creating an environment in their bedroom that is dark, quiet and cool; older adults can increase the quality of their restful slumber. Should symptoms of sleep disorders such as excessive daytime drowsiness or snoring arise that require medical intervention (sleep apnea or dementia for example), consulting their physician immediately may also help.

4. Stay Active

Maintaining adequate rest and physical activity are essential components of an active lifestyle for everyone, but especially so for seniors. An active lifestyle can bring significant life benefits that transform lives for years.

Regular physical activity can help combat loneliness and depression, lower blood pressure and manage weight. Furthermore, engaging in regular activities can improve your mood while aiding sleep better at night.

Activities may range from walking and gardening, to taking water aerobics or yoga classes, and muscle-strengthening exercises twice every week can reduce falls risk while improving balance, as well as increase energy levels while relieving pain symptoms associated with illness. Discuss with your physician which are safest ways for you to remain active.

5. Maintain a Social Life

Social activities, such as group fitness classes, trips and events can help build a solid support system that seniors can lean on when the going gets rough. Plus, sharing exercise commitment makes sticking to an exercise regime simpler!

Hobbies can also provide seniors with another great way to socialize, as many enjoy cooking, sewing, gardening or playing card and board games with their peers.

Isolation and loneliness have been associated with increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and depression – encourage your older loved ones to spend time with family, friends and visiting neighbors regularly.

6. Stay Connected

Social engagement helps prevent a range of health conditions, including dementia, heart disease and high blood pressure. Seniors who regularly interact with family, friends and loved ones enjoy higher cognitive function and less risk for memory loss compared to those who don’t interact as often. Time spent together creates happy memories as well. Calls, video conferencing (like Skype) and emails are great ways of staying connected – try it yourself today.

Volunteering and joining group activities are great ways to build meaningful connections with other people. Studies show that volunteering can reduce depression, boost mood and extend lifespan.

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