As a senior citizen, there are a number of things that you can do to improve your overall health, keep your mind sharp, reduce the risk of injuries and prevent or delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Two of the most important things that you can do for your body and mind is to engage in an exercise routine and ensure that you receive proper nutrition. Additionally, it is important that you engage in mental exercises that aid in the healthy aging of your mind. By keeping your mind stimulated and challenged, you will likely experience an increase in your memory capabilities and cognitive thinking. Finally, it is important to take charge of your health and life by following five simple steps that can help you to lead a more fulfilling life. To learn more about the healthy living recommendations for senior citizens, review the information that has been provided within the sections below.
By engaging in a regular exercise routine, you can live a healthier lifestyle with a stronger body and mind. While exercise is important at any age, there are a variety of health benefits that senior citizens can gain by moving around more and engaging in endurance exercises, interval training and strength training. Exercise is the antidote to aging, as studies show that a regular exercise routine provides the following substantial benefits:
It is a common misconception that many of the symptoms that senior citizens succumb to simply correspond to aging. In fact, the symptoms that you experience may very well be symptoms of not moving around enough.
One of the most important types of exercises that a senior citizen can participate in is endurance exercises such as walking, running, cycling and water aerobics. It is recommended that you engage in at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense cardio workouts each day, with a minimum of 150 minutes each week. Not much of a runner? Aqua aerobics is considered one of the most beneficial exercises for seniors as they can easily be performed, even with certain disabilities or conditions that may induce stiffness or limit movement. Water aerobics also provide senior citizens with improved reaction times, greater flexibility and an opportunity to socialize with others in the pool.
Malnutrition can lead to serious health failings including a weakened immune system, increased muscle weaknesses, weakened bone mass, an increased risk of hospitalization and even death. As you age, your ability to produce and absorb nutrition declines, making it all the more imperative that you maintain a healthy diet in order to avoid persistent health concerns and chronic diseases. Having a proper diet can also reduce your risk of obesity, which is a rising problem for senior citizens due to the overconsumption of calories and lack of exercise.
Having a healthy diet will keep your body stronger, your metabolism higher and your mind sharper. You will also find that you have more energy levels and that you will likely see a reduction in the symptoms that you may have associated with getting older.
A healthy diet should include lots of brightly colored fruits and dark, leafy vegetables, including blueberries, raspberries, kale, spinach and Swiss chard. Fortunately, frozen fruits and vegetables contain the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruits and vegetables, so you need not break your budget in order to experience a healthier diet. Dairy is another crucial part of every senior citizen’s diet, as the calcium and vitamin D found in milk, yogurt and cheese are important nutrients that senior citizens should consume more of. Fiber and B vitamins can be found in whole grains, including breads and oatmeal, and protein is abundant in meat, beans and nuts. If you do eat meat, then strive to stick to lean protein such as poultry and fish. When eating fish, it is recommended that you consume fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, as these fish are loaded with Omega-3s, which can reduce joint pain, decrease the risk of heart disease and lower risks for depression.
While the brain is a complex organ, it is still a muscle that can be strengthened in order to sharpen your mind and prevent or delay the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. By exercising your mind, you can also improve your cognitive thinking, better your focus and improve your memory. Your genes play a prominent factor in how your brain will age, but there are several factors that are under your control such as diet, exercise, social interactions, maintaining your mental health, protecting your head, brain exercises and avoiding tobacco products.
Social interactions play a large role in maintaining a healthy mind, as the lack of social interaction can accelerate brain aging. Social interactions also have the ability to stimulate the neurochemistry inside of your brain. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep in contact with friends and loved ones. Consider social activities such as gatherings and volunteer work.
Not only does tobacco pose serious risks to your heart and lungs, but it can also increase the risk of brain decline. Even if you have been smoking for decades, it is never too late to quit. In fact, studies show that smokers who give up tobacco can reduce their risk of brain decline to the same levels as an individual who has never smoked in their life.
You should always protect your head by wearing your seatbelt, even when in the backseat of a car, and wearing a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bicycle. Even brain injuries that are as mild as a small concussion can impair brain function and cause a serious decline.
There are a number of brain exercises that you can engage in order to keep your mind active and challenged. While games such as crossword puzzles, number games and even video games can keep your brain challenged and active, even learning a new skill or a second language can do wonders for the health of your mind. Simple tasks such as eating with your non-dominant hand on occasion can stimulate your brain.
We have all met an older adult who looks, feels and acts far younger than they actually are. So what is their secret? Studies show that the ability to take charge of your life, getting enough sleep, learning how to cope with stress, refusing to take things slow and remaining optimistic can help you age healthily and live a more fulfilling life.
The power of optimism is astounding. The Mayo Clinic conducted several studies over decades on individuals who were categorized as optimistic and pessimistic and found that pessimists have a 19 percent increased chance of dying in any given year. Not only that, but individuals who viewed themselves positively often did better on memory rests and could cope with stress better than pessimists. Optimism has also been discovered to have an effect in strengthening immune systems and lowering blood pressure. Fortunately, even if you are not currently an optimist, you can become one with a bit of practice.
While stress is inevitable, especially after the loss of a job or loved one, it is important to learn new coping techniques in order to maintain a healthy mental state. Prolonged stress can lead to a number of problems such as memory loss, the reduced ability to recover from an illness and fatigue. You can reduce your stress by utilizing relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and regulated breathing techniques. Additionally, having a positive attitude, keeping things in perspective and striving to accept the things you cannot change can help you to improve coping abilities.
It is important to take charge of your health. Are there any ways that you could improve your health, such as eating better or engaging in a healthy exercise routine? Do you visit your doctor regularly and discuss health concerns with your doctor? When was your last flu shot? Many illnesses are preventable and treatable. There are also a number of ways that you can prevent illnesses such as avoiding touching your face and washing your hands frequently. Learn more tips about for healthy aging here.