Retirement years can be some of the most fulfilling of life. To help older adults feel their best and make the most of these years, we’ve created a list of 10 healthy aging tips for seniors.
10 Healthy Aging Tips for Seniors
1. Find Activity Options You Like
Exercise has well-known benefits, including controlling weight, elevating mood, strengthening bones and muscle, improving sleep, and preventing chronic diseases. But forcing yourself into workouts you don’t enjoy isn’t sustainable. Seek out aerobic exercise activities you enjoy, classes you’ll look forward to, or workout buddies who make fitness sessions more fun. If you like your exercise, you’re more likely to make it a habit.
2. Eat to Nourish Your Body
Healthy eating can help the systems in your body run better and fend off disease. Instead of trying to overhaul your diet, aim for manageable adjustments that will contribute to your health. Include fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and nuts. Cut back on processed foods, high-fat meats, sugar, salt and butter. Celebrate your smart choices, and give yourself credit for small nutrition wins.
3. Set Yourself Up to Sleep Well
Older adults often experience more difficulty falling and staying asleep. Unsettled sleep or lack of sleep can affect cognition, metabolism, immune system and emotional health. Creating a routine around your sleep can help you set your body clock and encourage deeper and longer rest. Lower the lights before bedtime. Limit screen time just before you sleep. Put on soothing music or spray a calming scent in your bedroom. Avoid alcohol or caffeine in the evenings. If you’re still experiencing challenges with sleep, talk with your doctor to see if any of your medications may be the culprit.
4. Connect with Loved Ones Regularly
Strong social ties benefit your overall mental health. Maintaining relationships can stave off dementia and depression. Set up regular opportunities to socialize with friends and family, perhaps a weekly card game, monthly book club or a regular lunch.
5. Monitor Your Physical Health
When you know what’s happening with your health, you can react quickly as needed. Make and keep regular appointments with your primary care physician, dentist, eye doctor, and any specialists you see. Each visit gives you the opportunity to bring up any changes you’ve experienced lately and hear a doctor’s expert opinion.
6. Embrace Healthy Emotional Outlets
Acknowledging and understanding your negative emotions is much healthier than trying to ignore them. When you feel angry or frustrated, something around you may need to change. Try to figure out what you can change to help the situation, but for residual feelings of stress, find healthy outlets for your emotions, such as exercise, artistic pursuits, gardening, meditation and volunteering.
7. Challenge Your Brain
Keep your mind sharp with logic puzzles, strategy games, reading and writing. You may serve on boards or councils, or you may lead a club where you have to make high-level decisions. Challenging your brain in these ways can help keep your cognitive health strong.
8. Share Your Time and Talents
Volunteering helps boost your self-confidence and provides a sense of purpose. It helps build relationships and ease depression. Find a cause you’re passionate about, or look for an opportunity to use your unique skills to help someone.
9. Aim to Worry Less
High levels of stress can cause or exacerbate conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, depression and anxiety. As much as possible, limit significant sources of stress. Express gratitude, reach out to others for support, practice progressive muscle relaxation, listen to music, and practice breathing techniques.
10. Find Joy in Aging
While aging brings its own challenges, it also provides unique freedoms, invaluable perspectives, stronger social skills and inherent wisdom. One of the most important healthy aging tips for seniors is to embrace all the wonderful benefits that come with age.
At Essex Meadows, we’ve created a culture of holistic wellness, embracing every aspect of residents’ health. If you’d like to know more about life at our community, contact us. We’d be happy to share more details.