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Healthy Habits to Help Seniors Age
with Grace and Happiness
Unfortunately, aging often comes with physical and mental problems that make it difficult to maintain a good quality of life. However, there are several healthy habits that seniors can practice to continue enjoying the activities they love and support their bodies for as long as possible. Take control of your physical and mental health with these tips so you can relish your golden years.
Invest in Hired Help
Typical household chores, such as cleaning, mowing the lawn, and maintaining the landscaping, can become more difficult with age. Before you start a chore or project, think about the risk factor for injury. Invest in a service to help you tackle a strenuous task, so that you can maintain good physical health. Decide which type of service you need, then search online for local companies and their prices. In Fort Wayne, you’ll likely spend between $99 and $294 for a maid service, for example.
Treat Any Mental Health Problems
Did you know that over 20 percent of seniors suffer from a mental or neurological disorder, most often consisting of dementia or depression? Untreated mental health problems can contribute to physical ailments such as heart disease. Luckily, modern treatments involving psychological interventions and medicine can help treat mental issues so that elders can enjoy a higher quality of life. Early diagnosis of neurological disorders can help improve treatment outcomes. So, be sure to seek professional advice if you notice changes in your mood or behavior.
Get Regular Exercise
Only 1 in 4 seniors get a healthy amount of exercise on a regular basis. This is unfortunate since regular exercise can prevent many physical and mental ailments. For example, improving your muscle strength will reduce the risk of falls while increasing bone density protects you from fractures if you do fall. Cardiovascular exercise is great for your heart, increasing blood flow throughout your body and reducing your risk of stroke or heart attack. Exercising can even offset chronic pain, by reducing muscle tension and joint stiffness.
According to Livestrong, seniors can benefit from 15 minutes of daily physical activity, though 30 minutes is even better. Walking, hiking, biking and dancing (private lessons will likely cost $50 – $85 an hour) are great ways to get moving. You should also try to fit in about two sessions of muscle-strengthening activity each week, such as weight training or bodyweight workouts. Just make sure you wear sunscreen while you’re outside. Older skin is more delicate and vulnerable, making it increasingly prone to skin cancer and damage.
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at holding water. This makes seniors more likely to become dehydrated quickly. Older adults don’t perceive thirst in the same way as younger people and tend to drink less water as a result. It’s important to drink plenty of water to support your body and brain functions. Without it, you risk infection, weakness, fatigue, headaches and mood changes. Keep water readily available and try to eat fruits and veggies high in water such as cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon.
Keep a Well-Balanced Diet
Consuming proper nutrition in old age is important for preventing common age-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Choose nutrient-rich foods and avoid empty calories. Whole fruits, veggies, beans and lentils provide plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals that your body requires. Nuts, seeds and lean meats are excellent sources of protein. You can even buy frozen or canned veggies for more convenient meal options. Only consume unhealthy beverages and desserts on special occasions. Importantly, never skip breakfast. This morning meal helps regulate your metabolism and provides you with a necessary energy boost for the day.
Improve Your Sleep Quality
Getting plenty of rest helps seniors reduce memory problems and helps the body heal from disease. However, sleep disorders and disruptions often make it difficult for seniors to get a proper rest each night. Regardless of what is causing your sleep issues, there are ways to help promote a more restful sleep. First, receive treatments for any medical problems that are keeping you awake, such as arthritis pain or bladder problems. Then, try adjusting your bedroom environment to make it cooler, darker and quieter. If you can’t sleep at night, Everyday Health recommends getting up and do something relaxing instead of lying in bed.
Be conscious of your general health and how you’re feeling each day. That way, you can take control of any mental and physical problems before they become serious issues. Aging doesn’t have to mean becoming debilitated and unable to live the life you want. Though you may be slightly more prone to disease and physical injury, simple lifestyle habits can help keep your body and mind resilient so you can maintain your quality of life well into old age.