By Karen Weeks of ElderWellness.net
Your golden years can be the best years of your life. The healthier you are, the easier the aging process will be. While it’s ideal to begin a healthy lifestyle when you’re younger, you can make changes at any age to improve your quality of life. If you commit to nurturing yourself, you’ll continue on an upward path to longevity. Here are five key areas that will help you stay healthy during your senior years.
As the adage goes, you are what you eat. Diet is a big factor in determining your overall health. There are many ways to substitute bad eating habits with good ones (such as swapping water for soda), but the real work happens in the kitchen. You can make strides by eating clean 80 percent of the time and cooking most of your meals at home. As long as you’re not slathering every meal with butter and cheese or eating instant noodles, home cooking is healthier than what you could find at a restaurant.
Cooking doesn’t have to be an elaborate activity, especially if you’re only preparing food for one or two people. With simple recipes, you’ll only need a handful of ingredients and 30 minutes of cooking time. Sheet pan, skillet, and slow cooker meals are perfect for those who don’t have much time to spend on cooking and cleaning. To eat well without spending too much time in the kitchen, try something easy and healthy like salmon with green beans or egg roll in a bowl.
You might not be able to pump iron like you used to, but there are many things you can do as a senior. It doesn’t have to be much more than a nightly stroll around the neighborhood to get your heart pumping. If you crave adventure, consider joining an outdoor hiking group. If you want to work on your balance and flexibility, senior-centric yoga will do the trick. If you want to get into shape without causing injury to your delicate joints, try swimming or water aerobics. By participating in these activities, you’ll eventually build up plenty of strength and endurance.
People of all ages experience medical issues that need attention, but seniors are more susceptible to life-threatening diseases. At this stage, quality medical care is essential for a healthy life. With an affordable insurance program like Medicare, seniors never have to worry about not having coverage. A Medicare Plan Finder can help you search for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Plans. If you need some assistance, this online resource guide will explain how to use the finder.
Getting older means inevitably losing people in your life. Friends, family, and spouses may not be around forever; and the longer you live, the more loss you will experience. Depression is a reality for many people, but the added grief from a tragic loss may cause a drop in your mental health. Grief makes it easy to fall into bad habits and unhealthy coping strategies. To avoid letting destructive habits snowball out of control, surround yourself with healthy support while you cope with your loss. Also, seek emotional comfort from your loved ones who are still with you, or join a bereavement program online or an in-person support group.
Loneliness and isolation can be a problem for seniors. In some cases, losing loved ones is a main contributing factor to a diminishing social circle. It’s crucial to your mental health to continue socializing well into your senior years. If you don’t have family and friends in proximity to you, join a senior center to cultivate new relationships. It’s never too late to make friends, regardless of your stage in life.
Your health depends on many factors besides diet and exercise. Everything you do has an impact on your brain, body, heart, and soul. With a holistic approach to health, you’ll never have to let age stop you from living wholly. Youth is a concept, not a number, and it’s up to you to live youthfully and get the most out of your golden years.
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