Achieving and maintaining good health is a lifelong journey. Some aspects of wellness stay the same throughout our lives (eating vegetables, exercising regularly), while others are introduced as we age (particular health screenings, preventing falls). But no matter what your age, chances are there are some things you could change in your life to improve your body and mind. If you’re in your sunset years, check out the healthy living tips for seniors below. Our helpful hints and words of wisdom can get you into tip-top shape.
Healthy Living Tips for Seniors
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Your diet should include plenty of vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains, low-fat dairy, seafood, lean meats, eggs, beans, and nuts. It should be rich in fiber, low in fat, and nutrient dense.
- Limit your intake of refined grains. These include white bread, white rice, and pasta. Simply switch these out for whole-grain versions for improved health.
- Limit indulgences. Although you don’t have to cut them out completely, avoid indulgences and guilty pleasures like alcohol, soda, sweets, fast food, and junk food.
- Stay active. Do something every day to stay fit, whether that’s a dance class, a walk after dinner, or some simple stretches.
- Strengthen your heart. Get your heart rate up a few times a week to keep your heart healthy. Ideally, you will perform aerobic exercise at least 150 minutes a week (spread throughout the week).
- Build your strength. Strength training is critical for seniors, because our muscles and bones weaken as we age. Try to strength train at least two days a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Learn what a healthy weight range is for your height by talking to your doctor or using a BMI calculator/chart. Then, reach that range and stay within it by eating right and exercising.
- Stretch. Flexibility is increasingly important as we age, and it can prevent dangerous accidents. Do a bit of stretching every day to keep your muscles loose and elastic.
- Visit your doctor regularly. Especially if you have specific health concerns, schedule regular appointments with your general physician, dentist, optometrist, audiologist, etc. Their personalized, professional advice is essential, making this one of our most important healthy living tips for seniors.
- Prevent falls. Falls are much more dangerous as we age, so prevent them by carefully preparing your home. Remove loose carpets and rugs, keep the floors clear and clutter-free, wear supportive shoes with good traction, and keep your hallways and stairs well lit.
- Stay up to date on immunizations and health screenings. As we age, we are urged to undergo more immunizations and health screenings: mammograms, prostate exams, flu shots, etc. Consult with your doctor for more information.
- Protect your skin. Wear sunscreen every day, and be sure to cover your head when you’re in the sun.
- Don’t smoke. Although you may be tempted to say it’s too late, you never know how long you will live. Smoking can cause cancer, strokes, heart failure, and more. If you smoke, do your best to quit.
- Stay connected to friends and family. Keeping in touch with friends and family and socializing regularly is good for your mental health. Plus, it’s fun! Visit your local senior center, volunteer in your community, attend an event, or join a club if you’re having trouble making new friends.
- Manage your stress. To eliminate stress, try engaging in meditation or yoga. Exercise is great as well and will release endorphins. Everyone has their own personal way of relaxing, whether that’s sewing, playing bridge, or going for walks, so find yours and use it to reduce your stress levels.
- Be optimistic. Try to have a positive outlook on life, embracing changes and confronting challenges with courage. Some people find that spirituality is beneficial to this goal.
Use these healthy living tips for seniors to strengthen your body, improve your happiness, and possibly even extend your life. Tackling them all at once can be overwhelming, so we recommend taking it (like all things in life) one step at a time.
Looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville. Our warm and inviting community makes it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle, with home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. To learn more about our amenities and services, please give us a call at 901-854-6590 or contact us online.