Growing older means experiencing life changes. Children leave home, you enter your retirement years, and you start noticing physical changes to your body. Handling all these changes in a positive manner is the key to a healthy and active lifestyle for seniors.
Exercise and good nutrition habits are also important. Here are tips for leading a healthy lifestyle:
Tips for a Healthy and Active Lifestyle for Seniors
1) Plan a healthy diet. Decreased metabolism, slower digestion, and changes in taste and smell might affect your appetite. It’s vital to eat healthy to maintain your energy and overall health. Eat a variety of foods, including:
- Protein: Needed to maintain and rebuild muscles. Poultry, fish and eggs are low-fat choices.
- Carbohydrates: Carbs are the body’s preferred source of energy. You can get the carbohydrates you need from fruit, veggies and grains.
- Fat: Fat also provides energy. Try to get most of your fat from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. You can choose from less fatty meats, and use olive oil when cooking.
- Water: It cannot be stressed enough to drink plenty of water. Older adults are prone to dehydration, and without enough water you are not going to be as sharp or energetic.
2) Exercise daily. Most aging adults don’t get enough physical activity because they might be worried about injury or be self-conscious about going to a gym. But did you know that it’s more dangerous not to exercise? Exercise helps you maintain your strength and agility, helps prevent falls and injury, diminishes chronic pain, and can even make your feel better mentally. To get started with an exercise routine you should:
- Check with your doctor to see if there are any physical limitations you should be aware of.
- Find an activity you enjoy, like golfing or walking. If you enjoy an activity you’re more apt to continue with it.
- Do 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Start slow to build your endurance – your daily 30 minutes can be broken into 10 minute intervals throughout the day.
- Add in flexibility and strength exercises. If your muscles aren’t being used they are at risk of wasting away.
- Know your limits! Don’t push yourself too hard. If you feel dizzy or get chest pains, ease up on the activity immediately and call your doctor if you’re concerned.
3) Maintain routine doctor appointments. Get an annual exam and screenings for disease like cancer and osteoporosis. Remember that early detection is the key to fighting most diseases!
4) Stay social! Staying healthy also involves keeping busy and maintaining relationships with friends and family. You can join a club or travel, take a class or get involved in your community. Keep life exciting and ever-changing!