Staying healthy can be tough for many people. Busy schedules and factors outside of your control can affect your overall well-being. Senior citizens especially face challenges and life changes that require them to focus on healthy habits a bit more than other age groups.
But there’s great news: It only takes some small tweaks to take control of your health.
Incorporate Movement Into Your Life
Exercise is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. Lifting weights, running, and dance classes are great ways to stay active, but these exercises can be intense for some people. Harvard Medical School says walking is a great low-impact exercise to incorporate into your routine. In a study, persons between the ages of 70 and 89 who walked regularly were up to 28 percent less likely to require assistance than people who didn’t.
The same study showed that people can feel the benefits of exercise regardless of when they start. Approximately 150 minutes of walking per week and strength training two to three times per week are all it takes to reap the benefits of physical activity.
Make Healthier Food Choices
With all the marketing and publicity for fad diets, eating healthy may seem impossible, boring, and downright expensive. The National Council on Aging mentions that eating healthfully can be as simple as learning to recognize all five major food groups and figuring out how much of each you should consume each day. A varied diet will help you get the right nutrients, so aim to include the following into your meals: lean meats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
You can opt for nut milk if you are lactose intolerant. Try to eat colorful meals, and make sure you eat enough fiber and vitamin D. Read ingredient labels, and remember to check sodium, fat, and sugar levels. Most people require 2,000 calories per day, but everyone is different and some will require more or less to get the right nutrients.
Look for Causes of Fatigue
It’s normal for older adults to feel different as the years go by; muscle and bone density loss, changes in skin elasticity, and vision changes are perfectly normal. You may have been exercising and eating a nutritious diet for years and still feel tired or fatigued. If this is the case, consider other root causes for any changes in health or mood.
Do you live in a humid or rainy area? Maybe your home or place of business has mold. This is a generic name for different types of fungi and bacteria that can damage a building’s structure and cause allergies or other health issues in people. Headaches and respiratory problems are signs you should look for. Other indoor air pollutants that cause harm include dust mites, cockroaches, termite dust, and carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and radon, a gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in people who don’t smoke.
You can mitigate these issues by using non-toxic products, opening bathroom windows periodically, and changing the water in your humidifier every day, if you have one. A trained home inspector can detect these issues so you can address them before they cause serious problems.
Manage Stress Levels
Stress management is known to improve your mood and physical health. Effective ways to deal with stress include yoga, meditation, and cognitive puzzles. Breathing exercises are another a tried and true method that can calm you down. With practice, some of these methods may also help you avoid future stress triggers as well.
It’s true that maintaining your health seems difficult. Older adults also deal with new issues as their life changes. If you put these tips into practice and take these small steps consistently, you will be on the path to a healthier you.
About The Author
Harry Cline is creator of NewCaregiver.org As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be.
He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.
Harry Cline | firstname.lastname@example.org
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This video is quite lengthy, but does deal extensively with improving health and aging well!!