Living a healthy lifestyle comes easily for some people, but for many seniors, it takes some extra work. There may be disease or illness at play, or it might be tricky to navigate changes such as daily exercise due to mobility issues. There are many factors to think about, from making sure your mental health is well taken care of to keeping your body fit and supplied with all the nutrients you need, and it can be a little overwhelming if you’re unsure of how to get started. It can also be stressful, especially if your doctor has mandated that you make healthy changes.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can ensure that your lifestyle works for you. Think about bad habits — such as smoking, not eating well-balanced meals, or lack of daily exercise — and start from there. Making these changes can be hard at first, but if you can find a way to keep yourself motivated, it will become easier over time.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to live healthy and with less stress.
You’re probably already aware of how big a role nutrition plays in your health and well-being, but you may not realize the consequences of poor eating habits. Foods like red meat, refined sugars, and chocolate can have a negative effect on your ability to get good sleep and can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, while things like berries, nuts, and dark leafy greens can boost your energy and prevent inflammation. A healthy diet should go beyond “fruits and veggies” to include the specific things you need as you get older. Talk to your doctor about how to include all the foods you should be eating into your regular diet.
Get to know your health care plan
Your health care plan will become more and more important to you through your retirement years, so it’s critical that you’re always familiar with it. Most seniors have access to Medicare, which can be an invaluable resource along with a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plans. Do some research to find out what your options are every year during enrollment and to stay informed on any changes that may occur to the policy, as well as to look for supplemental plans that can help you pay for prescriptions and dental care.
Staying social is a huge benefit for seniors; not only does it help prevent loneliness and boredom, but it can actually keep you healthier both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that seniors who keep an active social life are healthier overall and are at a reduced risk for diseases that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s. Consider joining a group at church, or meet up with friends once a week for lunch or to go for a walk. The more you can do to keep your social calendar full, the better off you’ll be.
Know your limits
It’s important for every senior to know their limits when it comes to being able to do the things they used to do. As we age, there are some activities that become a little trickier — such as driving — and while there are ways to make some activities work, it’s always good to know when you should ask for help. Safety is a priority, so look online for alternatives. For example, if you no longer feel comfortable driving, consider taking an Uber, or look for a service that helps seniors get to the places they need to go. These days, you can also get a lot of things delivered right to you, which makes life a lot easier.
Living healthy without stress or anxiety can be a struggle for many people, but as a senior, it’s important to keep your mental health in good shape. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to change your lifestyle, and always get his opinion before making big changes to your routine. With a good plan, you can stay on track for years to come.