September 27, 2021

Simple Health Tips That Seniors Should Keep in Mind

As you get older, your body isn’t as resilient as it was when you were younger. You may notice that your workouts become more difficult or that it takes longer to recover from a simple cold. Investing time and effort into everyday healthy habits becomes even more important as you age. This will allow you to stay fit and make the most of your later years. Find out how to maintain your well-being with these simple health tips for seniors, presented below by the Southern Medical Association.

Get Your Exercise
Regular exercise helps keep you limber and combats the natural loss of muscle mass that comes with aging (a condition known as sarcopenia). The problem is that you require more recovery time the older you get. Additionally, joints tend to get worn down and weaker as cartilage deteriorates over time, making high-impact exercises difficult to pursue.

So, look for ways to stay active that don't stress your joints — swimming, cycling, and yoga are all excellent options. Everyday Health lists some senior-friendly activities for more inspiration; it includes everything from chair stands to leg raises. Joining a gym is a great way to try out diverse exercise courses: The International Council on Active Aging has an age-friendly facility locator to help you find a senior-friendly fitness center.

Eat for Your Age
Maintaining a balanced diet is important at any age. The United States government issues annual guidelines to help Americans determine what they should be eating on a daily basis. Use their My Plate Plan to find out what your healthy diet looks like: You can put in factors like sex and age to get a tailor-made suggestion precisely suited to your needs.

If you don’t get enough minerals and vitamins from your regular diet, a multivitamin can help; in fact, around 40 percent of Americans aren't getting the nutrients they need each day. Older adults, in particular, are at risk. There are many pills made especially for seniors available; Livestrong lists a mix of brand name and generic options for every price point.

Practice Preventative Care
Your doctor can run a simple blood test to determine whether you are getting the nutrients you need. This is one of the proactive preventative care measures you should take to remain healthy. An annual checkup to assess health stats such as cholesterol and blood pressure is also a must, as it allows your physician to pinpoint signs of potential problems before you may even notice symptoms yourself.

Take advantage of your Medicare plan to cover the costs of such doctor’s visits. If you are currently on Original Medicare, look into switching to Medicare Advantage. This provides additional benefits, such as vision and dental. You will also enjoy additional coverage for prescription drugs; find out how to change plans on the Medicare.gov website.

Preventative care extends to dental care as well. As we get older, our oral health becomes more important. So, visit your dentist regularly, and make sure you have a healthy oral health routine in place. Also, if you struggle to keep your teeth clean due to misaligned teeth, remember that you can take steps to correct this problem. Instead of relying on traditional orthodontics or something along the lines of Invisalign, consider using an affordable alternative such as NewSmile, which can produce results in about four to six months.

Learn How to Cook Healthy Meals You Love
Preparing your own food allows you to get invested in your nutrition while picking up a fun hobby. Caring People offers a list of senior-friendly recipes, from omelets for breakfast to pasta with shrimp for dinner. These ideas are easy and fast to prepare, making them ideal for beginner chefs. You don’t have to skimp on dessert either; check out these health-conscious options, from an easy apple crisp to a berry cherry smoothie.

Learning new skills such as cooking will make healthy living as a senior fun instead of tedious. Take the same approach when it comes to exercising, eating, or incorporating a multivitamin: It’s all about trying new things that will enhance your physical and mental wellbeing. Be patient and incorporate these changes one step at a time and soon enough you’ll find yourself enjoying a healthy lifestyle. 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

About the Author:
Lydia Chan is the co-creator of Alzheimers.net, a website that aims to provide tips and resources to help caregivers. After her mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she found herself struggling with finding balance between the responsibilities of caregiving and her own life. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experiences with caregivers and seniors.

Posted in: Medicine & Medical SpecialtiesPatient Education
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