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The Importance of Living a Healthy Lifestyle as a Senior

We should always strive to live a healthy lifestyle, including eating a well-balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and getting a good night’s rest. Often times, younger individuals who stay on top of their health, evolve into healthy seniors, but it’s never too late to focus on your health. With that in mind, consider the following lifestyle tips that seniors can adopt to cultivate and maintain a healthy, fulfilling life.

Nutrition

As we age, our digestive system slows down and our sense of smell and taste change, all of which can negatively impact our appetite. Therefore, it’s important to consume plenty of fiber-rich foods, including whole grains, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. A high fiber diet will aid slow digestion as well as provide energy. Additionally, drinking plenty of water is essential as seniors can easily become dehydrated. So, be sure to drink water even when you’re not thirsty. Plus, drinking water is one of the best-kept beauty secrets, as it helps skin look and feel younger.

Exercise

Research has shown that engaging in regular exercise contributes to a longer lifespan, even if a person begins exercising as a senior. Plus, seniors who exercise and keep their health in check, typically have increased mobility and stamina. Consequently, this improves mood, energy levels, memory, and overall well-being. So, talk to you doctor to devise an exercise program that is tailormade for you.

Mental Health

Although the symptoms of an aging human brain, such as forgetfulness, cannot be stopped, they can be slowed down. For example, research attests that seniors, who regularly engage in number puzzles, crosswords, and other brain teaser games that stimulate the mind, experience improved brain function, including better memory and attention span.

Preventative Measures

It’s important for seniors to schedule regular doctor’s visits so they can catch medical issues early or even prevent them altogether. For instance, it’s recommended that seniors are regularly screened for heart problems, colon cancer, and high cholesterol. Typically, these types of tests are covered under Medicare. Additionally, seniors are encouraged to get their yearly flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccines, which help prevent pneumonia in those 65 and older, according to the CDC. Remember to see your dentist every six months as well because seniors are more prone to developing cavities compared to younger adults. Not to mention, infections that originate in the mouth can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke. If you happen to wear glasses, it’s advised to get your prescription checked and screened annually. Seniors who wear their glasses with the proper prescription drastically decrease their risk of falling.

Sleep

Insomnia along with frequent waking are common disorders among the senior community. Thankfully, there are ways to achieve a more effective night’s rest. For example, you’ll want to decrease the amount of artificial light that is present in your bedroom about an hour or so before going to bed. Artificial light suppresses melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for making us feel sleepy. Moreover, you’ll want to ensure the environment is favorable for sleep, including a room that is cool and quiet and a mattress that is comfortable. Finally, you’ll want to revise your bedtime rituals so they promote better sleep. Whether it’s listening to relaxing ocean sounds, reading a book, or taking a warm bath, discover what works best for you.

Socialization

Regular visits from friends and family help seniors feel appreciated and ward off depression. This holds especially true for seniors who suffer from a lack of mobility. Even a short visit can mean the world to a senior because it helps them feel more connected to their loved ones’ lives.

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