10 Healthy Aging Tips
Seniors today continually look for ways to age as gracefully as possible. After all, it’s been said that 70 is the new 50! We are living longer, healthier lives these days thanks not only to advances in medicine and technology, but also because we are armed with the knowledge of what a healthy lifestyle really means.
The stereotypes of the grumpy old man sitting in his rocking chair and the little old lady spending her days knitting are quickly becoming things of the past. Although all individuals take their own course down the path of aging, the myth that becoming older means experiencing a decline in health and an increase in cognitive decline or depression has been debunked. Research shows that, more often, our lives actually tend to get even better as we age.
How to Age Well – Healthy Aging Tips for a Vibrant Future
The concept of healthy aging is not new, but over the past several years has grown in popularity. Here are 10 healthy aging tips to ensure you enjoy a vibrant, successful life, now and in the future
- Put your health first. Schedule regular checkups with your primary care physician, and get your vision and hearing checked annually. Early detection of many medical conditions is key to catching any issues as soon as possible, as well as to starting the proper treatment to keep you living well.
- Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Regular exercise not only improves your physical condition, but also helps you feel better mentally and emotionally. If you’re just getting back into fitness, set realistic goals and start slowly in 10-minute increments of activity. Find an activity you enjoy, and reward yourself in small ways to stay motivated to reach new goals—whether that means losing a little weight or climbing the stairs without taking a break.
- Enjoy nutritious meals and snacks. A healthy diet ensures you’re maintaining an ideal weight, and, like exercising regularly, may also enhance your emotional and mental health. Make sure to incorporate fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins into your meals and prepare healthy snacks like chopped vegetables or nuts so you’ll always have something nutritious to reach for when your stomach growls.
- Keep your brain active. Keeping your brain stimulated and engaged can help decrease your risk for the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Try taking a class at a local community college or try out a new hobby. The AARP website also offers plenty of online brain games to challenge your mind daily.
- Stay socially engaged and build relationships. Seniors who become isolated socially are at an increased risk for depression. Continue to reach out to loved ones, or find ways to spend time with others on a weekly basis. You can consider joining a club, volunteering or even picking up a part time job if you’re physically able.
- Tap into your creative side. Find your inner artist to give your soul a boost. Try learning a new instrument (or picking up one you played years ago), take a sculpting class, paint with watercolors, or even simply color in an adult coloring book. Tapping into your creative side can be as important as keeping your brain and body active for your overall health.
- Create a safe home environment. Senior safety starts in the home, so avoid a fall or accident by removing things like low furniture, throw rugs or electrical cords from pathways. Make sure all rooms have proper lighting, and add night lights to hallways and bathrooms so you can navigate safely in the nighttime.
- Get your z’s. Contrary to some beliefs, seniors need just as much quality sleep as their younger counterparts, which is seven to eight hours every night. If you have trouble sleeping as many older adults do, try establishing a nightly routine to wind down each evening, and avoid napping later in the day.
- Organize your life. You might find you’re as busy in your retirement years as you were when you were still working! Keep a daily or weekly calendar to stay on top of appointments, medications and social engagements.
- Lower your stress levels and think positively. Stress can have a variety of detrimental effects on your health, so find opportunities to relax and unwind. Exercise, meditation and a nutritious diet can help. Additionally, stay focused on all the positive aspects of your life instead of dwelling on the things that cannot be changed.
Age Gracefully at Franciscan Ministries
Choose the lifestyle that suits your needs at Franciscan Ministries’ senior living communities, where we’ve cared for generations of families for over a century. From vibrant independent living to compassionate assisted living and memory care, we offer a full spectrum of services to ensure you’re living your best life, now and in the future. To schedule a personal tour, please contact us today.