Age really is just a number if you’re staying on top of your health. Once you reach your senior years, you have the choice to let time weaken your body or let a healthy lifestyle strengthen it. Much of it depends on the decisions you made in your youth, but it’s not too late to turn back the clock. You can take action toward good health and longevity by focusing on these three areas.
Regular preventative care, testing, diagnosis, and treatment are vital when you get older. Aging means more doctor visits, but it doesn’t have to mean spending thousands of dollars on pricey medical insurance. After you turn 65, you can enroll in Medicare and purchase a supplemental Medicare Advantage Plan. If you’re less Internet-savvy, check out online resources to help you with step-by-step directions on using the Medicare Plan Finder.
Stay in Shape
Although you may not be as strong and limber as you were in your youth, it doesn’t mean you should stop exercising. You should actually exercise more in your golden years, to keep your body stronger and healthier. Exercise improves your cardiovascular system, joints and bones, immune system, and more. The result is a fit body that’s ready to live a long and healthy life. Get fit by trying one of these low-impact workouts for seniors:
- Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that teaches self-defense while bringing health benefits to the practitioner. Also called “meditation in motion,” Tai Chi is a stress reliever that combines balance and strength for a full mind-body workout.
- Water Aerobics are safe and effective for people with joint pain and knee problems. Rather than pounding the pavement, you can still get the benefits of aerobic activity and strength conditioning with the weightlessness of swimming exercises.
- Yoga has become a popular exercise because of its physical and mental health benefits for all ages and fitness levels. Besides relieving stress and improving moods, yoga helps with balance, flexibility, toning, strength, joint health, and pain. If your mobility is limited, you can start with chair yoga or beginner’s yoga.
Cook Light, Eat Whole
For disease prevention and overall health benefits, make sure you’re eating the most nutritious meals possible. The purest food comes from whole food sources, and the only way to guarantee that you’re eating whole foods is to cook it yourself. What that means is eating clean, fresh food without additives or complicated ingredients. Your kitchen should be filled with meat from the butcher, fresh produce, and uncooked grains and beans. The less your food is packaged, processed, or pre-made, the better. If you have the space and time, consider growing your own vegetables in a home garden and raising chickens for fresh eggs.
Seniors should eat a balanced diet like their younger peers, but there are additional nutritional requirements to consider for healthy aging. This is the time to eat more vitamins, nutrients, protein, calcium, and fiber. This is also the time in your life when fatty, greasy foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fights should be avoided.
Your taste buds evolve as you get older, and you might even find it difficult to prepare elaborate meals like you once did in your younger years. Try to cook light, keep your meals simple, and incorporate whole foods into your diet by following these easy recipes. Oatmeal, egg bakes, and yogurt are terrific breakfast ideas for optimal digestive function. Stir-fry, chili, slow cooker, and skillet meals work well for either lunch or dinner, but it’s always better to keep dinner light. Eat your larger meal at lunch, and stick to a filling salad or soup for dinner.
With age-related health changes and compromised immune systems, seniors are more susceptible to injury and diseases. The key to healthy aging is taking action to stay in tip-top shape and optimize your golden years. Take up a healthy lifestyle so you can have a better quality of life and more time to spend with your loved ones.