More often than not, staying healthy in old age is a matter of making good lifestyle choices. It helps if you have been following these habits throughout your life, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start improving your health at any age. In many cases, all you have to do is adjust your perspective on what it means to live a healthy life and learn to adapt self-care habits into a senior lifestyle.
Learn To Cook For Yourself
Many seniors struggle to eat well because they are either too used to cooking for others or not used to cooking at all. Learning to cook for just one or two people is a specific skill, and one which most seniors could benefit from. These tips from SELF on cooking for one are a good place to start.
Exercise For Your Needs
A healthy lifestyle includes 150 minutes of exercise a week, which can seem intimidating. However, seniors should understand that they can find exercises suited to their needs. For instance, if you don’t feel comfortable exercising outdoors, there are plenty of easy indoor workouts you can do, from walking around a museum or a mall to using online fitness videos.
Take Up Yoga
Yoga is an excellent, well-rounded form of exercise. It is good for strength training, flexibility, pain relief, posture, balance, and more, making it ideal for seniors. It is also easy to do at home using online videos and requires little to no financial investment.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is the combination of habits surrounding your bedtime rituals. Creating a regular sleep routine, which includes taking time to wind down before going to bed at the same time every night, can help you sleep better and feel more focused and energetic during the day.
Keep Your Mind Active
Seek out forms of entertainment that keep your brain active and engaged in order to prevent cognitive decline. That means less daytime TV and more mentally-stimulating activities, like puzzles, strategy games, manual crafts, and reading.
Make an effort to spend time outdoors on a regular basis, whether it be gardening or taking a walk in the park. The benefits of engaging with nature for seniors include improved memory, more energy, reduced symptoms of depression, lower stress levels, and, overall, a longer life.
We tend to think of kids as the only group of people who would benefit from playtime, but this is an incredibly narrow view. Everyone can benefit from play in their lives, but you just don’t have the time during most of adulthood. With more time on your hands in retirement, you should focus on making time for fun. This guide by Great Senior Living has some great advice on incorporating play into your life, including suggestions for fun activities.
It’s normal for social groups to get smaller as you grow older, which means that you have to make an effort to meet new people and socialize. This is crucial for your well-being, as loneliness and isolation can have extremely negative effects on mental health. Join a new class, look up an online community that shares your interests, or find a social group for seniors in your area to surround yourself with friends.
There are hundreds of ways to practice self-care. It’s up to you to identify which ones suit your lifestyle and your needs. The basics are exercise, diet, sleep, and finding time for fun and enjoyment – with that framework, you can build any self-care routine you like. All you have to do is accept that healthy habits are available to you, and that you have a choice when it comes to improving your own well-being.