Getting older can be a gift in many ways, but if you want to age gracefully, healthily, and happily, you must take charge of your physical and mental health. You don’t have to accept deterioration as inevitable, and you can’t just assume you will feel fine as the birthdays tick by. To ensure you can live a full, independent life throughout your golden years, follow these tips.
Find Easier Ways to Eat Healthfully
Few things can affect your overall health and determine how you age more than what you put in your body. Your nutrition is vital. Many seniors know this and enjoy cooking and eating healthfully, but they struggle due to the difficulty of consistently obtaining fresh, healthy food. Whether it’s a mobility issue, the inability to drive, or fixed-income issues, going to the grocery often and avoiding cheap, quick, and easy fast food is tough.
Thankfully, there are ways to make it easier. Meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron and Plated deliver healthy, portion-controlled ingredients — ready to cook — directly to your door. There are also various apps that allow you to get your groceries delivered to your home. In addition, many local grocery chains participate in a service that does your shopping for you and brings your groceries to your car, free of charge.
Implement Daily, Senior-Appropriate Exercises
Exercise becomes more important as we age. It helps boost our immune system, alleviate joint pain, and improve cardiovascular health. However, this is only true if the exercise you insert into your daily life is age-appropriate and suitable for your physical needs and comfort level. After all, you don’t want to do more harm than good. Many senior-specific exercises are low-impact, lower-resistance routines designed to support older people’s musculoskeletal system. Swimming and yoga are top options, as is cycling. In terms of weight training, seniors are advised to use resistance bands instead of free weights or weight machines.
Keep Up with New Technology
One of the best and most enjoyable ways for seniors to keep their brains sharp and stave off cognitive decline is to continue to learn and utilize new technology as they age. Staying engaged with technology helps create neural pathways that are vital to aging happily and healthily. Beyond that, social tech and the internet can help seniors stay connected. Socialization is crucial as we age, and many seniors have a tendency to become isolated. One recent study notes that “using the Internet is associated with lower depression and loneliness and higher levels of social support, life satisfaction, purpose in life, and social capital … older adults often report using technology to prevent feelings of loneliness.”
Get Into Some New Hobbies
The benefits of hobbies for people of any age are well-documented. Hobbies help bring purpose, social interaction, and structure to your life. You can see why this is even more important for seniors. You should stick with hobbies you love, but it’s also important to develop a new hobby or two. The best hobbies for seniors are not only fun, but they also involve some form of exercise. This could be golf, tennis, gardening, hiking, walking, or volunteering.
Although there are aspects of aging that are out of your control, the good news is that you can affect the quality of your golden years through some simple lifestyle choices. Eating well and getting age-appropriate exercise on a daily basis is crucial for your body, and engaging in hobbies, games, social interaction, and new technology will help keep your mind sharp.
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