When you are a senior, something as simple as flu or a broken bone can lead to long-term complications. However, getting older does not necessarily mean you have led a poor quality of life, ridden with diseases.
While you can’t prevent some of the conditions that come with old age, small lifestyle changes can help make a considerable impact. Here are our top five tips for staying active, strong and healthy with every passing year.
Watch what you eat
Our nutritional needs change as we grow older and this is why it is crucial that we pay special attention to our diet as seniors. With every passing year, we move around lesser and experience muscle loss along with a decrease in our metabolic rate. An ideal diet should be low in saturated fats with small amounts of low-fat dairy, lean meat, and foods rich in antioxidants.
Keeping this in mind, we need to alter our everyday diet to incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, protein, good fats, nuts, and whole grains. Sugary and processed foods and drinks should be avoided as they can trigger inflammation and lower your immunity.
If you are someone who enjoys a drink now and then, consult your healthcare practitioner about the amount that can be consumed safely, without compromising your health. Smoking, on the other hand, is a big no-no as it can aggravate existing respiratory conditions and trigger new ones.
Finally, remember to stay hydrated. If drinking plain water is proving to be a challenge, you can spice it up by adding lemon and cucumber slices along with a few sprigs of fresh mint leaves.
Get in some exercise
As we age, our body loses a substantial amount of body mass, which in turn makes seniors prone to falls and breaks. Introducing some form of physical activity in your daily routine helps keep you stay strong, active, and healthy. It also helps manage your weight and reduces your risk of developing diabetes, and heart and lung disease.
If you have mostly led a sedentary life up till now, don’t worry, it’s still not too late. We suggest you start small with a walk or two and as the days pass by, you will have more stamina and strength to incorporate more forms of movement into your daily routine.
Get a good night’s sleep
As seniors, a lot of us have trouble falling or staying asleep. This then results in us waking up tired and grumpy the next day. For a good night’s sleep, we suggest you take a warm shower or bath before you hit the bed. You can also sip on a hot beverage like green tea or milk. And if nothing seems to work, take a short walk to tire yourself out for the night. You can also choose to unwind with some minutes of meditation, deep breathing, and/or yoga right before you hit the bed.
Additionally, we suggest you cut down on daytime naps if any. Reach out to your healthcare practitioner if the problem still persists.
Go for regular checkups
With age, we become susceptible to all kinds of weaknesses, conditions, and diseases. Our eyesight and hearing weaken, our bones turn brittle, and our muscles and organs don’t work the way they did in our 20s. We are also more prone to developing conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, which can often go undetected.
Getting checked and tested regularly can help with early diagnosis and prove to be a gamechanger in the treatment. Tests can also help detect deficiencies that can often be addressed by supplements if not by changes in the diet. As per your reports, your doctors can prescribe supplements such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 to boost your immunity and overall health.
Keep yourself busy
As seniors, sometimes when we have too much time on our hands, we end up feeling lost and without an aim. This is why it is important to take some extra steps to keep ourselves busy with hobbies and also stay socially active.
You could take up a hobby such as gardening, knitting, painting or pick up a book to keep yourself busy throughout the day. Short walks in a nearby park or just around your house even can also do wonders to lift your spirits. You can also take this time to reconnect with friends and family and grow your social circle.