5 Simple Habits that Can Help Seniors Live Healthier Lives

5 Simple Habits that Can Help Seniors Live Healthier Lives

Blog post by Jason Lewis of StrongWell.org

Are you trying to take control of your life as you age? Then you have to begin by taking control of your mental health and physical well-being. Your mind and body are closely connected, so improving one will always help balance out the other. What are the best ways for seniors to find this balance for themselves? By taking these simple steps.

Get Outside for Walks More Often

Over the years, there has been a lot of confusion over the benefits and risks of sunlight. While it is true that overexposure to harmful UV rays can have severe health consequences, like skin cancer and eye damage, avoiding those rays can have negative health effects too. Sunlight is important for the production of vitamin D, which boosts energy and mood. You can get the 10-20 minutes you need by taking your coffee outside in the morning, or you can go for a short walk to give yourself other health benefits too. Just be sure to wear sunscreen!

Of course, the sun doesn’t shine each and every day, which can limit the amount of time you spend outdoors. However, don’t let this stop you from getting in a walk. For example, you can walk around a mall or other large indoor spaces to ensure you’re still getting in your steps.

Take a Tai Chi or Martial Arts Class

Morning walks are a great source of activity for seniors. If you are looking for other gentle-yet-effective workouts, know that practicing tai chi can have benefits for your mental and physical health too. Not only will tai chi help tone muscles and tame stress, but it’s a great workout for fall prevention as well. If you’re looking for something with a faster pace, martial arts classes can be good for older adults too. You will get a whole-body workout while learning to defend yourself.

Do More Fall-Prevention Exercises

Working on your balance in a tai chi or martial arts class can reduce your fall risk slightly, but you need to do more to prevent falls from affecting your life. Falls are dangerous for older adults because of seniors’ increased risk of hip fractures and other injuries due to aging. Falls also have impacts on mental health, with increased instances of depression and anxiety in seniors who experience them. So, in addition to tai chi and martial arts classes, be sure to work these simple exercises into your daily routine at home as well.

Make Aging-in-Place Changes at Home 

More exercise can certainly help prevent you from falling. With so many senior falls occurring at home, it’s also important to make the proper upgrades to help you age in place with minimal risk. Your first priority should be to get rid of clutter, which presents a tripping hazard, so have a loved one help you sort through and downsize your belongings, if needed. You should also consider swapping your bathtub for a walk-in shower and installing grab bars for added safety in areas of your bathroom that tend to get slippery.

Grow a Vegetable Garden

Eating more healthy foods can help you live a happier and longer life. Vegetables should always be at the top of the list for seniors looking to improve their diet. Add in some lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats to really give your health and wellness a boost. There are many easy recipes to help you eat more of these nutrient-rich foods. To have easy access to all of those fresh vegetables, think about growing your own at home. You can start an edible garden in your backyard or even indoors by using containers. Look to grow some leafy green vegetables that are calcium-rich and can strengthen bones.

Just like in martial arts, discipline is the key to success if you want to improve your life. The daily habits you practice are crucial to your health as you age, so take better care of your mind and body, and provide yourself with a better quality of life.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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