7 TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

As you age, you want to ensure you have as healthy a lifestyle as you can possibly have. Understandably, there are some seniors who have severe health issues. My heart goes out to you. However, if you have been fortunate enough to not be in that group, then listen up. It may put years on your life and can certainly improve your everyday living.



This doesn’t mean that you will be able to start running circles around you 3-year-old grandson. But maybe you won’t get dizzy watching him run in circles. (LOL)☺ And you just might find that aging can be fun and interesting. You still have so much to offer to the world.

After researching this subject, I found 7 ways to improve and maintain as healthy an existence as you possibly can. None of the items in this list is rocket science. It is, however, a gentle nudge to remind you of things you may have ignored for a bit. Good Luck.


1. LIVE AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE

An active lifestyle is one way to maintain or else improve your health. Make certain you have a healthy weight for your height and age. Regular activity maintains a health body and mind. An active lifestyle is also the key to staying independent as long as possible.

Did you know that “being overweight can cause disruptive breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea) which further raises your blood pressure?” When you have a healthy weight it can prevent or else control many things such as:

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Depression

  • Arthritis

There are more, but for now know that being ACTIVE is the key to a longer and fuller life.

Here are a few ways a senior can stay active:


Get A Pet

Especially a dog, as they require that you regularly go for a walk. But even if you choose a cat, there are daily routines with a cat that cause you to be active.



Besides having to lean over to clean their litter and take it outside, you can also get interactive toys for you and your cat to enjoy. I know they love to have you throw a soft ball for them to chase. And you need to get up and go get the ball to continue the game. This is an activity.



Yoga

I understand many of you may not be able to do yoga, especially the really difficult poses. But there are slow and gentle yoga poses that most are able to accomplish. I recently started taking my mom to occasional yoga sessions. She has lost 20+ pounds. She commented that though she doesn’t do the exercises daily, there is a certain awareness that is turned on in your body when you do yoga that allows you to remember to keep a proper posture. Yoga

can also strengthen your back so you are able to use your stomach muscles again to pull in the sagging stomach.

Here is a Youtube called “Chair Yoga for Seniors, Yoga with Adriene” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ts01MC2mIo)

Swim

You don’t need to be Esther Williams to go for a swim. In fact, if you can’t make it across the pool at all, there are still things you can do to exercise in the water. Known as Water Aerobics, these exercises can work to relieve arthritis and joint pain as well as assist in maintaining your healthy weight or else weight loss.

Here are four water exercises for you to try:

  • Water jogging - can be as simple as walking along the side of pool while in the water, or else, if you’re able, walk across the pool (in the shallow end).

  • Flutter Kicking – we all know this one. It’s what we taught our kids when we were trying to get them to learn to swim. This is a great exercise. Just turn on your stomach and hang on the side of the pool and “let her rip” (kick them legs☺).

  • Leg Lifts – stand in the pool on the side and lift your legs one at the time. Do one leg then when that one is tired, do the other. Repeat as you are able.

  • Arm Circles- Stand with one foot in front of you and one foot behind you. Lift your arms out to the side until they are just below the surface of the water. Keep your arms straight and your palms down. Move your arms in a circular motion. Continue moving your arms in a circular motion for 10-15 seconds in one direction.


2. EAT HEALTHY FOODS

Healthy eating is an important topic. However, I feel when a lot of people hear someone start to talk about healthy eating they turn off their brains, much like the kids in Charlie Brown cartoon, who only heard their parents or teachers droning out “Wah-wah-wah!” Don’t do that.

The majority of people in the United States eat way too much salt, fat and carbohydrates. This leaves you with a large amount of people who have potential for hypertension and cardiovascular issues.


DID YOU KNOW?

Americans eat on average about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. However, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that's equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt!


START READING YOU LABELS

Just how much sodium is in that bread you are eating? But don’t stop there. The nutrition value on labels is based on one serving, therefore, you need to take the portion you are eating into consideration when calculating your actual intake of any nutrition.

Here’s two “Proverbs” for good eating:

  1. Do eat nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods.

  2. Avoid sweet, salty, and highly processed foods.

Each person has different dietary needs – so please follow your doctor's suggestions regarding dietary restrictions.”


One last word on nutrition: - DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

“To prevent dehydration, you need to drink adequate amounts of water. There are many different opinions on how much water you should be drinking every day. Health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember.”


3. SUSTAIN YOUR BRAIN

By definition, the word “sustain” means to strengthen or support physically and mentally. We have already addressed the need to good nutrition for a healthy body. But good nutrition is also important for brain health as well. Known as cognitive health, it is defined as “the ability to clearly think, learn and remember and is an important component of brain health.” Your brain works with the following:

Motor function (to make and control movement)

Emotional function (how you interpret and respond emotionally)

Sensory function (how well you feel and respond to sensations of touch, including pressure, pain, and temperature)

Besides maintaining physical activity and proper nutrition, there are also some fun ways to sustain your brain health:

  • Mind Games (crosswords, Sudoku, etc)

  • Get a Hobby

  • Jigsaw puzzles


4. MAINTAIN AND DEVELOP NEW RELATIONSHIPS

“Louis Cozolino, professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, is deeply engaged with another idea (of how to to keep your body and brain in optimal shape as you age. In Timeless: Nature’s Formula for Health and Longevity, he emphasizes the positive impact of human relationships.

“Of all the experiences we need to survive and thrive, it is the experience of relating to others that is the most meaningful and important,” he writes.”


5. GET PROPER REST

So how much sleep does an aging senior need: “The short answer: Grandma needs just as much sleep as you do. After age 18, most adults require seven to nine hours of shut-eye, no matter what decade of life they are in. However, the elderly often fall short of this number. About 44 percent of the elderly population experiences insomnia. The condition is more serious in this age group as it increases the risk of falls and can lead to cognitive decline”


6. LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS

Managing your stress level is one of the keys to health. Exercising and breathing techniques are helpful in managing stress.

“Symptoms of stress may include tension headaches, indigestion, heart palpitations, poor concentration, sleep difficulties, anxiety, irritability, crying, or overeating. If any of these symptoms are interfering with your quality of life.”

*If you are finding it difficult to deal with stress, speak with your physician. It is important you get a physical as stress can impact you physically without you being aware.


7. PREVENTION and BEING PROACTIVE WITH YOU HEALTH

Prevention and being proactive with health are similar. If you take heed and participate in all of the above tips, you are being proactive with your health.


GOOD IDEA HERE:

“A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin


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