Guest post written by Karen Weeks:
Things change as we get older. Our bodies lose some of their vibrancy over the years, making illness and limited mobility more likely. We go through challenging times emotionally as people we care about pass away, we step away from our careers, and we lose some of our independence. In some cases, our cognitive abilities wane.
While change is a fact of life, it doesn’t mean that you must accept a declining quality of life in your golden years. In fact, you are much more likely to enjoy a happy and fulfilled life as a senior if you take proactive steps toward good health. Along with helping you live longer, healthy living can significantly reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases and loss of mobility.
If you’re ready to evaluate your lifestyle and are open to making practical changes, here are some factors to consider:
As a senior, you should be going to checkups with your primary physician at least once a year. By taking the appropriate tests and discussing your health with your doctor, you can stay in front of potential concerns. Then your doctor can suggest any lifestyle changes and/or medication necessary to prevent or delay the concerns.
If you’re healthy enough to live independently but could use some help with everyday tasks, it might be worth considering moving to an independent living community. By downsizing to this type of home, you can live among other seniors and build healthy new friendships. Many facilities have various community activities, as well as laundry, meal delivery, and home maintenance services. Medical assistance is also optional in most instances.
If you’re interested in independent living, be sure to visit several different communities so that you know your options. Average prices for independent living facilities in Atlanta range from $1,500 to $11,200 a month.
Diet is important for everyone, regardless of age. However, as a senior, your body needs a certain balance of nutrients that is likely different than when you were younger. One good thing about technology is that it’s now easier than ever to prepare healthy, delicious meals at home, so take advantage of the cooking apps and websites available. In no time, you can be learning about nutrition and trying fun, new recipes.
Physical activity is another thing that every person should do on a regular basis. But remember that your bones and muscles tend to lose strength over time, and proactively keeping them strong is essential to preventing falls and other accidents. Plus, exercise is vital to reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and many other conditions.
Brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and yoga are some of the most popular forms of exercise among seniors. Once you find something you like, aim to do it for 30 minutes a day.
A lot of seniors struggle to get adequate sleep but according to Alert1, it’s critical to your health and well-being. If you’re not sleeping well at night, it’s time to make some changes. Here are a few tips for getting a good night’s rest:
● Establish a consistent bedtime and wake time.
● Cut out caffeine and spicy/acidic foods in the evening.
● Limit your alcohol consumption.
● Add light stretching and meditation to your bedtime routine.
● Keep the bedroom dark, cool, quiet, and free of electronic screens.
Though physical, emotional and cognitive changes come with age, you can maintain a high quality of life by taking care of your health. Be sure to visit your physician for regular checkups, and look into the possibility of joining an independent living community. Also, establish a good diet, exercise regimen, and sleep routine. Making simple changes like these can help you to live your happiest and fullest life during your golden years.