1. Do Something Active Every Day.
Regular activity helps to regulate weight, prevent illness, sleep better and reduce stress.
For many, it can be hard to find the time to exercise. Remember that you do not necessarily need to join a gym or go to a class to get the activity you need. Find something you enjoy that helps you maintain strength, balance and flexibility. Make conscious choices to increase activity each day. You may decide to do a workout video at home, walk a neighbour’s dog or walk to the post office instead of drive. Even small changes to your regular routine can help: parking in a far-away parking spot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or sitting on a fitness ball while you read are all good examples.
2. Be Conscious About What You Eat.
As we age, nutrition becomes very important in controlling weight and preventing illness. Heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis are all illnesses that can be prevented or controlled with dietary changes and exercise. Meeting our nutritional needs and maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for overall health. Get into the habit of buying healthy foods, discovering new recipes and paying attention to the types of foods you eat.
3. Find Ways to Manage Stress.
Chronic stress can wreak havoc on mental and physical health and cause a variety of symptoms. Stress is a regular part of life but if it is not managed well, it can become a major problem. There are plenty of ways to de-stress including relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga. Spending time with friends and making time for fun activities are also great ways to keep stress to a minimum.
4. Get Regular Check-Ups.
Stay up to date with immunizations and health screenings and visit your doctor and dentist regularly to ensure you are doing well. Regular check-ups are crucial as eyesight, tooth integrity and hearing tend to change as we age. Check-ups are vital to catch any problems early on.
5. Up Your Protein and Vitamin Intake.
Extensive research reveals that seniors are at a particularly high risk for low protein intake. Protein is crucial for maintaining muscle mass. Lean proteins can be found in meats, fish, and plant-based sources. Many seniors also have a vitamin D deficiency. Make a conscious effort to head outdoors or stay by a window whenever you can to increase vitamin D levels. Check with your healthcare specialist and ask if you should be taking any vitamins or supplements to improve your health.
Establishing healthy habits is important, but it can take time. Be patient with yourself and ask your loved ones for help and support when you need it. Taking even just one step to improving your health is better than taking none!