Choosing to live more fit and healthfully is a goal that isn’t just for younger people. In fact, seniors stand to benefit the most from taking charge of their health because everyday habits can have a major impact on their quality of life. Living well in your senior years is all about simple habits that make you feel better and age healthier.
Make Safety a Priority
Quality of life for seniors really depends on how you feel, both physically and mentally. One of the biggest threats to a good quality of life is the risk of injury. This means that one of the most important things you can do to protect your health is take precautions to stay safe, such as adopting safety technology in your home. Doing this is a good idea for all seniors, especially for anyone who has decreased mobility. A medical alert system can allow you to remain independent with the knowledge that you have easy access to help if you need it. Consumers Advocate is among the great resources available online to read up on your options, and they have helpful information about the best medical alert systems on the market.
Even when you are still active and healthy, the risk of falling is perhaps the biggest safety threat for seniors. Along with having a medical alert system in case of an emergency, you should also be proactive about preventing falls. Make your home safer by installing grab bars, improving lighting, and eliminating trip hazards. Staying on top of wellness exams, such as vision checks, can also help you stay safe and independent.
Aim for Balanced Nutrition
We usually associate the word “diet” with the idea of trying to lose weight. Diets often involve fad plans that have lots of restrictions. Trying to diet is often a recipe for failure, and limiting the variety of food you eat may even lead to poor nutrition. Instead, it’s important for seniors to focus on simple guidelines for getting the nutrients you really need.
Regardless of your weight or health status, it’s important to be aware of your changing nutritional needs and how different types of foods affect your health. For example, many people don’t know that your gut health (also called your microbiome) impacts your overall health in many different ways. New research has shown a link between what’s going on in our gut and how we feel emotionally. Adding fermented foods to your diet and, if needed, taking a daily probiotic are among the best things you can do. Giving your gut a little extra attention will result not only in a healthier digestive system, but it can also make you feel healthier and happier.
A balanced diet for seniors should also focus on heart health, as well as getting plenty of protein to maintain muscle mass. The best heart-healthy foods are fruits and veggies, lean sources of protein, and “good” unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado. According to Today’s Dietician, seniors also exercise and protein to fight off the loss of muscle that can happen as we age.
Eating plenty of protein is part of the equation for maintaining muscle mass, but staying active is just as important. According to US News, loss of muscle often starts to happen around age 50, and it can be a factor that contributes to falls and fractures later in life. You can reverse this trend with even a small amount of activity several times a week. Walking is a perfect exercise for seniors, and as long as you get your doctor’s approval, doing light resistance training is another great way to maintain muscle. Physical activity will give you a mood boost too, so it truly is one of the best ways you can care for yourself.
The reality of aging is that our bodies change later in life. That fact is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. These simple changes will help you take charge of your health and lead to a more fulfilling life.
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Author: Jason Lewis