Baby boomers have redefined what it means to be a “senior citizen,” staying more physically active and eating better than previous generations. A large part of that is an awareness of what it takes to be healthy throughout life. But older adults are also now benefiting from improvements in medicine and years of good living. As you get older, here are a few small things you can do to keep both your mind and body in good shape.
Consider your typical day. How much of it is spent moving around? Find ways you can do the same things you currently do in a typical day while adding in more activity. If you’re watching your favorite TV show, combine it with some yoga poses or walking in place. When you go to the store, instead of circling the parking lot, looking for a close spot, park a little farther and get some extra steps in. Lastly, a fun class geared toward older adults can be a great way to have fun, meet people, and work on building balance and strength.
Focus on Healthy Habits
As we get older, we become far more aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. This includes making an effort to eat well. High-fiber foods packed with nutrients will contribute to productive digestion and overall good health. Also make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, particularly if you’re working more physical activity into your daily life.
Living in an independent or assisted living community provides ample opportunities to socialize. No matter where you live, chances are there are local gatherings available for you. Check with senior centers and organizations that cater to older adults. You can sign up for everything from weekly card games to bus trips that let you explore various destinations. Loneliness can be bad for your health, so if you need those interactions, make sure you take advantage of opportunities to get them.
Stress is often put in the context of working. However, there are plenty of stressors outside of work, even once you’re retired. You could have family members who don’t get along or your finances are stretched to the breaking point. Whatever the cause, this type of mental pressure can take a toll on your health. Physical activity can be a big help, as it releases endorphins, but you can also use breathing exercises and calming music to ease stress.
Don’t Forget to Relax
Rest is closely associated with our golden years, but if you’re active, it can be easy to forget the value of doing nothing. Find something restful that you enjoy and work it into your daily schedule. Even if it’s just lounging in your favorite chair and reading a good book, it’s part of a good self-care regimen. Better yet, make plans to have lunch with friends once a week and check off both social activity and relaxation boxes at once.
Keeping both your body and your mind in good shape as you get older can be both manageable and fun. Don’t feel pressured to make sweeping changes at once. You can gradually make small adjustments to your daily activities and start enjoying the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle.