Staying healthy is important at any age, but for seniors, it is even more important for living a long, happy, and active life. Here are tips to help maintain good health as you age.
Physical activity is an immune system booster. The more you move, the more your body is able to fight inflammation and infections.
The activity you partake in doesn’t have to be strenuous. Low impact exercises are effective, too.
You might consider biking, walking, swimming, or low impact aerobics. If you’re able to, engage in moderate intensity exercise for about 20 to 30 minutes a day to reach the recommended total of 150 minutes a weekTrusted Source
Modify your exercise routine to find what feels best for you.
Maintaining a healthy diet as you age is essential for living well . The digestive system slows down with age, so it becomes necessary to incorporate important vitamins and high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your loved one’s diet. Not only does adding fiber help seniors with maintaining a healthy diet, but it also can lower the risk of major health problems like stroke and heart disease.
Another health secret for seniors is to stay hydrated. Because they tend to generally feel less thirsty as they age, seniors are prone to dehydration . Make sure your loved one drinks plenty of water to stay energized and to avoid constipation and urinary tract infections.
Lack of appetite is a common cause of poor senior nutrition. It’s important to first address the causes of appetite decline in older people , according to research from the National Institute of Health Research. There can be many causes, but researchers concluded that simply improving the “mealtime ambiance” and “enhancing the flavor of food” can work wonders for a senior’s appetite.
Along with trying these tips to stimulate appetite in the elderly , you can really help support healthy eating habits by:
Encouraging shared mealtimes with friends and family
Offering visually appealing food
Suggesting a regular schedule for meals, snacks, and drinks
Maintain strong bones
Most of us really don’t think about our bones until one breaks. However, bone health, like other aspects of your health, needs to be worked on for years. The good news is that it’s never too late to take care of your bones and slow bone loss.
Want to know more about your risk for osteoporosis? Talk to your doctor about a DEXA bone density scan. It is a common screening test for women over 65 and can help predict your risk of fractures or osteoporosis.
Get plenty of rest
Not only can sleep reduce your stress level, but sleep is how your body repairs itself. For this reason, getting an adequate amount of sleep can result in a stronger immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off viruses.
Sleep is also important as you get older because it can improve memory and concentration. Aim for at least seven and a half to nine hours of sleep per night.
If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor to find the underlying cause. Causes of insomnia can include inactivity during the day and too much caffeine. Or it can be a sign of a medical condition like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
Keep medications organized and safe
Especially as we age, you might need to take different medications to manage different health conditions. It’s important to review your medications regularly with your pharmacist and your health care provider to make sure everything is necessary and to identify possible interactions.
Learn more about safely managing your medications:
The Top Warning Signs You Might Be Taking Too Many Medications
The Importance of Taking Your Medications as Prescribed
Why You Should Never Throw Away That Medication Package Insert
Do you have diabetes? Managing your medications and insulin can present some unique challenges. Here are “6 Medication Safety Tips for Older Adults with Diabetes”.
Remember cognitive health
Staying mentally active and learning new skills may even lead to improved thinking ability , according to the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health. Seniors should keep their minds sharp through various brain games and other engaging activities: Completing crossword puzzles, reading, writing, and trying new hobbies can stimulate seniors’ minds and help them engage with their surrounding environment to ward off cognitive decline.
Visit the dentist every 6 months
The risk for cavities goes up with age. Furthermore, oral health is directly related to overall health : Many mouth infections can be linked to serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The American Dental Association outlines the various concerns seniors over 60 should have regarding their oral health . Lastly, in addition to brushing and flossing daily, seniors should regularly see their local dentist to maintain healthy teeth and gums.