3 Simple Steps For Seniors To Boost Their VitalityPosted on December 23, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Activities of Daily Living, Blog, Healthy Living, Independent Living, Senior Living
Don’t fall for the myth that growing older automatically means you’re not going to feel good anymore. It is true that aging involves physical changes, but it doesn’t have to mean discomfort and disability. While not all illness or pain is avoidable, many of the physical challenges associated with aging can be overcome or drastically mitigated by eating right, exercising, and taking care of yourself.
It’s never too late to start! No matter how old you are or how unhealthy you’ve been in the past, caring for your body has enormous benefits that will help you stay active, sharpen your memory, boost your immune system, manage health problems, and increase your energy. In fact, many older adults report feeling better than ever because they are making more of an effort to be healthy than they did when they were younger.
As we age, eating well is a priority
As you age, your relationship to food may change along with your body. A decreased metabolism, changes in taste and smell, and slower digestion may affect your appetite, the foods you can eat, and how your body processes food. The key is to figure out how to adapt to your changing needs. Now, more than ever, healthy eating is important to maintain your energy and health.
- Load up on high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Your whole digestive system does slow as you age, so fiber is very important. Consume fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. They will help you feel more energetic and give you fuel to keep going.
- Put effort into making your food look and taste good. Your taste buds may not be as strong and your appetite may not be the same, but your nutritional needs are just as important as ever. If you don’t enjoy eating like you used to, put a little more effort into your meals, including the way you flavor, prepare, and present your food.
- Watch out for dehydration. Because of physical changes, older adults are more prone to dehydration. So make sure you are drinking plenty of fluid, even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you’re not getting enough water, you’re not going to be as sharp and your energy will suffer.
- Make meals a social event. It’s more enjoyable to eat with others than alone. If you live alone, invite other people over. It’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and you can share cooking and cleanup duties.
As we age, get creative with exercise
Many seniors and elderly don’t exercise as they get older. However, exercise is vital for staying healthy throughout life. It helps you maintain your strength and agility, gives your mental health a boost, and can even help diminish chronic pain. Whether you are generally healthy or are coping with an ongoing injury, disability, or health problem, regular exercise will help you stay physically and mentally healthy and improve your confidence and outlook on life.
- Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Find out if any health conditions or medications you take affect what exercise you should choose.
- Find an activity you like and that motivates you to continue. You may want to exercise in a group, like in a sport or class, or prefer a more individual exercise like swimming.
- Start slow. If you are new to exercise, a few minutes a day puts you well on the way towards building a healthy habit. Slowly increase the time and intensity to avoid injury.
- Walking is a wonderful way to start exercising. Exercise doesn’t have to mean strenuous activity or time at the gym. In fact, walking is one of the best ways to stay fit. Best of all, it doesn’t require any equipment or experience and you can do it anywhere.
As we age, there’s nothing like a good nights rest
Many seniors and elderly complain of sleep problems as they age, including insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and frequent waking during the night. But getting older doesn’t automatically bring sleep problems. Poor sleep habits are often the main causes of low–quality sleep in adults over 50.
- Naturally boost your melatonin levels at night. Artificial lights at night can suppress your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. Use low-wattage bulbs where safe to do so, and turn off the TV and computer at least one hour before bed.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool, and your bed is comfortable. Noise, light, and heat can interfere with sleep. Try using an eye mask to help block out light.
- Develop bedtime rituals. A soothing ritual, like taking a bath or playing music will help you wind down.
- Go to bed earlier. Adjust your bedtime to match when you feel tired, even if that’s earlier than it used to be.
Thank you to HelpGuide.org