Health & Longevity

10 Tips To Help Seniors Boost Mental And Physical Health

As you age, it can be easy to continue bad habits and ignore your personal well-being. If that sounds like you, then it has never been more important to make a change! Leading a healthy lifestyle won’t just help you to live longer, but also to live happier. That sounds like a win-win to us.  

In an effort to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle through your golden years, we’ve gathered ten essential tips that will help you live happier and healthier. Applying them in your everyday routine will help you get the most out of your life and will help life bring the best out of you. 

1. Eat Well

They say that you get out what you put in, and your diet is no different. Eating a well-balanced diet is an excellent way to stay energized and healthy. Make sure that you are getting enough fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients while avoiding excess salt, sugars, and saturated fats. The right diet can help you mitigate the risk of health complications such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. 

2. Stay Active 

Staying active is extremely important for aging adults. Physical activity decreases your risk of countless health complications like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. The health benefits are not just physical; Mayo Clinic noted that exercise can combat depression and anxiety while leading to higher self-esteem. 

Are you wondering just how much physical activity we are talking about? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity is a good goal for many older adults.  Moderate-intensity exercise could be a brisk walk, yard work, swimming, or any number of other activities. 

3. Keep Up On Sleep 

Sleep is essential for both your physical and mental well-being.  According to The Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, poor mental health, and even early death. They recommend that older adults get 7-8 hours of sleep each night for optimal cognitive and behavioral functioning. 

4. Routine Doctor Visits 

Older adults should be receiving routine checkups at least once a year and more often if they are dealing with certain health complications. Routine checkups will help you maintain a greater understanding of your health status and will allow you to identify potential health complications as quickly as possible, helping to mitigate your risk of any serious long-term impacts. 

5. Don’t Smoke

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, smoking places older adults at risk of a laundry list of diseases, including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and lung disease. For many older adults, smoking is a habit that has stuck with them for years and years. Just remember, there has never been a better time to quit than right now. 

6. Manage Stress 

Long-term stress can have adverse effects on your health, both physically and mentally. The National Institute of Mental Health states that it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and anxiety. Luckily, many of the tips on this list are very helpful in managing stress, and by applying the other tips on this list, you can get two birds with one stone.  That being said, if you find that stress is becoming an obstacle between you and a happy life, you should ask for help from a health professional. 

7. Take Steps to Avoid Illness 

As we age, what were once relatively trivial illnesses such as colds or the occasional flu can begin to lead towards more serious long-term implications. It is important to bear this in mind and take the necessary precautions to avoid placing yourself at unnecessary risk. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, and avoid contact with anyone you know to be feeling under the weather. 

8. Exercise Your Brain

When you think of exercise, you probably aren’t thinking about your brain, but exercising your mind is extremely important in maintaining proper brain function. Exercising your brain can help keep your memory and concentration skills up to speed.  Brain exercise can take countless forms, including reading, sudokus, trivia, or puzzles! 

9. Socialize 

Humans are inherently social creatures, and it is important to stay social as you age! It’s not just about enjoying yourself either. In a recent CDC publication, serious health risks have been linked to loneliness and social isolation. Health risks include an increased risk of dementia, heart disease, and stroke. Loneliness and social isolation can also increase your risk of depression and anxiety. So, be sure to get out make an effort to socialize. See your family, call a friend. If your loved ones are not easily accessible, join a club, church group, or another social gathering to stay social, happy, and healthy. 

10. Decrease Alcohol Consumption 

While acceptable in moderation, alcohol can lead to health risks when it is consumed excessively or too frequently.  According to the National Institute on Aging, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to cancer, liver damage, brain damage, and immune system disorders. When drinking, do so infrequently and in moderation. 

These ten health tips are just what you need to boost your mental and physical health. Implementing each one of them will provide its own unique benefits, and when all are combined, they can lead to a longer, happier, healthier life. Start boosting your mental and physical wellbeing today.

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