As seniors, we become more concerned about our health, because even a common cold can cause complications, especially for those of us with conditions like diabetes or asthma. We all developed some healthy habits as young people, but as we become seniors, it’s even more important to stick with these basic habits so we can stay healthy and independent well into our senior years. Today, we’ll give you a rundown of the basic tips for staying healthy. These will never replace your doctor’s advice, so always work with your healthcare professional to be sure you are doing the best you can to protect your health.
Eat (and drink) a healthy diet. There are so many diets out there that claim to be healthy, and it’s hard to cut through the clutter. One thing they almost all agree on is to eat more high-fiber fruits and vegetables, which contain valuable nutrients that can keep you healthy. As a senior, it’s also important to drink enough water to stay hydrated, as seniors are more vulnerable to dehydration. As to the rest of your diet, consult your doctor to find out which diet plan meets your needs, especially if you have a health condition or take medication.
Be active. An active lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every day for a strenuous workout. For seniors, staying active means keeping on the move, whether it’s taking regular walks, working out in your garden, or doing regular housework. Biking, swimming, low-impact aerobics, yoga, tai-chi are also good exercise options. Choose something you enjoy enough to do regularly and check with your doctor to be sure it’s right for you. If possible, exercise with a friend to make the activity more enjoyable. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of activity each day.
Wash your hands often. Viruses can remain on surfaces, and if you touch an infected surface then touch your face, it’s possible to become sick. We often do this without even noticing. Make handwashing a priority, especially when out in public. Scrub soapy hands everywhere – between your fingers, under nails, back and front – for at least 20 seconds. That’s enough time to hum the “Happy Birthday” song to yourself twice. Rinse well and dry with a clean paper towel if available.
See your doctor – and dentist – regularly. Stay on top of your health by keeping regular doctor appointments. Medicare provides free annual wellness exams, so take advantage of this service. Infections in your mouth can cause health problems, so see your dentist every six months for a checkup. In between visits, follow your doctor’s and dentist’s advice on how to stay healthy.
Engage your mind and be social. A healthy mind is also important as we age, so do regular activities that keep your mind active like crossword puzzles, reading, and trying new hobbies. The trick is doing something out of the ordinary that helps your brain make more connections. Social connections are also important, so seek out activities that let you engage with friends and family to maintain a positive outlook and good mental health.
Staying healthy can pay off with greater mobility, more time for activities you enjoy, and a sharper, focused mind. Many seniors find that transitioning to assisted senior living keeps them better connected to others and eliminates some of the stress of living alone. When it’s time to consider transitioning to senior assisted living, contact our professionals at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living who can help make the transition easy. Our staff and state-of-the-art facilities emphasize wellness, fun daily activities, and a welcoming sense of community. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information.