Photo via Pexels
Healthy Living Tips for a Long and Happy Retirement
Healthy living is essential for enjoying vitality and lasting happiness in your senior years. From staying active and cooking up nutritious meals to attending to your mental health, there are several ways to keep your body and mind in top shape, whatever your age! The best part? Most of these healthy habits don’t require a lot of time or money to maintain. Here are some key healthy living tips to keep in mind as you embrace retirement.
Engage in Enjoyable Exercise
Exercise is important for a variety of physical and cognitive functions. It prevents muscle mass loss, combats dementia, and protects against chronic disease. According to American Senior Communities, regular exercise can even reduce your risk of injury and improve your mood.
It can be tough committing to an exercise plan that you dislike, so find a type of physical activity that you enjoy. Try biking, hiking, kayaking, bowling, or dancing. Even golfing and gardening are great for burning calories and building endurance! You can even join a fitness program specially designed for seniors, which is a great chance to connect with peers.
If you’d rather get active in the comfort of your own home, consider accessing exercise classes and tutorials with a streaming media player. With this device, you can stream senior-friendly workout videos right on your TV. Since it comes with a user-friendly remote, you can jump into your favorite workout routine at any time without a fuss.
Exercise Your Mind
Your body isn’t the only part of you that needs care and attention. While cognitive changes are a normal part of aging, you can do a lot to protect your mental processes from decline. To keep your memory sharp, the Harvard Medical School recommends challenging your brain by learning something new. So, consider picking up a hobby or learning an instrument. You can also attend classes in your community or volunteer for a project that requires you to learn a new skill. Staying social can also benefit your mental health, as some studies indicate that seniors who socialize regularly live longer and enjoy a lower risk of depression than isolated individuals.
Cook Nutrient-Dense Meals
Our appetites can change as we advance in years. For many seniors, this makes it difficult to get all of the nutrients their bodies need. Some research shows that seniors sometimes suffer from low levels of folate and vitamin B12, which can impact energy levels and cognitive performance.
To ward off trouble, try to focus your diet around nutrient-dense foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein. Chefs For Seniors has some excellent senior-friendly recipe ideas to try, like banana oatmeal, grilled salmon with pineapple, and three-bean salad. At the same time, steer clear of empty calories that will fill you up without providing essential nutrients. Packaged treats and fast food are some of the worst.
Use Medicare to Your Advantage
Preventive healthcare can help you avoid common age-related conditions and debilitating diseases. If you’re enrolled in Medicare, take advantage of all of the preventive services available to you. Seniors get a free physical during their first 12 months of Medicare and a free annual wellness visit every year after that. Medicare also covers flu shots and screenings for a variety of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Various counseling services are also covered. For example, seniors can receive help with nutritional therapy, smoking cessation, and diabetes self-management.
The secret to healthy aging isn’t much of a secret at all. Enjoying good health during your senior years is all about limiting unhealthy behaviors and making positive lifestyle choices every day. While many age-related changes are completely out of our control, taking a proactive approach to your health can reduce your risk of illness or injury. Not only that, but a healthy body will allow you to do the things you love for as long as possible.
From our friend Karen Weeks