Guest Blog by Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net
Healthy living should be a lifelong goal. If anything, setting goals to care for your health is even more important for seniors, who start to face health challenges that you didn’t have to worry about earlier in life. And while healthy living becomes ever more important, these challenges can also make it harder to meet health goals. That’s why we suggest these solutions that make healthy living more fun and easier for seniors to achieve.
More than anything else, physical activity has the potential to make the biggest impact on your overall health and well being. We know that physical limitations can present a challenge for seniors, but the flip side is that being active can help alleviate some of those very same problems. The trick is to find unique ways to exercise in spite of limitations.
For example, someone who has a hard time with balance or mobility may prefer chair exercises or small exercise equipment like an under-desk elliptical. These machines can be used while sitting or standing, and they get your heart rate up while building strength in the lower body muscles. Even better, under desk ellipticals are small, so you don’t need a lot of space for it in your home. Because there are several types to choose from and different models on the market, we suggest reading reviews to find an elliptical that seems to be the best fit for your needs.
Besides mobility issues, the other issue that many of us face when trying to get more active is finding motivation. Finding an activity that’s easy and convenient can help with motivation. Also, trying fun exercises you can do year-round can help keep you motivated. The blog Go4Life suggests doing winter activities with grandchildren like building a snowman, along with spring, summer, and fall activities that get you outdoors.
While you should always check with your doctor before starting a new diet, our suggestion for seniors is to work on eating well with balanced nutrition. To get a good variety of the nutrients you need, try focusing first on breakfast. This is one meal where many people grab quick, unhealthy options rather than getting lots of nutrients (or worse, they skip breakfast entirely).
We also recommend finding “meal hacks,” which basically means ways to make preparing healthy meals easier. The Food Network has some great tips and recipes to help with this, such as oatmeal bowls with all kinds of combinations, lunch wraps, and quick chicken dinners. The key to healthy eating is to find meals that taste good and are easy to make.
Addressing Health Needs
Eating well and exercising are the top two things you can do to take control of your own health, but your health practitioner has an important role to play too. AARP explains how some seniors feel like they’re in the doctor’s office endlessly, and that may not always be necessary. Their recommendation is to consider seeing a geriatrician because they specialize in coordinating a senior’s health care, plus they’re more familiar with your specific health needs.
In all honesty, there isn’t a single formula for staying healthy while aging. However, many seniors take comfort in knowing that they have more control over their health than they realized. Staying on top of your medical care, exercising, and eating well are all simple things to do — and trust us, your body and your future self will thank you!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay