As you age, it can become frightening to think about the future especially if you face loneliness and loss of independence. Fortunately, times are changing and many seniors are now able to stay more active through their golden years. If you want to stay healthy, fit, and engaged even in your older years, use the tips below to give yourself a head-start.
Stay Socially Engaged
Maintaining an active social life is one of the best ways to stimulate the mind, reduce stress, and get out of the house. However, this can be difficult for seniors as friends and family move or pass away. You should nurture your social network through reaching out to friends, neighbors, and other acquaintances often. Digital interaction is equally important as face-to-face conversations today. Seniors should learn how to email and connect with others through social media platforms. You might be surprised how easily you can integrate these new communications into your life.
Seniors with skills should consider volunteering to help others learn and grow. For example, you might volunteer as a school tutor and help young children learn how to read and write, or you might become a library assistant and provide customer service to the community through this outlet. If you’ve had a bit of experience, consider volunteering as a business consultant at the local chamber of commerce. The Small Business Association has a volunteer group of retired business people called SCORE. The goal of the program is to provide free consultations to entrepreneurs regarding every possible aspect of business operations that cover every industry. It’s a great way to keep your mind sharp and active and engage with others in the community.
Regular exercise is one of the best things for not only physical health, but mental health as well. Being physically active has multiple benefits, such as stress reduction, and disease prevention. Regular exercise has been proven to help reduce the risk of developing arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure and is also an important way to prevent depression and maintain cognitive functioning. Don’t worry about getting results like a perfect beach body, or training for a half marathon. Just do what you love whether it’s an aerobics class once a week or swimming with friends.
Similar to exercise, proper nutrition is one of the building blocks for an active lifestyle. A properly balanced diet will give you the energy and physical fitness necessary to stay active. Studies continually show that those who live a sedentary lifestyle with poor nutritional choices are more likely to develop diseases and depression. A proper senior diet should be rich in fruits, veggies, and grains. Be sure to consume more calcium, proteins, and water, and consume less sodium, carbs and sugar.
Minor memory lapses are a natural part of aging. However, memory recall problems can quickly become frustrating and interfere with daily activities. Follow some different strategies to keep the mind sharp. Continuing your education can be accomplished at home through reading, experimenting with art, and even designing a new garden. Never stop learning and trying new things. You should try learning skills that make use of all your senses and take advantage of common organizational tools, such as calendars and day planners. Confidence and a positive attitude actually go a long way in preventing cognitive decline as well. Don’t doubt yourself!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from your doctor. They might be able to help you find good ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s finally getting dentures or iLASIK eye surgery, you don’t have to put off procedures that can help you live more actively.
Overall, there are many proven ways for seniors to stay mentally, socially, and physically active. Socializing, volunteering, and proper exercise and nutrition are all great helps. Don’t be afraid to try new things and you can be sure your older years are some of the best.