Healthy Living

Our 101 Guide to Healthy Aging

Healthy aging is understandably a top priority for seniors over the age of 60. So much changes. Your health develops new issues, your metabolism slows down, and you lose teeth, hair, and even bone density! But just because the aging process can be complicated to navigate, that doesn’t mean healthy living for seniors is unattainable.

It’s important to stay on top of those changes and challenges to ensure you’re taking care of yourself. You have the power to improve your overall quality of life and even prolong your years with healthy habits that can be simple and minor adjustments to your everyday schedule. They may seem like tiny changes, but the impact they make can be life-changing.

From remembering to do brain training to finding the right exercises for seniors at home, we have you covered with these tips for the top things to remember as you approach your golden years.

As if your metabolism hasn’t been through enough changes as it is throughout your life, you hit another dip in your older years. Loss of appetite can also be a problem with diet-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and other elderly health problems due to poor eating habits.

When focusing on healthy aging, you have to consider your diet. Healthy food for the elderly is quite literally what is recommended for most people of any age: the more whole foods-based, the better. The secret? Cut out processed foods and eat cleanly.

According to WebMD, focus on your vitamin intake. In particular:

  • B6: Find it in whole grains and liver.
  • B12: Find it in lean meat and some varieties of fish.
  • Calcium: Find it in dairy products like milk and yogurt, as well as in dark, leafy greens
  • Vitamin D: Find it in certain fish and mushrooms (fun tip: sitting outside for 20 minutes of sunshine can help your vitamin D levels too. Lunch al fresco, anyone?).

Eating a clean, balanced diet will not only help you live a healthy life. It’ll help you tap into extra energy that is often in short supply as we get older. More energy means a greater willingness to do exercises for seniors at home or even go on fitness adventures outside. Making healthy food choices helps feed into a healthful circle of life which is what healthy aging is all about.

Are you having trouble eating enough vitamin-rich foods? Don’t worry! Discuss with your doctor how you can have a vitamin supplement regimen tailored to your specific health needs.

Sudoku, crosswords, and puzzles, oh my! There are endless ways to boost your brain. Studies show that training yourself with games that make your brain work to figure things out can help improve overall cognitive function. It may seem silly little ways to pass the time, but you’re really strength training for better memory, improved language and reasoning skills, and overall hand-eye coordination.

But where do you go to find the most effective brain exercises for seniors at home? Well, you really don’t have to search that hard. The answer is quite literally at your fingertips.

Video, phone and computer games have greatly improved in the last decade. Not only does it provide endless opportunities to find the right brain training fit, but it’s helped make these kinds of tools more readily accessible to older adults from all backgrounds and walks of life.

So whether something more traditional like chess is your thing or you prefer to try your hand at something once-trendy like Candy Crush, just remember you’re doing your noggin’ a favor. By investing in your brain, you can have the satisfaction of doing something that’s both healthy and fun — all while fighting the aging process.

Getting older can be difficult — especially emotionally. Children move out and get busy with their own adult lives. Friends drift apart, move to new homes and sadly even die. But staying on top of your socialization is a crucial component to healthy aging and one that should be taken seriously.

According to the CDC, people who are 65 or older were more likely than those even ten years younger to report that they “rarely” or “never” received the social and emotional support they needed.

So what can you do? Seek out connections. Join a club or invest in a hobby. Volunteer at the humane society or somewhere else your talents can shine. Whatever your passion is, follow it! Getting yourself out there and meeting people will help improve your mood and overall health.

We’ve been told sleep is important since we were kids. But rest still ranks as an essential health habit, especially regarding the aging process.

When older adults don’t get enough sleep, they tend to be more irritable or depressed, forget things and even more prone to falls.

It’s hard to sleep when you’re in pain or uncomfortable, so be sure to talk with your doctor about any issues that may be preventing you from getting your required seven to nine hours of shut-eye. Issues like sleep apnea or joint pain could be the culprit, and a solution or remedy can be found by a medical professional to help.

When it comes to living your best, healthiest life when you’re over 65, it often means staying one step ahead of your health. Preventative care is a significant part of healthy aging.

What does that look like? Often it’s as simple as making an appointment for routine health screenings or even cutting out bad habits like smoking or junk food. Small changes like carving out some time to do special exercises for seniors at home or attending a water aerobics class at a communal gym can go a long way.

On the medical side, it’s recommended that patients who are 65 or older take these kinds of preventative care measures:

  • Aspirin therapy
  • Lipid management
  • Administration of tetanus and diphtheria, pneumococcal, and influenza vaccines.

Discuss what kind of preventative measures you can take to help you through the aging process with your doctor. It is possible to prevent harmful health issues before they happen.

Making time to do physical activity for the elderly is so essential to the aging process. Not only does exercise help with healthy aging due to the physiological effects of better heart function and weight management, but it can also improve balance and mobility, which take a dive in the older years.

Older adults are also disproportionately affected by chronic conditions. Studies found 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic condition like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.

But finding a workout routine for you can help manage and even prevent health issues like those. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your living room to find something that will help you break a sweat in a healthy, safe way. Virtual fitness classes have become more prevalent recently, making it extraordinarily easy to find the perfect exercise for seniors at home.

Not sure where to find the perfect fitness activity? Balanced is here to help. With a live schedule that is easy to access and navigate, you’ll be able to focus on healthy aging while having fun at the same time. Balanced always has at least ten live Zoom virtual fitness classes to choose from each week, and if that doesn’t work for you, you’ll always have access to the entire library of prerecorded fitness programs designed for older people just like you.

Healthy aging is important, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Physical activity for seniors has never been easier to obtain and manage.

For more information on how Balanced can help you achieve your healthy aging goals, click here.

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