As we age, it’s more important to take care of our health in all its forms: mental, physical, and emotional. When we grow older, our health begins to change, so it’s important to know how to anticipate and deal with those shifts. Below, we’ve got some helpful tips for staying healthy in your golden years. Keep reading below to learn how to have a happy and healthy retirement.
Tip #1: Eat a healthy diet
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Your digestive system will slow down when you’re older, which means it’s more important to prioritize healthy and nutritious foods. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits should be staples of your everyday diet. And you shouldn’t forget about hydration. Seniors are prone to dehydration, so consider investing in a large water bottle with a timeline showing you how much water you should drink at different times in the day. Or, use an app like Plant Nanny to remember to drink water.
Tip #2: Focus on preventative health
As you age, your risk for certain illnesses and disease increases. To combat these increased risks, make sure you stay up to date on preventative screenings for cancer, heart issues, and other issues. You should also make sure to get seasonal vaccines like the flu shot each year. An older person’s immune system isn’t as strong as someone who is younger, so it’s important to boost your health where you can.
Tip #3: Don’t ignore your sleep
It’s actually a myth that seniors need less sleep. Although frequent waking and insomnia might be common in older populations, it doesn’t mean that you need less sleep. In fact, most seniors experience a unique change in their circadian rhythms that make them feel sleepier earlier in the day and wake up earlier in the morning.
If you find that you’re having chronic sleep issues, make sure you visit your doctor for a checkup. The underlying cause might be serious, so it’s better to catch sleep-related problems early. With that said, if you’re just struggling with occasional sleeplessness, consider trying a melatonin supplement to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
Tip #4: Focus on your balance
Falling is a serious risk for seniors. A major fall can result in other issues and seriously damage your quality of life. It’s much harder to recover from a serious injury when you’re older. Consider adding regular balance work to your exercises to help prevent balance issues from developing as you age.
You can try closing your eyes and balancing for one leg (near a wall or railing for safety). You can also incorporate yoga poses like Warrior II Pose, which prioritizes and exercises your balance. By incorporating balance techniques into your exercise, you can help improve your proprioception or your body’s understanding of your body in space.
Tip #5: Treat essential tremor symptoms
Many seniors struggle with essential tremor (ET), a neurological condition that causes shaking of the hands, head, and voice. In fact, up to 9% of individuals age 60 and older may have ET. If you’re living with essential tremor, consider getting a tremor bracelet to help. These devices are worn on the wrist and calibrated to help improve the symptoms of hand tremor. Available by prescription, tremor bracelets help treat involuntary shaking caused by essential tremor, resulting in reduced hand tremors.
Tip #6: Stay involved
If you don’t have many friends or family around, it can be very easy to feel isolated and lonely as you age. But there are plenty of ways to stave off loneliness in retirement. One way is to get a part-time job or volunteer somewhere you love.
A fun, easy way to stay involved in your local community is by becoming a foster parent for needy animals, for example. Contact your local humane society or shelter to get started.
Takeaways: Creating a meaningful life as you age
Just because we all grow older doesn’t mean we lose value as people. In fact, seniors tend to have a lot more time on their hands to pursue their passions, connect with friends and family, travel, and volunteer. By giving yourself a structure, prioritizing your health, staying involved, and exercising, you can ensure that your golden years are happy and healthy. Incorporate these tips for a better, more satisfying retirement.
Featured Image by Benjamin Balazs from Pixabay