Tips for Seniors // Staying Active and Healthy

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As they say, you are only as young as you feel — now isn’t that the truth! Have you encountered people who seem to have endless energy, love to socialize and go on new adventures and wondered how do they do it, especially as they enter their golden years? While there are all sorts of factors that can either help or hinder the way we live and how we feel, there are some things all of us can do to be the best version of ourselves, right where we are. Today, we are sharing 5 simple tips to help with that!

 

Tips to Keep Active and Healthy

 

1. Exercise – You knew was going to be first on the list, right? Of course, the amount of exercise you do is up to you and your doctor- but a daily walk around the neighborhood is something that is good for our health. Being active outside is excellent for both our physical and mental health. It’s always fun to have a walking buddy and maybe some of your neighbors would like to join you. If so, you could start a walking group if you like. If you have a dog, your furry friend needs exercise just like you do to stay healthy, so take them too!  Stretching is another fantastic way to keep limber and stay in shape. Strengthening muscles can help prevent falls. There are many workout programs designed specifically for seniors that are perfect for any fitness level, so I encourage you to consider those as well.

You also, want to exercise your mind as well. There are a lot of apps that you can use to do this. However, reading, doing puzzles, writing, drawing, painting, singing, playing a musical instrument, volunteering, and many other things also help keep your mind sharp.

 

2. Laugh – Yes! Isn’t that wonderful, the simple act of laughing will keep you young and healthy! According to WebMD:

 

In the last few decades, researchers have studied laughter’s effects on the body and turned up some potentially interesting information on how it affects us:

 

  • Blood flow. Researchers at the University of Maryland studied the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. After the screening, the blood vessels of the group who watched the comedy behaved normally — expanding and contracting easily. But the blood vessels in people who watched the drama tended to tense up, restricting blood flow.
  • Immune response. Increased stress is associated with decreased immune system response, says Provine. Some studies have shown that the ability to use humor may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boost the levels of immune cells, as well.
  • Blood sugar levels. One study of 19 people with diabetes looked at the effects of laughter on blood sugar levels. After eating, the group attended a tedious lecture. On the next day, the group ate the same meal and then watched a comedy. After the comedy, the group had lower blood sugar levels than they did after the lecture.
  • Relaxation and sleep. The focus on the benefits of laughter really began with Norman Cousin’s memoir, Anatomy of an Illness. Cousins, who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful spine condition, found that a diet of comedies, like Marx Brothers films and episodes of Candid Camera, helped him feel better. He said that ten minutes of laughter allowed him two hours of pain-free.

 

3. Healthy Eating – Eating well is important for all of us and senior citizens are no exception. You may have noticed that your appetite has decreased as the years have marched on but that means you’ll want to make the food you do eat, really count. Eating fresh fruits and veggies is a provides you with healthy nutrients to fuel your body. If you have difficulty chewing (or even if you don’t) smoothies are a delicious way to get the vitamins and minerals you need, all in a refreshing drink. Add some spinach, kale, oatmeal and other nutrient rich food into your smoothie for an added punch. On the website, A Place for Mom, they have a fantastic list of smoothies for seniors.

 

4. Do What you LOVE — You know those things that you have told yourself I can’t, I shouldn’t, or what if I fail? Do them now! Sure, you may have certain limitations you must consider but there is always something you’ve been putting off doing that you can and should do now. Have you ever wanted to write a novel or children’s books? Do it! Ever want to explore your artistic side by learning to paint, do pottery, or DIY crafts. Hop to it and enroll in a class if you like. Want to jump  ut of an airplane — well, you might want to consult your doctor first but hey, if you are like this adventurous 90 year old woman then go for it! Now is the time to do and see all those things you’ve been dreaming about.

 

5. Plan Ahead – Planning ahead for your long-term care and funeral arrangements, helps give you peace of mind and releases your family from some of the burden of making decisions for you. A bonus, is that you know that everything will be executed just the way YOU want it! If you would like our help in answering questions about preplanning, our caring and knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist you. You can also check out the preplanning section of our website, which includes helpful information, a checklist and preplanning worksheet.

 

What are ways that you stay healthy? Do you have any favorite recipes or activities you like to do? Let us know in the comments below.

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