The term “senior citizen” used to conjure up images of old, frail men and women sitting in rocking chairs. But with advances in technology and medicine, today’s seniors are changing what it means to get older. With the right mindset, seniors can combat health conditions, fend off cognitive decline and feel younger than the generations that came before them.
Getting older is inevitable. But feeling older doesn’t have to be. No matter what your age, it’s never too late to take steps to live and age healthier. Here are 10 healthy aging tips for seniors:
- Exercise regularly. Finding time to exercise even just 30 minutes a day can help decrease your risk of chronic conditions such as hypertension, obesity and type-2 diabetes. It can also help you maintain your strength, balance and agility as you age. Walking, water aerobics, tai chi and yoga are generally considered the safest exercises for seniors, but if you’re new to exercise, be sure to speak with your doctor about what types exercise are right for you.
- Watch what you eat. Diet and nutrition become increasingly important as you age. Maintaining healthy eating habits can reduce your risk for common chronic conditions and even certain types of cancer. It is also your best bet for maintaining a healthy weight so you can stay healthy and active. Strive to eat plenty of fruits, veggies, lean proteins and dairy with every meal, eating high fat and sugary foods sparingly.
- Don’t skip on doctor’s or dental appointments. A big part of healthy aging is catching any potential health issues before they become a problem. That’s why it’s so important to schedule regular physicals and dental check-ups no matter what your age.
- Never stop learning. The best way to ward off cognitive decline and decrease your risk for developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is to never stop learning. Reading up on a new subject, learning a new technology, taking on a new language, or signing up for an adult learning course at your local university are perfect ways to keep your brain active.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Many seniors experience a decrease in thirst as they age, meaning seniors need to be even more mindful of staying hydrated throughout the day. Strive to drink eight, 8 oz. glasses of water and other non-sugary beverages each day. Doing so can keep you from getting dehydrated, which over time can lead to confusion, dizziness, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure and more.
- Expand your social circle. Studies show that staying social may actually reduce your risk for cognitive decline and the development of certain types of dementia. It can also help ward off feelings of isolation, stress, anxiety and depression. Take time every week to enjoy the company of family and friends. Need to expand your social circle? Community senior centers or moving to a senior living community such as Western Home Communities are the perfect way to meet new people and stay social.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is important no matter what your age. And for seniors, getting 8 hours of sleep each night can help keep your brain sharp and give your body the energy it needs to stay active. Insomnia is all too common among seniors. If you’re experiencing signs of insomnia, including trouble staying asleep, falling asleep, or both, be sure to speak with your doctor. He or she can give you tips to help you sleep better, or may even recommend a sleep-aid.
- Know your limits. Many seniors struggle with not being able to do everything they did when they were younger, but it’s important to know your limits. Doing so can help you avoid dangerous falls or other injuries. This may mean avoiding the use of ladders or step-stools, carrying items that are too heavy and limiting activities that require a lot of stooping or bending over.
- Discover a new hobby. Always wanted to become a bocce ball pro? Or learn to play the piano? Retirement is the perfect time to take on a new hobby. And it’s yet another way to keep your mind active, decreasing your risk for cognitive decline as you age.
- Plan for the future. Today’s seniors have so much to look forward too. That’s why it’s important to never stop planning for the future. Where and what would you like to be doing in the next 5 years, 10 years, or even 15 years? Having goals can give you something to look forward to each and every day.
Stay Active, Healthy, & Happy at Western Home Communities
At Western Home Communities we understand that today’s seniors want to stay active, healthy and happy as they age. We offer a variety of living options, each designed to meet the needs of today’s seniors. This, in addition to our wide range of services and amenities make Western Home Communities the perfect place to live a fulfilled life each and every day. Is a senior living community right for you or your loved one? Contact Western Home Communities to learn more and to set up a tour.