By Karen Weeks
As the Baby Boomer generation moves into their senior years, more and more people are looking for cutting-edge ways to stay healthy. Living a healthy life doesn’t just prolong your years — it improves the quality of them too. Here are some great tips that can help you in your quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
1. Get regular checkups
For most people, it’s important to go to the doctor at least once a year. Medicare will cover any doctor’s visits free of charge for the first 12 months you enroll. After that, you will have to pay for doctor’s visits, but they still cover about 80 percent of any medical costs you might incur, including doctor’s visits. Getting a checkup will help you see what you might need to do to get on track for living a healthy lifestyle. It’s a good form of preventative healthcare and will decrease any stress down the road.
2. Take medications correctly
Studies show that many older adults don’t fully realize the implications of taking some common pain management medications. Ask your doctor about how to properly take the medications you’ve been prescribed. Write down the instructions so you don’t forget them. In doing this, you can avoid potentially harmful side effects.
3. Attend senior-designed fitness classes
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends exercising for 150 minutes a week. While you need to exercise regularly, you also need to do exercises that fit your needs. Otherwise, you might hurt yourself.
Most local recreation centers have classes designed especially for seniors, which can adapt to your needs and help you achieve your health goals more easily. If you prefer to stay indoors, you can also do mall-walking, go swimming, or even exercise in the comfort of your own home. There are all kinds of fitness videos you can find online to help you.
4. Take advantage of healthy and convenient food
It’s important to eat healthy, but sometimes, you just don’t have the energy to cook. The convenience of no-cook foods like smoothies can make them a great go-to snack that provides fruits and veggies. You can also find healthy freezer meals at your local grocery store. Look at the ingredients on the back and check for added sodium and sugar. You can also look online for quick recipes that are easy on your digestive system and wallet.
5. Find natural and healthy ways to sleep more
Research has shown that many seniors experience changing sleep habits, and a variety of sleep disorders and abnormalities. Sleep is important at every age, so try to find ways to help yourself sleep more. Some methods you can try include setting up a sleep schedule, turning off electronics 30 minutes before bed, winding down with calming activities, or meditation. If you struggle with falling asleep, just get out of bed and do something mundane, such as folding laundry or doing the dishes.
6. Use meetup groups to socialize
Socializing and maintaining social connections is a vital part of healthy aging. You can find meetup groups online through social media networks. There’s a group for just about anything these days, and you will likely find friends who have similar interests.
7. Stimulate your mind with puzzles and games
It’s important to maintain good physical health, but it’s also important to keep your mind sharp. You can do all sorts of puzzles to help stimulate your brain. There are even a variety of apps which can be used to promote healthy brain aging. You can also take an online course or learn a new skill, which can help your brain as well.
There are a lot of ways to stay healthy and an abundance of resources to help you on your health journey. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and eat healthy. Exercise however you can, and try to move more. Establishing healthy-living habits can take time, but it’s worth the effort.