Have your New Year’s resolutions already fallen by the wayside? If they have, don’t worry; you are in good company. Many of us are excited about an important lifestyle change once we roll over into the new year, but life quickly pushes in and distracts us from maintaining our self-discipline to succeed.
Still, it is never too late to begin again, and it’s particularly important for seniors to prioritize a healthy lifestyle. There are various healthy living tips for seniors that can help to achieve this; pick one to begin, or jump right into all the following recommendations to enhance health and wellness for aging adults.
What Can Older Adults Do to Improve Wellness This Year?
A well-rounded approach to a healthier lifestyle includes:
Exercising is among the best things you can do to boost wellness, not just physically, but holistically. Physical exercise has been shown to increase flexibility, balance, and strength – key factors in protecting against falls – while also easing depression and anxiety, preventing or improving chronic health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, and keeping weight in balance.
Physical activity doesn’t even have to be a structured training regime. Everyday tasks such as housekeeping chores, going for a walk, and playing with the grandkids all count! Talk to the physician for recommendations and approval before beginning or altering any exercise program. As a rule of thumb, the goal is to strive for at least 150 minutes per week of moderately intensive aerobic exercise, along with flexibility and muscle strengthening.
Now that the culinary temptations of the holidays are behind us, it is a great time to work on some better dietary habits! Seniors require fewer calories, but just as many nutrients as younger adults. This can be attained by choosing nutrient-rich foods “from the rainbow,” incorporating fruits and vegetables of various colors, along with whole grain foods, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, and eggs, beans, peas, and legumes. Stay away from foods that contain added trans fats, salt, and sugar – frequent ingredients in prepackaged foods.
Planning ahead is a great way to make sure that healthy food choices are just as convenient to grab as their unhealthy alternatives. Try these suggestions:
- Make favorite dishes (such as homemade chili or soup) in larger amounts and then freeze individual portions.
- Keep small cups of fruit (without added sugar) on hand, along with low-prep veggies, such as baby carrots and pre-washed salad mixes.
- Partner with a home care agency, like Home With You Senior Care, a provider of Manchester home care and senior care throughout the nearby areas, for a caregiver to ensure the fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy options and to prepare nutritious meals.
It’s also essential for older loved ones to stay mentally healthy. The weeks following the holidays are especially difficult emotionally for many people. Help those you love to ease isolation, sadness, and loneliness by encouraging them to:
- Get sufficient sleep: seven to eight hours per night is most beneficial.
- Seek out opportunities for socialization: volunteer, schedule weekly lunch dates with a good friend, sign up for a course, etc.
- Take some time out daily for enjoyable and uplifting activities.
- Talk with a therapist for help with difficult emotions and gaining a brighter outlook on life.
Remember that depression is treatable, and it’s very important for a senior who is demonstrating signs and symptoms of depression to see the doctor as soon as possible for help.
Let Home With You Senior Care’s experts in Manchester home care help someone you love to live a healthier life in 2023! Call us at 410-756-0959 to learn more about our award-winning home care services for seniors. Visit our Locations Served page for a full list of the areas where we provide care.