If you have made it into your golden years – congratulations! Not everyone gets to live to see their senior years, and that is something you should be absolutely proud of.
After spending decades of a fulfilled life raising families, building careers, and working hard, it is time for you to reap the rewards of the fruits of your labor.
However, as mother nature has it, aging comes with some cognitive and physical health issues that can get in the way of enjoying your golden years. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy and stave off those issues.
Tip #1 Maintain a Healthy Weight
The most crucial thing you can do to stay healthy is to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is the leading cause of many chronic illnesses that often accompany aging. Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your chances of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and even cognitive decline.
So, if you still need to get in a healthy weight range, take advantage of the time and resources you have earned in your retirement years to make weight management a primary goal.
See a nutritionist, hire a personal trainer/coach who has experience with senior citizen clients, and start your health and wellness journey. Gather the necessary resources, equip yourself with the knowledge and research, and work on that motivation.
Tip #2 Exercise
Exercise is an excellent way to get yourself in the best shape and manage your weight. This is the time to take up good health habits to enrich your life and improve your quality of life.
Be sure to incorporate exercise on a daily basis. Some ways to stay active involve going for daily walks, biking for exercise, joining a swimming club, and taking up yoga.
Engage in some level of moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. You should also incorporate some form of strength training and cardio workout into your daily workout routine.
Regular exercise will also invigorate your cognitive abilities, boost your mood, and give you that sense of inner peace and well-being – which is essential in maintaining a healthful life regardless of age.
Tip #3 Clean Up Your Diet
Most nutritionist and health professionals agree that weight loss and weight management depends mostly on your diet. We don’t mean going on a diet here – rather, we mean what you consume on a daily basis in food intake.
Your diet is one of the most crucial factors in maintaining your overall health and wellness. The old adage that you are what you eat rings true here in spades.
A clean, healthy, nutrient-dense diet has tremendous powers to prevent disease, fend off the effects of aging, and invigorate one’s health from the inside out. This phenomenon is even more applicable as we age.
Therefore, it is essential to clean up your diet if you haven’t already done so. For longevity of a healthy life span, you should look into following the “Blue Zone” diet.
Blue zones are those parts of the world that have produced the most centennials – according to a research study that has studied the lifestyles of these regions for decades. These zones include certain regions of Sardinia, Greece, Costa Rica, and Japan.
The diet they follow includes fresh simple natural ingredients that are minimally processed. Their nutrition profile includes mostly seafood, vegetables, leafy greens, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds. The people of those regions rarely consume meats and dairy and only occasionally eat eggs.
In addition to this guideline, be sure to take sufficient minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids in the form of supplements if your diet plan lacks the amount you should be eating to get sufficient levels of these essential micronutrients.
While on this topic, avoid overconsumption of alcohol as well.
Tip #4 Enrich Your Social Life
When it comes to staying healthy, one’s emotional health and well-being are just as essential. The sad reality of aging is that we tend to live more solitary, isolated lives as we get older. This is a by-product of working very long hours for decades and spending non-working hours raising a family and taking care of the house.
So, when we reach our golden years, we may find ourselves more isolated as the children fly the nest and work friends dwindle when we leave work.
Loneliness is a major contributor to disease and cognitive decay. Therefore, it is essential to enrich your social life with new social contacts, activities, hobbies, and volunteering in the community.
This will give you the feeling of belonging and will give you a renewed purpose – which often suffers when one retires from their profession.
Join social clubs, walking clubs, and gym classes and increase your social contact. For single seniors, don’t let your age stop you from pursuing new romantic relations either.
A rich social life will do wonders in fending off the declining nature of aging.
Tip #5 Exercise Your Mind
When it comes to aging, one of the other major concerns is our mental and cognitive abilities start to decline as we advance into our golden years. The lack of work or purpose can exacerbate this problem.
So, it is essential to exercise your mind to increase the neuroplasticity of the brain to fend off diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Consider taking on new hobbies, new skill-building classes, book clubs, and learning a new language. Many seniors also often use their free time and resources to take continuing education classes in nearby community colleges and universities to keep their minds sharp and active.
A holistic approach to health includes taking care of your body, mind, and soul. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, keep up your social contacts, and continue learning just like you used to in your younger years, and you will be well on your way to reversing or at least slowing down the effects of aging.
Remember, they call it the golden years for a reason – keep them golden!