As you age, it can be intimidating to think about health and wellness; after all, you may already be dealing with significant health problems. Even if you are in ideal health, your changing body and mind have different needs than those of younger folks. However, savvy seniors can still stay healthy and fit despite any budgetary limitations they might face during their golden years.
Think About Adding Multivitamins to Your Diet
Even if you eat a well-rounded diet, that doesn’t mean you’re getting the necessary nutrients to keep your body healthy. Common nutrient deficiencies include vitamins B6, D, C, B12, A, and E plus iron, iodine, calcium, and magnesium. And as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics highlights, older adults need more calcium and potassium than younger folks.
Taking a multivitamin can help fill in nutritional gaps. However, not all multivitamins offer key nutrients in the right concentration. Look for products that cover 100 percent of your daily value of vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, riboflavin, biotin, and calcium. Aim for pills that contain bioavailable forms of nutrients and dissolve properly in your stomach.
Be Sure to Exercise
Exercise is essential for a healthy body, regardless of your age. However, mobility challenges and safety concerns can keep older adults from getting the activity they need — and staying inactive and sedentary can make those issues worse. The National Council on Aging acknowledges that falls are a significant concern for seniors. They also note that a lack of exercise can mean a loss of flexibility, balance, and coordination.
The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions confirms that aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercises help reduce fall risks. Regular exercise can also help make routine activities easier. Exercises that can be safe and effective for seniors include:
Join Fun Group Wellness Classes
Whether it’s group exercise or nutritional support, joining wellness programs gives you social connections and a path toward healthier living. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be eligible for a wellness program that supports your nutritional goals.
For example, UnitedHealthcare’s AARP Medicare Advantage plans offer fitness and wellness programs. If you don’t already participate in such a program, look for one which offers extra nutritional or wellness support — or both.
Focus on Healthier Eating Habits
Eating right is the first step toward healthier living — and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can focus on fresh produce and lean meat in each meal and achieve a good balance of nutrients per plate. Avoiding processed food helps keep excess sodium, fat, and sugar out of your diet. So, whenever possible, stick to whole food ingredients like healthy grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, and dairy.
Of course, the best way to encourage healthier habits is by doing it with friends. Joining a congregate meal organization like Brooklett’s Place lets you connect with other seniors and socialize. If you have mobility or other challenges, they also offer a meal delivery service.
Stay Connected to Friends and Family
Maintaining friendships does your heart good, but it can also be excellent for your health. People with higher levels of social engagement often live better, more enriching lives. Even in the face of conditions like diabetes, emphysema, and heart failure, older adults who have regular social interaction fared better overall.
If you have a small social circle, consider expanding it. Try to make connections with people at the gym or wellness programs, at your church or local community organization, or even around your neighborhood. For both you and your new friends, the health benefits of connecting are significant. Sharing hobbies with new friends — or even volunteering if you feel up for it — can also help your mental and physical health.
Unfortunately, many seniors in the US struggle to get the healthcare they need. As a result, seniors here are sicker than their counterparts in other countries. To live a healthier life, you can add a few simple measures to your routine and start enjoying a healthier life.
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In addition to all the great information here, we also have a list of exercises you can do at home to help with your day to day journey to stay fit and mobile!