Debunking the Myths of Aging and Health
The stereotypes surrounding seniors are fairly easy to identify. For one, there’s the “cranky old man”, constantly yelling at kids to stay off his lawn. Or, maybe you picture a white-haired elderly woman, surrounded by cats and baskets of knitting yarn.
However, today’s older generation tends to be a far cry from those stereotypes. Seniors are living longer, healthier and more vibrant, active lives through the age of 65 and beyond. While it’s true that everyone ages differently, the idea that getting older means an increase in loneliness, depression, and declining health is now a myth. In fact, research shows that in many ways, our lives get better as we age- and healthy aging is more common than ever before.
Healthy Aging Tips to Improve Your Quality of Life
While the concept of healthy aging is not brand new, it’s been growing in popularity over the past few decades. Seniors are constantly looking for ways to improve their health and overall quality of life, finding new, innovative ways to stay active and happy throughout their retirement years.
Here are ten healthy aging tips to keep you in charge of your health:
- Practice good nutrition habits. Change up your diet to include plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains. Avoiding junk food and eating healthy not only keeps you at the optimal weight, but also improves your emotional and cognitive health.
- Add physical activity to your daily routine. It’s never too late to start moving! Regular exercises provides a variety of benefits to seniors, like increased strength and flexibility, improved balance and stability, faster healing times after an injury, and prevention of chronic conditions and diseases. Find an activity you enjoy, even if it’s simply taking a walk around your neighborhood. Start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity.
- Reach out to others. Seniors who remain socially active see numerous health benefits, from improved mental and physical health to lower death rates. If you start to feel isolated or depressed, find ways to get involved in your community. Volunteer, start a part time job, or schedule weekly lunches or dinners with loved ones.
- Expand your mind. Keeping your brain challenged helps decrease the risk for cognitive decline and even Alzheimer’s disease. Engage your brain by taking a class or trying out a new hobby.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Contrary to popular belief, the amount of sleep we need as we age does not decrease. Seniors still need 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel refreshed, healthy and ready to face the day.
- Improve your posture. Did you know that simply standing up straight helps ward off back pain? Plus, you’ll feel taller, slimmer and more confident when you walk with your shoulders back, your chin up, and your stomach pulled in.
- Schedule a physical. Visiting your doctor for an annual physical will help you stay in tune with your overall health. Knowing your current health status will allow you to see where improvements in your lifestyle need to be made.
- Keep yourself organized. Simply getting organized can keep you motivated to stay healthy. Keep a calendar of your upcoming appointments, lists of your current medications, and write down the goals for physical activity you’re hoping to achieve.
- Assess your home environment. Your home should be a safe haven, so take note of safety issues like throw rugs or electrical cords that could cause a debilitating fall. Every room should have plenty of light, including night lights for late night trips to the bathroom.
- Stay positive! Basically, think happy thoughts and surround yourself with people who have positive outlooks on life. If you find yourself complaining, try changing the topic to something more pleasant. A little positive energy can go a long way!
Vibrant Senior Living at Concordia
At Concordia, we believe in successful aging of the mind, body and soul. Residents stay engaged and active in life through a variety of scheduled social events, activities and wellness programs. Contact us today to schedule a visit to see all our beautiful community has to offer.