Maintaining a healthy lifestyle not only allows older adults to increase life expectancy but also to take enjoyment from every day. There are several different ways to implement a healthy lifestyle and feel a sense of empowerment as you age.
It is a classic tactic but a failsafe, nonetheless. Reading will always be one of the best ways to stimulate your mind, lower your blood pressure, and create less stress and a much-needed escape. Whether it is a book, a blog, or the local newspaper, reading is one of the core components to a healthy lifestyle. What’s more, it can provide opportunities to connect with others in the form of book clubs, events held at nearby bookstores or meetups at the local library.
Brain health games
It is common that as you get older, you become a little more forgetful and while you cannot prevent this natural ageing process, brain health games help to slow it down. Much like your body, your brain needs frequent daily exercise to stay sharp. Brain Health Games can include crosswords, word searches, classic board games, and even online video games. With Brain Games, you want something challenging, but not impossible to solve as the best brain games are both healthy and fun. Put quite simply, the more enjoyable a brain health game is, the more likely you are to make it a habit.
Ensuring you have an active lifestyle is important not just for the physical, but also to improve life expectancy and mental wellbeing. Including frequent exercise does not have to be strenuous. Moderate-intensity exercise such as swimming or walking can incrementally decrease risks of chronic disease.
Your metabolism declines as you get older, and therefore, some motivation is required to make exercise a habitual part of your healthy lifestyle routine. There are many different types of group fitness activities for older adults of varying capabilities including water aerobics, bushwalks, Zumba, and Chair Yoga. Additionally, frequent exercise in groups has shown increased mental health in older adults, as they build more social connections. Many local council areas not only host a lot of these activities but also provide transport.
Focusing on mindfulness has many benefits for a healthy lifestyle. As we get older, memory and brain health begin to decline. This can cause stress, memory loss, mood swings, and circulation issues due to the lack of oxygen the body is receiving. Using meditation as part of mindfulness practise has shown to increase activity in the brain that is associated with memory and learning. It also reduces symptoms of anxiety, pain, and depression whilst providing breathing techniques that help with cognition and digestive regulation.
There are several simple practices and breathing techniques that can be accessed online, or through books and YouTube.
A healthy diet
It is well known that a healthy, balanced diet is a huge contribution to men and women living well into their 80s. There is always time to adopt a healthier diet, especially for older adults as the benefits have such a direct impact. Several illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure can be prevented, or at least controlled if you focus on nutrition. Protein is an important component to help fight infection but with sensitive teeth, seniors may need to exchange hard-to-consume proteins with:
• Beans and lentils
• Egg whites
• Fat-free milk, yoghurt, and cheese
• Soft fruit and vegetables like peas
• Supplements where necessary
Developing a strong sleep routine
Battling with restless nights as we get older is extremely common. Sleep patterns change and disrupted sleep can leave you grumpy for the rest of the day. Developing a strong sleep routine will help to kill bouts of insomnia and have you more energised for the day. Techniques to help this include being strict with when you get up and go to bed, avoiding daytime naps, and establishing a routine at night such as reading a book, making sure the room is dark and cool with all devices that emit bright lights outside.
Participating in social activities
Mental health plays an enormous role in a healthy lifestyle. A huge factor in a positive mental outlook is social interaction. Social activities have proven to stimulate the brain and reduce symptoms of stress, loneliness, and depression. In older adults, connecting with others through social activities wardens off such negative feelings and promotes better emotional health. As well as helping those suffering from feelings of isolation, it often also improves physical health as a lot of the social interactions that take place are active. Older adults can also reap the benefits of improved immunity because of reduced depression and stress.
There are many ways to participate in social activities including joining a fitness class, online book clubs, local council events in your area, and becoming a volunteer.
As we get older, it is important to be proactive when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Try to include some of these habits in your daily routines and communicate this with loved ones so that they can support you in finding ways to achieve these practices in a way that you enjoy.