At the beginning of every year, we often think about ways to improve our lives by setting goals for the New Year. Senior citizens are no exception.
Seniors, like their younger counterparts, can plan for a healthier lifestyle, more peace or even stepping into a workout routine. By taking time to prepare for a brighter healthier future, our seniors will be more productive in their latter years. Let's face it, older Americans are the first to be called upon to volunteer and to take care of grand children, so time management and living healthy become vitally important.
Our super 7 tips will help seniors become more productive in their responsibilities and have more energy to fulfill daily tasks. Our simple workable list will go a long way in helping older Americans live a longer, more fulfilling life.
Eat healthy - According to WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/over-50-nutrition-17/anti-aging-diet it is crucial to eat right and maintain a healthy diet. Adopting a good balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, healthy proteins and whole grains will go a long way helping performance. Some of the best foods for older Americans are:
- Blueberries: packed with vitamin C and E to keep cells healthy.
- Fiber: dietary fiber from vegetables helps the digestive system, prevents constipation and lowers cholesterol, inflammation and blood pressure.
- Fatty Fish: salmon and mackeral that are loaded with omega 3 help prevent heart disease and stroke.
- Olive Oil: cooking with olive oil helps lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol and improve your good cholesterol (HDL).
- Yogurt: an excellent source for calcium to help keep bones strong.
- Tomatoes: a good source for lycopene that can help protect against prostate cancer and prevent lung cancer.
- Broccoli: filled with vitamins and high in fiber.
- Nuts: full of omega 3, protein and fiber and are a heart healthy nutrition.
- Water: even though water is not a food, it is an excellent source for overall good health and prevents dehydration.
Rest and Relaxation - Get plenty of rest. Studies show it is important for seniors to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Also, seniors need to take breaks during hectic schedules. If money is available, take time to go on a vacation to recharge and refocus.
Exercise - Waking up early and establishing a good workout regimen is essential for good health over time. By adopting a consistent workout routine, seniors will improve posture, arthritis, diabetes, flexibility, heart disease and balance which can prevent falls. If possible, moderate aerobic activity or tai chi can go a long way helping our older population stay young.
Doctor Visits - It is important to schedule doctor visits with your general practitioner, eye physician and hearing professional annually. Being proactive can help senior citizens stay ahead of the health curve by taking advantage of vision and hearing tests, as well as tests for colon and breast cancer. A bone density exam will help seniors measure bone strength and determine osteoporosis.
Friendships - Reaching out to old friends and building social connections through social media or a local senior center can help improve mental and physical health. Psychology Today reports https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-emotional-footprint/201602/the-importance-friendship a key finding from a major study showed those with close long-term friendships fared better than those who were less social. Friends are there for each other during the celebrations and help one another during adversity.
Mental Stimulation - As we progress through life, exercise is crucial for our physical health but our brain needs stimulation too. According to helpguide.org https://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/preventing-alzheimers-disease.htm those who continue to learn new things and challenge their brain are less likely to develop Alzheimer's and dementia. A few good projects that help stimulate the brain are:
- Strategy games, cross word puzzles and riddles help the brain stay sharp.
- Learn something new, reading a book or taking up a hobby can be just what the mind needs.
- Practicing memorization, even something short can keep the neurons firing.
- Meditation for 15-20 minutes daily can sharpen the mind.
Setting Goals - By setting goals seniors can guide and align their focus. Sometimes seniors have family members calling on them to help provide care for grandchildren, as well as having local clubs needed help with volunteers. With all the demands, seniors need help managing their time so setting realistic goals can help our elders stay focused.