As we get ready to move forward into 2023, it’s the perfect time to ponder what we have learned from the past year and what changes we would like to make in the coming year. It is not just about making a resolution that’s likely to be given up on within a matter of weeks. It’s about taking control over our health so we can live life to the fullest. There are several lifestyle changes for seniors that can accomplish this.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Seniors Make to Improve Their Lives?
This can vary according to each person’s current lifestyle and goals, but overall, the following ideas are a great starting point:
- Engage in more activities – mentally and physically. An inactive way of life has been shown to be very harmful, increasing the risk of chronic health problems and even earlier death. Alternatively, staying active and engaged in enjoyable activities, including socializing, exercise, and hobbies, leads to a longer, happier life. Older adults should seek advice from a doctor for recommendations before beginning or changing any fitness program, but in general, walking, swimming, taking a class at the gym, tai chi, and yoga are great options. To give cognitive functioning a lift, try crosswords and other puzzles, learning a new language, learning how to play an instrument, or taking a class.
- Make at least one of the following dietary modifications. For a person stuck in a rut of unhealthful eating, it can be very difficult to both modify and stick to a healthier diet. It could be simpler to start small, exchanging one unhealthy item for a healthier one. For example, the chips eaten at lunchtime with a sandwich might be traded for apple slices or carrots. Once this turns into a routine, another substitution may be added in. The goal is to incorporate plenty of vegetables and fruits of various colors, lean protein, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, whole grain products, and healthy fats while reducing foods that are high in sugar, salt, or trans fat.
- Improve sleep habits. Keeping active and following a healthy diet can help pave the way for a better night’s sleep, which provides a great deal of benefits. Older loved ones should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night to lessen the possibility of stroke, heart disease, depression, inflammation, and obesity while enhancing focus and concentration.
- Minimize stress. This can be more difficult than it sounds, but it’s important for both physical and mental health. Be sure to avoid relying on harmful substances like smoking, excessive drinking, or illegal drugs in order to self-medicate. Instead, try relaxation strategies like deep breathing and meditation, writing in a journal, enjoyable, calming activities, or talking with a reliable friend or therapist on a regular basis.
- Schedule routine checkups. As opposed to waiting until an illness emerges, older adults should see the doctor routinely (at least annually) for a complete checkup. It’s also important to adhere to all of the doctor’s guidelines to control any current health problems and prevent them from worsening and to keep new ones from developing. This includes routine checkups with the dentist, eye doctor, and any specialists providing care for the person.
Hearts at Home In-Home Care, a trusted provider of home care in Leawood, KS and the nearby areas, is here to help the older loved ones in your life implement these and any other positive changes in the new year to make it the best year yet! Get in touch with us at 913-440-4209 to learn more.