Americans are living longer, which means seniors have even more time to live healthily and embrace life. Unfortunately, 60% of older adults were managing two or more chronic conditions in 2012, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. Here are three tips for increasing your health, avoiding these conditions, and living your best life past 55.
Manage Your Stress Better
Healthcare costs and the rising cost of living are exceeding the financials means of many seniors. This, along with changes to living conditions and worsening health, can be a huge stress, and we now know that stress can significantly impact health. It’s important to manage your anxiety, and there are many ways to do so. You can practice meditation, get a pet or partake in pet therapy, find low-stress ways to move your body, or see a counselor.
Nourish Your Body to Prevent Disease
Malnutrition can be a serious problem for older adults. It can lead to:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Tiredness and fatigue (feeling out of energy)
- Muscle weakness or loss of strength
- Poor memory
- Weak immune system (higher risk of infection)
You might find relocation to an assisted living facility that provides meals can be a tremendous help, as it takes the burden of shopping and healthy meal preparation off your shoulders, but if that’s not a desirable option, just making smart choices about what you eat can make a huge difference. Choosing foods that are low in solid fats and sodium and high in nutrients and minerals is vital for longevity and disease prevention. Your doctor can help you make a diet plan that addresses your specific health concerns.
Start Moving Now
Physical activity for seniors has a host of benefits, including:
- Improved immune function
- Better cardio-respiratory and cardiovascular function
- Lower risk of Osteoporosis
- Preventing loss of bone mass
- Improved gastrointestinal function
- Prevention of chronic conditions and cancer
Limited mobility can make exercise challenging over the age of 55, but utilizing a workout friend, going outside to enjoy movement in the sun, and taking advantage of an assisted living or full-time care facility’s classes and options can increase the likelihood that you’ll benefit from physical activity.
Living longer doesn’t have to mean a life full of health complications. Learning to manage your stress better, making healthy dietary choices, and moving often can help you stay healthy, and enjoy life to its fullest.