By: June Duncan
Living well is a challenge at many stages in life, and your senior years are no different. And while things are no doubt changing as you get older, there are steps you can take toward optimal health. Here are five things you should do for excellent health as you age.
Make the Right Choice for Daily Living
Many older adults decide to downsize as they enter their senior years. If you are aiming for a smaller living space with the benefits of a built-in community, an independent living community may be an excellent choice. You can tour communities to get a feel for what to expect. You’ll also need to consider the monthly cost of independent living, which ranges from $1,500 to $8,795 per month in Phoenix.
In general, most senior communities feature fitness facilities, community areas such as gardens and meeting rooms, and regular social activities. Most properties handle maintenance and even landscaping, so you need only enjoy your time there. Residents—and public health experts—suggest tour tips like speaking with residents while you visit, attending an event or two, and learning about the community culture, says Forbes.
You may choose a senior property because it’s an economical choice. But in other instances, experts recommend a move to an assisted living accommodation for adults who struggle with self-care. If your home is not friendly to modifications for mobility, for example, it could be difficult to age in place. You should also consider whether aging at home is safe, economical, or even socially rewarding for you.
Start with Safe Exercises Indoors
No matter your fitness level, there’s no denying it’s convenient to exercise at home. But many seniors have health conditions that prevent them from going outdoors. In some cases, going outside is even unhealthy, say experts.
The solution is staying active indoors, such as walking in a mall or museum, swimming in a temperature-controlled pool, or using home fitness videos for workouts. Plus, there are easy exercises you can do indoors without needing to travel anywhere or invest in a lot of equipment, such as chair exercises and wall pushups.
Secure Insurance Coverage for Your Healthcare Needs
Healthcare costs continue to rise, but the good news is that Medicare offers coverage options for all seniors in every state. If you’re going to be turning 65 soon, it is advisable to begin researching your Medicare options right away. This way, you receive Part A and B coverage that begins immediately upon your 65th birthday. There are also Part D plans, which cover prescription drugs.
Nurture Friendships Outside Your Family
Socializing is a crucial part of the human experience. And contrary to common perception, friendships only become more important as you get older. While family connections matter, too, experts stress that friendship is a priority.
Family relationships are “obligatory,” while friendships present significant companionship, social integration, and self-worth benefits. To find friendship connections, get involved in activities that interest you.
Whether it’s group fitness, an art class, or any other social activity, participating may boost your health and help make you happier, too.
Think About Your Snacking Habits
Even if you have eaten healthy all your life, aging can present unique challenges. Many older adults experience nutritional deficiencies, while others may struggle with chewing problems. But maintaining good nutrition is vital for your health.
Fortunately, there are a few simple strategies to stay healthy and enjoy food. If you currently eat highly processed food, make the switch to fresher ingredients wherever possible. Canned foods—such as fruit and vegetables—can be just as healthy as fresh produce. This, and the existence of healthier options overall, means you don’t have to do away with convenience foods completely.
But ensuring that your plate has a variety of colors and food groups is the healthiest way to stay satiated. Overall, higher fiber, protein, calcium, and vitamin D intake are desirable nutritional boosts for seniors, says Healthline, so keep tabs on those nutrients.
No matter where you are in your journey toward improved wellness, there are easy steps you can take toward your goals. With a combination of lifestyle changes and perhaps a change of scenery, you can begin enjoying better health as you enter your golden years.
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