As our bodies and minds age, many changes occur. Our metabolism usually slows, we become more sedentary, and we fall into repetitive patterns of behavior – some of which negatively impact our health. So what are the best ways for seniors to stay forever young at heart?
Here are 10 health tips for seniors to maintain good health and keep themselves young even as they age:
1. Never Stop Learning.
Stay involved in activities that challenge and exercise your mind (and body!). It’s called ‘lifelong learning,’ and while companies encourage their employees to engage in it to stay current on changing practices, you don’t need a job to keep learning. The benefits of lifelong learning include keeping the mind sharp and improving both self-confidence and memory.
2. Surround Yourself With Good Friends.
Social activity is important for mental health, and having one or more good friends around you keeps you sharp and active. But lose the complainers and groaners… surround yourself only with the people who make you happy.
3. Laughter is Great Medicine!
Laughter creates a healthier and happier life. It lowers stress, improves memory and ability to learn, prevents heart disease, lowers blood pressure, protects against respiratory infections and so much more. It also feels good, and is just plain fun! So pay attention to the things that make you smile and laugh, and remind yourself how good it feels.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep.
People who get more sleep are healthier, so don’t cut yourself short. Men who get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly live longer than those who sleep either less or more. The same goes for women who get seven hours each night – they also have a lower mortality rate.
5. Nix the Bad Habits.
Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, junk food…we’re surrounded – and constantly tempted – by bad habits. Risks are highest for those smoking 2+ packs of cigarettes or consuming 5+ drinks daily. A little drinking is okay – in moderation, alcohol does not raise mortality rates.
6. Eat Healthy.
Being overweight is dangerous, as is malnutrition. Nothing beats three square meals a day, and remember – breakfast is still the best way to get your energy levels up for the day ahead.
7. Keep Stress Away.
Stress ages people. From the cost of living to family and health issues, we are surrounded by it – and it can become overwhelming at times. If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, you need your body to release endorphins in order to relax. Both exercise and laughter are good stress relievers. Learn to recognize your stress, and identify coping mechanisms that work for you.
8. Exercise Regularly.
Regular exercise is one of the best steps people can take to stay forever young at heart. In fact, it’s also more likely to keep you independent and reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, stress and depression. There are four main types of exercise seniors should focus on: balancing exercises, endurance activities for the heart, stretching exercises for ligaments and tendons, and strengthening exercises for muscles.
9. Attitude Matters!
Maintaining a positive attitude is critical for remaining young. The adage ‘you are only as young as you feel’is very true – your attitude about aging has a tremendous impact on how you age. People who view getting older negatively tend to not age as well as those who see it positively.
10. Smell the Roses. Our golden years are a time when we finally have a bit of time to slow down and reflect, so take some time to do that! We live in an amazing world, and so many interesting things surround us. Taking pleasure in the small joys of life makes you happier, which can reduce depression and blood pressure. You’ve earned the right to slow down and observe life’s little details – so do it!
With the alarming rise in obesity amongst seniors, staying forever young requires work. Remember that aging well is important for both mental and physical health, and work to change routines that may be negatively impacting your health.
What do you do in order to stay forever young at heart?
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