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Senior health is a huge concern for individuals who are past retirement age and their loved ones. Because your physical and mental health are so closely linked, it’s important to take a close look at how they are affected by your daily activities, and to think of ways you can boost your overall well-being in order to maintain your own safety and to feel better inside and out. For instance, if you aren’t getting enough exercise, your sense of balance may suffer, which can lead to falls and injuries within your home. If you aren’t staying social, you may become isolated and lonely, which can lead to depression.
An easy way to cover all the bases is to think about how you can mix your activities for maximum impact. You can join a walking group that will allow you to work out while staying social, or take your grandchildren to the park for a playdate so you can visit with your loved ones while having fun and getting active. The choices are endless.
Here are a few tips on how to take care of your overall well-being as a senior.
Learn more about your healthcare options
Healthcare is an invaluable benefit for seniors, especially Medicare, but it doesn’t always cover everything. If you need vision or dental insurance, or if you require a short-term stay in a nursing facility, you may need to consider a Medicare Advantage Plan to ensure you’ll be covered. Take a look at plans offered by providers like Aetna to find out more about your options, and don’t forget to check out their wellness programs specifically aimed at seniors.
Check your gut
Over the years, research has suggested there is a link between our gut health and our mood and mental health, so it’s important to stick to a gut-healthy diet. Keeping your body’s microbiome in good shape by eating fermented foods -- such as sauerkraut -- and introducing probiotics such as yogurt into your daily meals can make a big difference in the way you feel.
Keep your workout fun
Daily exercise is a must when you want to maintain good health, and keeping it fun will help you stay motivated even when you’re tired. Look for a workout that integrates a good time with activity, such as playing with your grandchildren outdoors, joining a club, or playing a sport like golf or tennis. When you enjoy exercising, you’re much more likely to keep up with it every day, which is the best way to stay at a healthy weight, keep your heart in good shape, and prevent illness and disease. You can even build up balance and stability, which will help prevent falls.
We all have stress in some form, whether it’s from financial issues, family matters, or health-related problems. Stress can have a negative effect on many aspects of your life, however, including leaving you unable to sleep well or function properly during the day. A couple of easy ways to reduce the stress in your life include practicing self-care -- which is any activity that helps you feel relaxed in a healthy way, such as yoga/meditation, swimming or reading a good book -- and either talking to a loved one about your feelings or learning to journal so you can boost your mental health.
As a senior, tending to your health is important, and making sure all of your needs are met will allow you to keep your mind, body, and soul in great shape. Talk to your loved ones when you need help, and remember to reduce stress as much as possible from day to day. Learning how to take care of yourself will help you stay strong, independent, and vital.