The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy and Active Lifestyle

healthy senior living

Why is Healthy Aging so Important?

As we age, it’s natural to experience many changes in our lives. From children leaving home, retiring from your job, to starting to notice physical changes to your body, the way one handles all these adjustments is the key to healthy aging.  This is why along with proper senior nutrition habits, daily exercise for seniors is so important to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

Aging doesn’t have to mean declining health, memory loss, or being stuck in the rut of a boring daily routine. By finding new things to enjoy and adapting to change, you can stay healthier as you grow older. An active lifestyle is within your reach, and once you begin incorporating some new, healthy habits into your daily routine, it will be easier to maintain than you might think.

The Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

Did you know that avoiding daily exercise could actually be threatening your overall health? Most aging adults don’t get enough physical activity because they might be worried about injury or are self-conscious about going to a gym. However, the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks; exercise helps you maintain your strength and agility, helps prevent falls and injury, diminishes chronic pain, and can even make you feel better mentally.

Here are a few exercise tips for the elderly:

  • First, be sure to check with your doctor to see if there are any physical limitations you should be aware of.
  • Find an activity you enjoy, like golfing or walking. If you enjoy an activity you’re more apt to continue with it.
  • Do 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Start slow to build your endurance- your daily 30 minutes can be broken into 10 minute intervals throughout the day.
  • Add in flexibility and strength exercises. If your muscles aren’t being used they are at risk of wasting away.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard. If you feel dizzy or get chest pains, ease up on the activity immediately and call your doctor if you’re concerned.

Healthy Senior Nutrition

It’s vital to eat healthy to maintain your energy and overall health. Decreased metabolism, slower digestion, and changes in taste and smell might affect your appetite, but it’s important to remember to incorporate a variety of healthy foods into your daily diet. This includes:

  • Protein to maintain and rebuild muscles. Poultry, fish and eggs are low-fat choices.
  • Carbohydrates, the body’s preferred source of energy. You can get the carbohydrates you need from fruit, veggies and grains.
  • Fats, which also provide energy. Try to get most of your fat from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. You can choose from less fatty meats, and use olive oil when cooking.
  • Finally, it cannot be stressed enough to drink plenty of water. Older adults are prone to dehydration, and without enough water you are not going to be as sharp or energetic.

A few other healthy aging tips include remembering to schedule and maintain routine doctor appointments. Annual exams and screenings for diseases like osteoporosis and cancer lead to early detection, which is the key to fighting most of these diseases. Also, stay social! Social activities help keep your body active and your mind sharp.

Learn more about our senior lifestyles at Lourdes Noreen McKeen and how we provide an active retirement community that promote health and wellness.

Senior Living

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