Apr 26 , 2019
While getting older may come with a few drawbacks, it’s certainly nothing to dread.
Surveys have found that seniors tend to be happier than the rest of society, possibly because they have more free time to engage in activities that promote well-being. The secret to a happy, fulfilling retirement may not be much of a secret at all. You too can thrive in your senior years by taking control of your mental and physical health with some smart lifestyle choices.
Make the Most of Your Medicare
Good healthcare coverage will give you access to the services you need to stay on top of your health. While Medicare is helpful, it only provides bare-bones health coverage. That’s why it’s important to assess all your options. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage in areas that Original Medicare does not, like vision and dental care. Medicare Advantage plans, from providers like Aetna, may also include access to special wellness programs. Learn more about your options to find out how you can benefit.
Diversify Your Exercise Routine
If you ask any healthy senior about their secret to vitality, their answer will likely involve exercise. Unfortunately, less than a third of people aged 65-74 are considered physically active. Did you know that not exercising can be worse for your health than smoking, heart disease, and diabetes? A sedentary lifestyle is extremely risky, especially for seniors who face a higher risk of disease.
According to Verywell Fit, all adults are recommended to engage in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days every week and strength training two to three days per week. Strength training is an often forgotten but crucial element in any exercise routine. Strength exercises will help you maintain muscle mass while supporting your bone density to prevent vulnerability.
On top of this, seniors are encouraged to add regular flexibility and balance exercises to their weekly routine — these will help you enjoy your daily activities while reducing your risk of falls. Stretching can also help with arthritis and back pain management by improving your joint range of motion and relieving muscle tightness. For an added healthy boost to the bones and joints, seniors can benefit from Plum Dragon’s Ancestors Advanced concentrated herbal formula. Packed full of the strongest Chinese herbs, this formula is an ideal treatment for joint pain and arthritis.
Engage in Mental Activities
Mental activities are to your mind what physical activity is to your body. For seniors, engaging in a range of mental activities will lower the risk of mental health problems, like dementia. Avoid gimmicky brain-training games. According to MedicalNewsToday, these don’t really translate to real-world skills. Instead, engage in activities you enjoy! Pick up a new, challenging hobby. Get creative with arts and crafts. Learn an instrument or a new language. If you like to play games, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, board games, chess, and cards are all solid mind exercises. Just like with physical exercise, try to vary your mental activities to keep your mind sharp.
Develop Your Social Network
One final thing that most healthy seniors have in common is a rich social network. Loneliness can be extremely damaging to your overall health, increasing your risk of mental illness, cognitive decline, and physical problems. Fortunately, a regular dose of socialization can help. Stay in touch with friends and family, join local groups, and participate in community events.
If you’re living in a place where it’s difficult to engage with others on a regular basis, consider moving closer to family or into a city where you will be surrounded by social opportunities. If moving is out of the question, get a dog! Dogs provide endless companionship and can give meaning to our lives. Plus, a dog will encourage you to get on your feet and get active more often.
Taking control of your health will be easier if you incorporate several small, healthy strategies into your daily routine, rather than taking on massive lifestyle changes. Every day, try to find something specific you can do for your health. Whatever it is, you’ll be taking an impactful step toward long-term happiness and vitality.
Written by: Jason Lewis