Have those New Year’s resolutions already been forgotten? If that’s the case, don’t fret; you’re in good company. Most of us are enthusiastic about a major change in lifestyle when we turn the calendar page, but life quickly pushes in and keeps us from sustaining our motivation to succeed.
Yet it’s never too late to start again, and it’s especially important for older loved ones to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There’s a variety of wellness advice for seniors. Some may wish to pick one strategy to begin with, others may want to jump right into all of the following ideas to boost health and wellness.
What Can Seniors Do to Improve Wellness This Year?
A balanced approach to healthy living includes:
Exercising is one of the best things you can do in order to boost wellness, not just physically, but holistically. Exercise is proven to improve balance, strength, and flexibility – important aspects in preventing falls – while also easing anxiety and depression, preventing or improving chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, and keeping weight under control.
Physical activity does not even have to be a structured exercise regime. Everyday tasks such as housekeeping, walking, and playing with the grandchildren all count! Talk to the physician for suggestions and approval prior to starting or modifying any exercise routine. As a rule of thumb, the aim is to strive for at least 150 minutes per week of moderately intensive aerobic activity, along with flexibility and muscle strengthening.
Now that the food temptations of the holidays are behind us, it is an excellent time to implement some better dietary habits! Seniors need fewer calories, but just as many nutrients as younger adults. This can be achieved by choosing nutrient-packed foods “from the rainbow,” incorporating vegetables and fruits of many different colors, along with whole grain foods, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean meats, eggs and poultry, beans, peas, legumes, and fish. Abstain from foods that have added sugar, trans fats, and salt – common ingredients in prepackaged foods.
Planning ahead is a great way to make sure that healthy food choices are just as easy to grab as their unhealthy counterparts. Try these guidelines:
- Make favorite dishes (such as homemade chili or soup) in bigger batches and then freeze individual portions.
- Keep small servings of fruit (without added sugar) on hand, along with low-prep veggies, such as baby carrots and pre-washed salad mixes.
- Partner with an in-home care agency, like Live Free Home Health Care, an expert in Concord home health care and senior care throughout the surrounding areas, for a caregiver to be sure the fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy selections and to prepare nutritious meals.
It is also important for seniors to stay mentally healthy. The weeks following the holidays are particularly hard emotionally for many people. Help those you love to alleviate sadness, loneliness, and isolation by encouraging them to:
- Get sufficient sleep: seven to eight hours per night is most beneficial.
- Search for opportunities for socialization: volunteer, schedule weekly lunch dates with a good friend, register for a course, etc.
- Take some time out each day for enjoyable and uplifting activities.
- Talk with a therapist for assistance with difficult emotions and gaining a brighter outlook on life.
Realize that depression is treatable, and it’s important for a senior who is demonstrating signs of depression to see the doctor right away for help.
Looking for more wellness advice for seniors? Let Live Free Home Health Care, an award-winning provider of Concord home health , help someone you love to live a healthier life in 2023! Contact us at 603-217-0149 for more information on our award-winning senior care services for older adults. For a full list of all of the communities we serve, please visit our Service Area page.