Staying physically and mentally active are two key parts of living a healthy lifestyle, and they get even more important as you age. It’s easy to let things slide as you grow older, but don’t let age stop you. With some small modifications, you can still participate in a healthy lifestyle that will keep you physically and mentally fit. Check out What wellness means
Eat a Healthy Diet
With the sudden increase of restaurants offering home delivery due to the pandemic, it’s become much easier to order unhealthy comfort food. While this is certainly convenient, comfort food tends to be high in salts, sugars, and fats. Consuming this kind of food can have a detrimental effect on your health.
Instead of turning to comfort food, make a concerted effort to reach for fruits, vegetables, and antioxidant-rich foods instead. Make these foods convenient for you to eat when hunger strikes. Blueberries, for example, are a great antioxidant-rich food to have in your diet and require basically no preparation beforehand. In that same vein, fruit and vegetable trays from the grocery store are a great option to consider as well.
It’s also important to keep your diet varied. Not only does this ensure that you’re consuming the nutrients you need, but it also keeps your healthy diet interesting. Even seniors’ communities are recognizing how important variety is in encouraging older adults to eat healthily. Seniors residences offer a warm and comfortable living environment and also encourage the health and wellness of their residents through healthy meal options.Many of these high-end communities are smashing the stereotype that they serve bland, boring foods by incorporating different seasonal options, which makes eating convenient, healthy, and a delicious experience.
Stay Physically Active
As you age, you may find yourself getting tired or sick more easily. Keeping physically active is a crucial part of preventing both of these issues. The Center for Healthy Aging encourages older adults to practice these four types of exercise, modified to your physical abilities:
- Endurance exercises to maintain your cardiovascular system, such as a brisk walks
- Strength exercises to maintain your muscles, using a resistance band
- Balance exercises to reduce fall risks, such as tai-chi
- Stretching to improve flexibility
Doing these activities, even for a short time every day, can go a long way toward maintaining your physical health.
Maintaining your mental health may also be an issue you face as you age. The Center for Disease Control estimates that about 20% of older adults face some sort of mental health concern, such as depression and anxiety. To combat this, consider practicing meditation.
Mindful meditation has been shown to have a wide number of health benefits, including better focus, less stress, and better sleep. Meditation also stimulates the memory centers in the brain, and in seniors, may even slow down age-related cognitive diseases.
Meditation may seem like a huge task, but it’s actually easy to get started. Make sure that you:
- Start small: carve out ten minutes in your schedule where you can be in a distraction-free space.
- Focus on yourself: Take deep breaths, concentrating on how you feel. It’s okay to not feel good that day; the point of meditation is to acknowledge these feelings without judgment.
- Be thankful: Think about the positives in your life, no matter how small, and take a moment to find joy in them.
As long as you have ten minutes every day that you can use to concentrate on yourself, anyone at all can mediate.
Staying mentally and physically fit is easier than you might think. Follow the steps above and you’ll be on the path to a healthier lifestyle that you’ll enjoy for many years to come.