While less than a third of all seniors report being physically active, 100% of seniors need to get some form of exercise. The more activity that you can engage in, the better you’ll look and the better you’ll feel. With just a few of the following senior health tips, you can make a huge difference that your doctors will notice and appreciate.
Here are five science-backed tips that you need to follow.
1. Quit Bad Habits Now
As much as you might think it’s too late to get healthy, that’s never the case. There’s never a bad time to quit smoking, drinking, or eating too much. If you have any bad habits at all, your body will recover more quickly than you’d imagine.
You’ll be surprised at how much more you’ll enjoy your life when you’ve gotten rid of dangerous habits.
One of the biggest habits to stop right away is to quit smoking. Looking at the research that we’ve had for decades, you can see all the benefits that come with quitting this habit. It’s linked to so many health problems that there’s no good excuse for continuing to smoke.
Smoking can cause cancer with the way that your lungs are pummeled by the chemicals in cigarettes. You can end up with blood pressure and persistent heart problems with the way that it impacts oxygen and blood flow throughout your body. While you might think that years of smoking have permanently damaged your body, your lungs can start to bounce back in just a few weeks.
You’ll even end up with better skin when you quit smoking. Smoking discolors and dries out your skin, causing unsightly wrinkles you’d probably look better without.
2. Keep Moving
One of the things that a lot of people do as they get older is to become couch potatoes. While your body’s newfound aches and pains can make movement a lot more challenging, it’s worthwhile to get your blood flowing.
Even people with limited mobility can find ways to stay active and maintain their strength. If you can run, go for a jog. If not, try to go for a walk.
There are even “chair yoga” classes to help people stretch as they get older.
When your balance and flexibility are maintained, you’ll have better cardiovascular health and keep your body in shape. You’ll stay at a healthy weight and keep your blood pressure down. When you’re used to movement and balance exercises, you can ensure that you’re less likely to slip and fall or lose your balance in daily life.
If mobility is an issue and you need at-home care, you can learn about your options by reading more here.
3. Maintain a Good Diet
Even if “you are what you eat” feels like a tired cliche, it gets repeated for a reason. When you combine physical activity with eating healthy food, you ensure that your body has the fuel it needs to thrive.
You need to think of your body as a machine or an engine that runs off of food and ensure you’re giving it the best fuel you can.
Eating right ensures you avoid illnesses and problems with your heart and muscles. When you avoid obesity, you’re putting less stress on your body as you move and ensuring that you’re building lean muscle.
You’ll be more apt to move around when you’ve gotten rid of excess fat that gets in the way of movement.
Dietary changes can improve the way that you sleep and heal. If you’re healthy, you’ll be able to bounce back from an accident or an injury. With the right amount of calcium and vitamin D, you’ll avoid bone problems and osteoporosis.
4. Watch Your Weight
When you’ve put on an unhealthy amount of weight, you increase the problems you’ll have all throughout your body. Your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure all go up when you’re putting on too much weight. The problem with weight is that as you put on more, your problems get worse and worse.
Keep an eye on your BMI to ensure you’re at the right weight for your height and age. When you work on getting to a healthy weight, you’ll feel better about yourself and how you move around in the world. You’ll even notice that you’re able to eat better more easily.
When you get rid of all of the sugary drinks and calorie-heavy things that you eat throughout the day, you can ensure your weight will improve. Simply replacing soda and sweet drinks with water will cause you to lose weight quickly. When you choose a calorie-free option over a high calorie one, you’ll see the changes fast.
5. Get Regular Checkups
As we get older, doctors recommend that we stay up to date on all of our health screenings and immunizations. There are a series of shots and tests that have proven to help people live longer and to prevent problems as people age.
The number of preventative screenings that are available help to ensure that you can catch problems before they become an issue.
Men should be checked for prostate cancer and women should be checked for breast cancer at a regular pace. Wellness screenings are valuable for aging people, so they need to be taken into account.
Your doctor will run and recommend regular screenings for skin cancer and other issues as you age. Listen to their recommendations and ask about what you can do to prevent problems.
Senior Health Tips Should Fit Your Life
When you’re looking at the senior health tips above, you should see some clear ways that you can fit them around your life. You’ll become happier and more comfortable when you make choices to improve your health, even as you age.
For the best fitness programs, check out our guide to find the one that fits your lifestyle.