The older you get, the more of a challenge it is to keep yourself fit. But that doesn’t mean that deteriorating is inevitable. By adopting the right habits, there’s no reason why you can’t remain healthy and active well into your golden years. Here are a few healthy habits for seniors that doctors recommend anyone over 60 engage in regularly.
- Get Regular Checkups. The first thing you should do when setting up a health and fitness regime is to talk to your doctor. They know your health history and can better advise you on what you should and shouldn’t do. Then, continue to get a checkup once a year, to ensure that you remain healthy going forward. This includes an annual hearing exam as well. Hearing loss affects a third of people between ages 65 and 75. Get in monitored, so that you can get it taken care of as quickly as possible.
- Get Balanced Nutrition. Start by eating healthy meals. Ask your doctor to help you design a meal plan that meets your specific health needs. But that may not be enough. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop a vitamin or mineral deficiency. It may be necessary to take one or more supplements, such as iron, calcium, etc. Drink plenty of water, too, as dehydration is also an increased risk when you get older. With a little help and a little planning, you can create a nutritional plan that will keep you happy and healthy.
- Wear Sunscreen. When you think of sunscreen, you tend to think of going to the beach, or working outdoors for long periods of time, particularly in the summer. But the sun’s rays can cause harm on any day. Going outdoors in short sleeves, even on a cloudy day, could still put you at risk for skin cancer. So be aware of which areas of your skin are exposed to the sun when you go outside, and always cover them in sunscreen, every day. This will help reduce the risk of skin cancer and keep you healthy.
- Remain Social. When you leave work, you also leave behind a large circle of people with whom you interacted every day. Even if they weren’t your closest friends, regular social interaction is essential to your continued health. Once you’re retired, it can be difficult to find a replacement for that interaction. As a result, many seniors become isolated—especially if they live alone, or don’t have friends and family nearby. Make an effort to be social in some capacity every day. Joining a club or other organization can be helpful in this regard. You might also take a class in something that you’ve always wanted to learn. Apart from that, it can even help just to take a walk around the neighborhood every day and say, “Hi!” to the people you pass in the street. You can also call up friends and family and make plans to spend time with them regularly.
- Stimulate Your Mind. Some of the biggest risks to your health as you get older include neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. To stave off this mental deterioration, keep your mind active. Do crosswords or Sudoku puzzles. Read books. Take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. The more you exercise your mind, the easier it will be to keep it sharp.
Your body is a temple. You owe it to yourself to keep it in good shape. As you get older, that will take more work. But by adopting healthy habits now and sticking to them, you can make it a little easier, and ensure your good health for years to come.