Have those New Year’s resolutions already been forgotten? If they have, don’t stress; you are in good company. Lots of us are enthusiastic about an important lifestyle change as soon as we begin the new year, but life quickly rushes in and distracts us from maintaining our dedication to succeed.
However, it’s never too late to begin again, and it is especially important for older adults to keep up a healthy lifestyle. There are numerous key ways to achieve this. Review our 2023 health advice for seniors below. Select one to get started, or jump right in and implement all of the following ideas to enhance overall health for aging adults.
What Can Older Adults Do to Improve Wellness This Year?
A balanced approach to healthy living includes:
Exercising is among the best things we can do in order to maximize wellness, not just physically, but holistically. Exercise is proven to improve strength, flexibility, and balance – important factors in protecting against falls – while also alleviating anxiety and depression, preventing or improving chronic medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and keeping weight in check.
Physical activity doesn’t even have to be a structured exercise program. Daily tasks such as cleaning, going for a walk, and playing with the grandchildren all count! Communicate with the doctor for recommendations and approval before beginning or altering any exercise program. As a general guideline, the goal is to shoot for at least 150 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic exercise, along with muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises.
Now that the culinary temptations of the holidays are behind us, it’s the perfect time to work on some better dietary habits! Older loved ones need fewer calories, but just as many nutrients as younger adults. This can be attained by choosing nutrient-packed foods “from the rainbow,” incorporating fruits and vegetables of a variety of colors, along with whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean meats, eggs and poultry, beans, peas, legumes, and fish. Abstain from foods that have added trans fats, salt, and sugar – frequent ingredients in prepackaged foods.
Planning ahead is an excellent way to make sure that healthy food choices are just as convenient to grab as their unhealthy counterparts. Try these tips:
- Cook favorite meals (like homemade chili or soup) in larger quantities and then freeze individual portions.
- Keep small servings of fruit (without added sugar) on hand, along with low-prep veggies, such as pre-washed salad mixes and baby carrots.
- Partner with a home care agency, like Grace Home Care’s senior care experts, for a caregiver to ensure 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 after the holidays are particularly challenging emotionally for many people. Help those you love to ease loneliness, isolation, and sadness by encouraging them to:
- Get enough sleep: seven to eight hours per night is best.
- Seek out opportunities for socialization: volunteer, schedule weekly lunch dates with a friend, register for a course, etc.
- Take some time out daily for enjoyable and uplifting activities.
- Talk with a therapist for assistance with difficult emotions and attaining a brighter outlook on life.
Remember that depression is treatable, and it’s very important to a senior who is displaying signs of depression to see the doctor right away for help.
Want more 2023 health advice for seniors? Let Grace Home Care’s award-winning senior care experts in Topeka help someone you love to live a healthier life in 2023! Get in touch with us at 785-286-2273 to learn more about our award-winning home care services for older adults.