Your senior years can be some of the best years of your life. According to Dominique Fradin-Read, getting older does not have to mean that your health will fail. If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you can be healthy and active well into your later years. Here are some ideas to help you develop that healthy way of life.
1. Get Regular Exercise
One of the most important things you can do to preserve your health is to get regular exercise. Exercise lowers your risk of getting diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It also lowers your stress levels and improves your mood. Just walking for 30 minutes a day is enough to benefit you. You can also try dancing, swimming, bicycling or exercise classes.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
A healthy diet is very important for maintaining health. Replace unhealthy choices such as sugar and white flour with healthy vegetables, fruits, protein and whole grains. Avoid saturated fats, and eat healthy fats instead. Eat more fiber. The Mediterranean Diet is a good diet to follow, but any healthful way of eating is fine.
3. Stay Socially Active
A good social life will benefit your health in many ways. Getting together with friends keeps your mind sharp and is proven to be associated with greater longevity. Volunteering is another great way to connect with others. Even having a pet for companionship will improve your mental and physical health.
4. Keep Stress Low
A high stress level causes inflammation and disease. Keep your stress low by exercising, yoga, meditation and breathing. Be sure to get enough sleep. Talk to your friends or a therapist when things are bothering you.
5. Develop a Hobby
Hobbies can give purpose to your life and keep you busy so you don’t get depressed. If you don’t have a hobby, learn a new one. A new hobby may help you to make new friends, too.
6. Stop Bad Habits
Unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking too much can take years off your life. Drink no more than one drink per day if you are a woman or two if you are a man. If you need help stopping drinking, join a 12-step program. If you need help to quit smoking, ask your doctor for suggestions.
7. Stay Positive
A positive outlook on life has been shown to help you live longer. That includes feeling good about your age. Remember that aging does not have to mean a decline in health, and embrace your age. Face troubles with an optimistic outlook. Every age has its problems. Look on the bright side and practice gratitude.
8. Consider Tai Chi
Tai Chi is both an exercise and a meditative practice. It can improve your balance, reduce stress, increase your flexibility and make your muscles stronger. For these reasons, it is an especially beneficial practice for young and old.
Just because you are getting older does not mean you have to move to the sidelines of life. Stay actively involved in life and follow these ideas, and you can stay happy and healthy for a long time.