Have your New Year’s resolutions already been dropped? If they have, don’t fret; you’re in good company. Lots of us are gung-ho about an important change in lifestyle once we turn the calendar to January, but life quickly rushes in and keeps us from maintaining our self-discipline to succeed.
However, it is never too late to start again, and it’s particularly beneficial for seniors to keep up a healthy lifestyle. There are a few key ways to accomplish this; select one strategy to get started, or jump right in and implement all of the following healthy aging tips for older adults.
What Can Older Adults Do to Boost Wellness in 2023?
A balanced approach to a healthier lifestyle includes:
Exercising is one of the best things you can do to boost wellness, not just physically, but holistically. Exercise is proven to increase strength, flexibility, and balance – important aspects in protecting against falls – while also alleviating anxiety and depression, preventing or improving chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and keeping weight under control.
Physical activity doesn’t even have to be a structured fitness routine. Everyday tasks such as housekeeping, going on a walk, and playing with the grandchildren all count! Consult with the physician for suggestions and approval before starting or modifying any exercise program. As a general guideline, the goal is to aim for a minimum of 150 minutes weekly of moderately intensive aerobic exercise, along with flexibility and muscle strengthening.
A Balanced Diet
Now that the food temptations of the holidays are behind us, it’s a good time to pick up some better eating habits! Older adults require fewer calories, but just as many nutrients as younger adults. This may be accomplished by choosing nutrient-packed foods “from the rainbow,” incorporating vegetables and fruits 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. Stay away from foods that contain added sugar, trans fats, and salt – frequent ingredients in prepackaged foods.
Thinking ahead is a great way for you to ensure that healthy food choices are as handy to grab as their unhealthy counterparts. Try these guidelines:
- Cook favorite foods (like homemade soup or chili) in larger amounts and then freeze individual portions.
- Keep small cups of fruit (without added sugar) on hand, along with low-prep veggies, like baby carrots and pre-washed salad mixes.
- Partner with a senior care agency, like Inspired Home Care, a trusted provider of home and dementia care in Barrington, IL and the surrounding areas, for a caregiver to ensure the fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy selections and to prepare nutritious meals.
It’s also important for older loved ones to stay mentally healthy. The weeks after the holidays are especially hard emotionally for many people. Help those you love to ease isolation, sadness, and loneliness by encouraging them to:
- Get enough sleep: seven to eight hours per night is most beneficial.
- Look for opportunities for socialization: volunteer, set up weekly lunch dates with a friend, register for a course, etc.
- Take time out daily for enjoyable and uplifting activities.
- Talk with a therapist for assistance with difficult emotions and getting a brighter outlook on life.
Keep in mind that depression is treatable, and it’s very important to a senior who is showing signs and symptoms of depression to see the doctor right away for help.
Let Inspired Home Care, a provider of home and dementia care in Barrington, IL and the nearby areas, help someone you love to live a healthier life in 2023! Call us at 847-787-7572 for more information on our award-winning home care services for older adults.