Today, we're treated to a special post from Jason Lewis from StrongWell. It's something all of us should really listen to. As we get older, it's important to stay on top of our physical conditioning, as well as other things- some I wasn't even as aware of as I should've been until reading this!
Healthy Activities and Smart Habits Every Senior Should Try
The term “quality of life” means something a little different to each of us — independence, comfort, happiness, social connections, and even something as simple as mobility can determine our level of life satisfaction. It can be scary not knowing what kind of quality of life to expect in your senior years. Fortunately, we have more control over this than we tend to think. Whether you’re facing a condition that’s compromising your health or you’d like to be preventive for the future, adopting a few healthy strategies can help you stay in control.
Review Your Medicare Coverage Every Year
Medicare is invaluable to many seniors, allowing them to receive the medical care and preventive guidance they need to remain healthy. However, only 30 percent of eligible seniors have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, enjoying supplementary coverage for dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drugs. To get the most out of your coverage, shop around for
Medicare plans every year and see what other plans are offering instead of sticking to the plan you had last year. Before selecting a specific policy, however, it’s important to educate yourself about the plans and coverage available in your state.
Engage in Active Hobbies
Although doctors and other medical specialists play a crucial role in our overall health, some of the greatest health benefits come from the things we can do for ourselves. To get the most out of your free time, try to participate in new activities that get your body moving and your brain working. Here are a few excellent ideas.
Since golf is a leisure sport, people don’t think of it as a form of physical activity. But playing golf may actually help you lower your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. One study even revealed that golf players have an increased life expectancy of about five years! Golf can also help seniors maintain their balance and strength to promote greater independence and reduce their risk of injury from falls or other accidents. In addition to these benefits, golf gives seniors a chance to socialize on a regular basis, preventing social isolation and its negative health effects.
Like golf, gardening doesn’t seem to take too much physical effort. However, MindBodyGreen claims that gardening is a full mind-body workout. Planting, raking, weeding, and digging for about 30 to 45 minutes qualifies as moderate cardio exercise. Plus, being outside among nature has evident stress-relieving benefits and can even improve your memory!
Birdwatching is a wonderful alternative outdoor hobby if you’re facing mobility limitations in your senior years. The hobby gives you a chance to soak up all the wonderful benefits of nature while practicing patience and meditation. According to Health Fitness Revolution, bird watching can also help you hone your reflexes and keep your mind sharp — you have to be on your toes to snap a photo or lift your binoculars to capture the fleeting moment when a bird appears.
Reach for More Fruits and Vegetables
While you're doing all this to support the health of your body from the outside, remember to pay attention to what you're putting into it. As we get older, we tend to eat less. This means that eating nutritionally dense foods becomes extremely important to reduce the risk of chronic disease and provide the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function. Despite this, less than half of seniors eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables every day. Make
it a habit to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal — aim for a wide variety to ensure your body gets the full range of nutrients it needs.
Take control of your health so you can age with grace and happiness. Stimulate your mind with new activities, get your body moving in new ways, and introduce new healthy foods into your diet. When you take action to maintain and improve your health, you’re securing a long and happy future for yourself — a future in which you can enjoy your favorite activities!
About the Author:
Jason Lewis is a personal trainer. In 2002, he became the primary caretaker for his mother after her surgery. He realized, as he helped her with her recovery, there is a special need for trainers that can assist the seniors in our community. He worked with his mother’s doctor, as well as other personal trainers, to create programs that are considerate to the special health needs of those over the age of 65.
BA in Human Performance/Exercise Health Science
Certified Personal Trainer
CPR/First Aid Instructor
For more on Jason and all his excellent health advice, check out StrongWell.org!