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The Best Strategies for a Healthy Senior Lifestyle

Life expectancy isn’t all about luck or genetics. In fact, lifestyle can play a key role, too. Of course, no one can guarantee good health or longevity, but some habits are scientifically linked to a long and healthy life. For example, clearing your house of bad energy by taking steps like decluttering helps to reduce stress in your living space and open it up to positivity.

MJ Housing & Services takes a look at other everyday strategies that can improve your health and overall well-being.

Incorporate exercise into your daily routine

Exercise is essential for people of any age. However for seniors, it can be especially beneficial. One study indicated that even a low-dose of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces mortality by 22% in adults aged 60 and older. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report notes that exercise can also reduce the risk of falls, which are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among seniors. Regular exercise is also particularly vital for the many seniors with diabetes.

If you are looking to join a gym, be aware that certain Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans offer SilverSneakers – a free health and exercise program that provides access to local fitness centers. Take a look at your Medicare coverage to see if SilverSneakers is included, and if it’s not, consider switching to a different plan.

Don’t want to join a gym? Find other ways to work some light exercise into your day. For example, when you have the opportunity to do so, use the stairs instead of taking the elevator. You can even go for a walk to get in some physical activity during the day. The point is to find ways to get your blood pumping and your body moving.

Find the right diet for you

Generally speaking, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats is the best option for good health. Limiting added sugar, saturated fat, and alcohol is also typically recommended to reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. However, if you suffer from certain conditions, your health care provider may recommend other restrictions as well.

Whether you are trying to gain, lose, or maintain weight, talk to your doctor about a healthy eating plan tailored to your needs. If your doctor recommends a restrictive diet, don’t concentrate on what you are giving up, and instead think of all the options you can still eat.

Then, make an effort to try new cooking methods and recipes to vary your diet and keep it interesting. You can even get on the web and explore sites that teach you fun tricks to test drive in your kitchen, giving you that much more to look forward to.

Get the proper amount of sleep

Too little sleep can increase your risk of inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and early death. The Daily News explains that people who sleep less than six hours a night are 12% more likely to die prematurely (before age 65) than people who sleep the recommended six to eight hours each night. On the other end of the spectrum, a global study cited by CNN found that too much sleep (consistently more than eight hours a night) increases the risk of heart failure, stroke, and death up to 41%.

Find your sweet spot, and don’t sleep too little or too much. To ensure a good night’s sleep, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and avoid caffeine and electronics in the evenings. You should also remove distractions from your room, like televisions, phones, tablets, and computers, and make your bedroom as dark and comfortable as possible.

Stimulate your mind with education, puzzles and games

It’s not all about physical health as you get older. Mental health is important too. Lifelong learning, for example, offers key health benefits. If you're one of the many keeping their hand in business, why not double dip on the perks and earn your MBA? This allows you to gain a deeper understanding of business concepts like marketing and leadership, and if you take classes online you’re able to complete coursework at the convenience of wherever you can log onto the internet. Some MBA graduates can even get their degree within a year’s time.

Some studies show that games and puzzles can be a stimulating workout for your brain, promoting cognitive function, memory, sequencing skills, and decision making. For brain health, also try new activities, learn new skills, and break out of your everyday routine.

Games and activities aren’t just healthy for your brain, they can also provide social interaction too. Avoiding isolation as you age is critical, as isolation is linked to higher rates of cancer, heart disease, infection, and even death.

Making changes to your daily habits can have a significant impact on your physical and mental health, as well as your overall quality of life. Strive to exercise your mind and body daily, as well as eat and sleep properly. These healthy strategies can reduce your risk of a number of diseases and conditions, and increase your chances of living a healthy, robust life.

Photo via Pexels


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