A long lifespan can be a wonderful thing as long as the years are fulfilling and enjoyable. The good news is that adults do not have to accept that they will automatically experience physical and mental deterioration due to aging. There are many ways to develop and maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit, and senior citizens can look forward to being active and aging successfully with some healthy lifestyle changes.
It is a lot easier to remain active if colds, flu, and chronic illness can be eliminated or kept to a minimum. Simple things like staying hydrated, dressing warmly, hand washing to eliminate germs, getting a flu shot, and getting regular checkups can help a senior citizen achieve a healthier lifestyle. Hereditary factors and previous lifestyle choices may play a role, but communicating with health care professionals and making changes at any age can lead to profound and positive outcomes. Seniors should keep a journal of physical symptoms and changes that they experience and relay this information to their health care providers as needed.
Physical exercise is important at every stage of life, and this includes the senior years. Some exercises may not be appropriate throughout life, but many activities can be adjusted so that senior citizens remain safe as they participate. Exercises that promote endurance, strengthening, stretching, and balance should be part of the routine. Activities such as swimming and dancing support good heart and circulatory health, and exercises such as yoga and lifting free weights promote balance and flexibility without stressing delicate joints. Cycling can be done outdoors or indoors on a stationary bike, and safe physical activity of any type will promote joint, circulatory, bone, and total body health.
A good mental outlook is crucial to living well, and aging can take an emotional toll that is followed by physical deterioration. Many seniors are affected by the loss of friends and family due to retirement and other life events, but maintaining social connections is important for good health. Many communities have an abundance of community services for senior citizens, and taking advantage of complimentary transportation, free computer courses at libraries and community centers, and participating in other activities designed for seniors will keep the mind and body sharp.
Mental sharpness is a hallmark of many happy seniors, and mental exercises can improve memory and cognitive functioning. Keeping a journal can be practical for health issues, but writing, doing word searches, and playing games that challenge the brain are good ways to promote mental and emotional health. Journaling may work best as a solitary endeavor, but crossword puzzles, word searches, and card games may be enjoyed with others.
Many adults experience decreased metabolism as they age, and dietary changes such as eliminating excess fat, sugar, and sodium should be incorporated. Exercise choices and patterns may change over time, but adjusting the diet along the way will make it easier to maintain good health. Healthy aging can be a reality, and seniors who actively care for their bodies and minds can look forward to this phase of life.