By: Nora Hood – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
Are you living a balanced, health-oriented lifestyle? While many older adults may think it’s too difficult to jump in at their age, it’s really never too late to get started. Here are some tips for seniors looking to ensure optimal health so they can make the most of every single day.
Tap Into Health Care
Are you enrolled in Medicare, and are you taking full advantage of your options? Enrolling late can mean paying substantial penalties, so plan to enroll within three months prior to or immediately following your 65th birthday. On top of potential penalties, Retired Brains points out that many seniors miss out because they enroll only in traditional Medicare when there are additional policies they can select to improve their benefits. For instance, you can opt for Medigap coverage, which caps your out-of-pocket expenses, or you might decide you want extended coverage for prescription drugs, dental care, or vision care. With the costs of health care continually on the rise, added coverage is a good choice for many seniors.
Fit as a Fiddle
Are you participating in an exercise program? Being physically active offers important health benefits to seniors, such as helping to reduce the risk of heart disease, better healing, improved immune function, and extending your life expectancy. If you’re new to it, working out can be a daunting proposition, especially if you have a history of chronic pain, health concerns, or injuries. Being consistent in an exercise regimen is more important for seniors than hard workouts, so aim for routine, moderate activity.
Think Outside the Box
It’s important to take your unique circumstances into account, but there are appropriate workout options for virtually anyone. For instance, if you need to avoid outdoor activities, there are plenty of great indoor exercise options, such as mall-walking or strolling through a local museum. If you have access to a pool, swimming is an excellent choice for seniors since it’s easy on joints, bones, and muscles. You don’t even have to leave home for some activities since you can create your own home gym or use fitness videos in the comfort of your own four walls. Be sure to include stretching in your fitness repertoire since it can help you stay flexible and you can do it nearly anywhere. If you’re new to exercise, have health concerns, or it has been a long time since you worked out, talk with your primary care physician before you begin.
Enjoy Good Food
Proper nutrition is extremely important for seniors, and your needs change as you age. Aging Care recommends a diet including good sources of calcium and vitamin D in order to protect bone health. Turn to milk, cereal, bread, and juice to provide both of those essential nutrients. Ensure you eat ample fiber, which is in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and choose healthful sources of protein, such as fish, chicken, and legumes. Also, watch your salt intake since it can contribute to hypertension, and pay attention to gut health since without a balanced digestive tract you won’t be able to properly absorb nutrients. Gut health requires prebiotics, which come from foods such as whole grains, bananas, and asparagus. You also need probiotics, which come from foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
Meals and Recipes
Creating a balanced menu can seem challenging, especially if you’re revamping your diet. Look for meals that are healthy and easy but pack a wallop nutritionally. For breakfast, choose things like oatmeal with berries or toast with peanut butter and some fruit. Lunch could be as simple as a salmon wrap or southwest omelet, and for dinner, make chicken salad or shrimp with whole grain pasta. Senior Chef provides a handy recipe index for seniors, and you can even sign up for a new recipe to be sent to you each month.
Embracing a new, healthy lifestyle is not only possible, but it can also contribute to a better life in your senior years. Make sure you have the medical care you need, stay active, and enjoy a nutritious diet. With wellness-oriented choices, you can remain engaged in an enriching, healthful, and balanced lifestyle throughout your golden years.
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