Over the years our health goals change. There’s one thing we all have in common, regardless of age: we have the ability to chart a course towards a healthier lifestyle. What are your health goals for 2020? We have some suggestions that are perfect for seniors.
- Lose some weight. Obesity is an epidemic in America, and 29 percent of seniors have a body mass index of 30 or over. It’s important to consult your doctor about your weight, because obesity can lead to hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and many other chronic ailments that impact seniors even more than the rest of the population.
- Get moving. Physical activity is important for your health, especially as you age. It may be difficult to jump into an exercise routine, especially if you’re typically inactive, but setting small goals can help you feel more physically fit. Start small, with a small goal that’s easy for you to stick to, like a short walk three times a week. Work up to 150 minutes of exercise each week. Walking and swimming are great examples of aerobic activities that are accessible no matter your fitness level.
- Eat a healthier diet. If you’ve got some weight to lose, you might already be thinking about this. However, everyone needs a diet full of nutrient-dense foods, so talk to your doctor about what your diet may be lacking. Seniors, in particular, need to focus on potassium, calcium, vitamin B12, fiber, and minerals. While you’re focusing on filling your diet with good things, make sure you limit the things you put in your body that aren’t as good: limit your alcohol consumption and absolutely don’t smoke.
- Be more social. Join a club, take a class, volunteer for a charity, or find some other way to connect with others and have fun. Seniors are often isolated, and this can take a toll on both physical and mental health. Stay connected, and you’ll stay healthier and happier. Another thing seniors can do to feel less isolated? Get a pet. Interacting with a pet can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and help people feel calmer. Pets give seniors a sense of purpose as well as providing companionship.
- Get some sleep. Sleep patterns shift as people get older, but seniors still need adequate sleep. In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, try to get some exercise in the afternoon, avoid stimulants for three or four hours before bed, and keep a steady schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. It’s also smart to avoid alcohol in the evening and turn off electronics at least thirty minutes before bedtime.
- Manage your health. Don’t neglect your annual check-up, and make sure you’re following your doctor’s orders precisely. If you’re taking medication, find a management system that works for you so that you always take them as prescribed. It could be an electronic pillbox with timed alarms, or you may do just as well keeping a journal to record your daily medication.
- Exercise your brain. Make a habit of playing brain games, to keep your mind active. Doing crossword puzzles, playing Sudoku, or reading are all examples of the kind of mind-stimulating activities that can help stave off cognitive decline
No matter what goals you need to reach to make your life healthier, Parkwood Heights is a great place to live your best life. Parkwood Heights is a lovely community in which to spend your retirement participating in interesting activities or just relaxing, located just minutes from Victor, Fairport, Farmington, and Canandaigua. A picturesque, 122-acre senior living campus, it’s a great place to enjoy your time with friends and family. Call (315) 986-9100 to learn more about all that we have to offer, or check out our website and reach out if you have any questions.