After years of hard work, it’s time to reap the benefits. Likely, you have more time now to do the things you love, such as traveling, visiting loved ones, and pursuing your passions. However, as we age, we may be at a greater risk for a number of physical and mental illnesses. While we are unable to control our chronological age, there is increasing evidence to suggest that age is, in fact, just a number. Your chronological age does not have to determine your health, mobility, or happiness. Leading a healthy and active lifestyle can make you happier and healthier now and in the future. Keep reading to learn more.
Breaking unhealthy lifestyle habits can be incredibly difficult. The longer we practice certain behaviors, the harder it can be to make a change. That being said, it is possible to make positive changes regardless of how long you have been practicing an unhealthy behavior. In fact, researchers estimate that most habits take 12 weeks to break. When it comes to food, it is easy to get into an unhealthy routine. Maybe you have a tendency to skip breakfast, have a snack at lunch, and indulge with a take-out meal in the evening. Cooking for yourself is one of the easiest ways to limit excessive fats, salt, and calories. A meal plan balanced with vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can do wonders for your overall well-being. If you do not have a large appetite, try eating at least three balanced meals a day. Eating frequently can speed up your metabolism and make you feel hungry.
If the thought of planning and preparing your meals is overwhelming, consider your options for having food delivered to your home. Meal delivery services can be a great option if you want to cook without the effort of planning and grocery shopping. These meal-prep services deliver complete, healthy meal kits right to your front door. If you prefer to do the planning yourself, consider adding an app to your phone to help prepare meals, shop, and cook. Thanks to technology, cooking doesn’t have to be stressful.
Physical activity helps us maintain mobility, strengthen bones/muscles, and improve mood. If you want to incorporate exercise in a safe, fun way, start by consulting your doctor. Almost all seniors will benefit from some level of physical activity, such as stretching, cardio, and weight training. Depending on your mobility level, you can also consider taking classes such as yoga, Zumba, Sit-and-be-Fit, and water aerobics. Even moderate physical activity can improve your balance, flexibility, and strength.
Find a Hobby
After retirement, some seniors miss the purpose provided through professional work. Before retiring, your days were structured by going to work, completing necessary tasks, and socializing with coworkers. If you are in a “retirement rut,” consider adding a hobby to your life. Once you have identified an area of interest, look for opportunities in your area. Likely, there are clubs, social groups, or classes you can take. If you miss work but do not want to return to the workforce, consider doing some volunteering work. Volunteering is a great way to structure your day, provide purpose, and help others. Becoming a volunteer can also expand your social network and keep your mind active. Hobbies, in general, are a great way to expand your horizons, stay social, and grow your skill set.
Your golden years should be a period of rest, rejuvenation, and relaxation. To ensure your golden years are the best yet, consider some of the recommendations above.
Marie Villeza is passionate about connecting seniors with the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives. So she developed ElderImpact to provide seniors and their caregivers with resources and advice.