Growing older doesn’t mean what it used to. People are much more active than ever before, and our golden years can be the most exciting and fulfilling of our lives. There are plenty of ways you can make this time in your life the best it has ever been.
Make the Home Accessible
Our homes should be our sanctuaries from the world, a place of joy and unwinding, not stress or frustration. That may mean we need to modify our homes to fit our new needs as they arise. Modifications should focus on one of three things, or ideally, all of them at once: safety, accessibility, and convenience. Look at your home from several perspectives. What may be easy to navigate now may become difficult in ten or twenty years. Make sure you address any tripping hazards, like uneven floor tiles, to prevent falls. If you have stairs, how will you easily navigate them if walking becomes difficult? A chair lift or elevator can provide convenience and safety. Handles may need to be replaced in favor of styles that are easy to turn, like levers. The bathrooms and kitchen will be the most likely to need modification. Put anti-slip grips into tubs, and install grab bars anywhere where floors can get wet to aid stability. Think about your potential needs not just today, but in the future.
Everyone needs a diet that fits their individual needs. However, there are changes you can make that are helpful to most people as they age. Many of us find digesting food to be more difficult as we age. Eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit can greatly improve digestive health, especially if we add natural probiotics through foods such as low-fat yogurt. In fact, half of each plate should be fruit and vegetables rather than starch and protein. Choose whole grains when you can, as these are better for digestive health. Eat fats, but make sure they’re the right kind. Nuts, avocados, and salmon are full of nutrient-rich omega 3s our bodies need. Just as important as what we eat is what we drink. Getting enough water is important, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of non-caffeinated beverages and eating water-dense foods.
Focus on Fitness
Similarly to diet, exercise is not one-size-fits-all. Everyone will have considerations or varying levels of ability. However, fitness is one of the most important steps to staying healthy for all of us. Exercise improves flexibility, may decrease pain and depression, and helps our bodies stay well. It helps us live better and longer. When you’re first starting out with a new regimen, it’s wise to do modified positions, such as chair squats and wall push-ups. These will build strength and help you get stronger safely and gradually. However, routines that strain the lower back should be avoided, including crunches and leg-presses. Unless you are in fantastic shape, running also puts a strain on joints and can damage ligaments. Take care of your body, and speak to a doctor about what routines would be best for you.
Look After Your Emotions
Emotional wellness is important at any age, but one-fifth of seniors experience poor mental health. Feeling good emotionally is hugely important to our overall well-being. Eating nutritiously, getting adequate sleep and working out can all help to make us feel happier, but those are only a few pieces of the puzzle. Learning to deal with stress in healthy ways can go a long way to making us happier in life. That could mean a religious practice, mindfulness and meditation, or even yoga. Find something you enjoy that also helps you relax and let go. Social connections are something we need to cherish as well. Family, friends, and neighbors all play a big part in how we feel, so do your best to maintain healthy relationships.
Older age is not a time to settle and slow down. This is a time to invest in ourselves and do the things we enjoy the most. Eating well, staying active, taking care of your mental health, and ensuring your home fits your needs can all help to make this period a fabulous adventure.
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