Keeping healthy is very important for any age group, but it’s especially vital if you’re a senior. It may be even more difficult for the aging population to maintain good health than their younger counterparts simply because of how fast people can deteriorate as they grow older.
However, it is possible to stay healthy for a long time—no matter how old you are. If you want to maintain your health and independence well into your golden years, try implementing these nine habits into your daily life:
Washing Your Hands
Washing your hands is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from germs capable of making you sick.
You should wash your hands with soap under warm water for 20 seconds every time after using the restroom, before preparing or eating food, and when you get home from work. This habit will keep sickness at bay all throughout the year.
Eating A Balanced Diet
Seniors should eat a balanced diet to make sure they maintain a healthy weight and don’t get sick from nutrient deficiencies.
The best way to do this is by eating three servings of fruit, four servings of vegetables, six servings of whole grains, and 2-3 servings each of dairy products and protein daily.
Don’t forget to drink your milk!
Limiting Your Alcohol Intake
If you’re over 65, you shouldn’t be drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day. Drinking more than this amount will only increase the risk of developing a number of serious health conditions like liver disease, cancer, and dementia.
A small amount won’t affect your long-term health much but will reduce the risk for accidents that seniors are more likely to experience while under the influence of alcohol.
Getting at Least 7 Hours of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for seniors to maintain their health. Studies have shown that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy and avoid accidents from fatigue or having a hard time paying attention.
If you’re over the age of 65, you must get at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days out of the week. If your doctor tells you not to do any strenuous forms of exercise, try walking or swimming instead.
This is a great way to keep your muscles strong and prevent falls, which are a severe problem among seniors.
If you’re a smoker, now is the time to quit if you want to stay healthy. Smoking increases your risk of developing serious health conditions like heart disease and lung cancer.
You should also try switching to e-cigarettes, vape juice, or nicotine gum to reduce the number of harmful substances you put into your body. Vaporizing these products instead of smoking them can significantly reduce the damage that smoking does to your lungs over time.
Did you know that about 55% of Americans are getting less than the recommended eight glasses of water daily? This lack of hydration leads to a number of ills, including fatigue, poor skin, bad breath, dry mouth, dizziness, and constipation.
Seniors have to be especially careful about staying hydrated because dehydration can lead to falls. So drink up!
Talking to Your Doctor About Preventive Services
If you’re over 65, it’s important that you see your doctor at least once a year for preventative screenings.
This includes yearly checkups for cancer and heart disease, blood testing to monitor cholesterol levels, and diabetes risk factors like obesity or kidney disease.
Planning for Future Needs
If you know that you may need long-term care in the future, it’s important to start planning now. Get started by talking with a senior living advisor to start planning for when you know your health may decline.
This includes finding out what senior housing options are available near you and looking into different care facilities and home health aides for when the time comes.
Getting Plenty of Social Interaction
It’s important that seniors stay in contact with friends and family to stay healthy. Having low social interaction has been linked to poor mental health, increased risk of chronic illness, and even an increased risk of death.
Studies have shown that seniors who are less likely to get social interaction are more likely to experience depression and loneliness, which can lead to a number of serious health conditions.
Maintaining healthy habits is important for seniors to stay mobile and independent. By following these simple tips, seniors can enjoy a better quality of life and stay healthy and happy well into their golden years!