Healthy aging in older adults
September is Healthy Aging Month. It brings attention to the positive aspects of growing older. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to help deal with changes as we age and to help prevent some common age-related health problems.
Focus on nutrition
Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet so your body gets the nutrients that it needs. Nutrients are substances in foods that our bodies need so they can function and grow. Some changes that can happen as you age can make it harder for you to eat healthy.
Some tips to make sure you are eating the right foods when you age include:
- Eat nutrient-packed foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Avoid processed foods, like chips and fast food
- Choose foods that are low in cholesterol and fat
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
This online resource also has some great nutritional tips for seniors.
The positive effects of exercise cannot be stressed enough when it comes to healthy aging. Walking, aquatic therapy, and dance are just a few of the ways that older adults can keep moving. Why is it important?
Walking is good for your heart and overall health. It also lowers your blood pressure. Aquatic therapy can improve strength and reduce the risk of falls in older adults. Dance is a “bonus” since for many, it doesn’t feel like exercise! Dance also improves coordination, which can be very important for older adults.
Older adults are subject to isolation and depression; improving their social connections can help alleviate these issues. Being social improves mood and brain sharpness. Additionally, it reduces risk of developing dementia. But that’s easier said than done, right? So how can we encourage older adults to be social?
One way is to encourage them to develop new hobbies. Often, this will lead to meeting new people and interacting with others that enjoy the same hobby.
Another way for seniors to be social is to join a group or club. Whether it is a book club, birdwatching group, garden club, or others, it’s a great way to chat with others who share a passion for something you love.