Overall health requires both your mind and body to be healthy. For seniors, it can sometimes be difficult to keep active after a certain age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 33% of men and 50% of women age 75 are not physically active.
Constantly being inactive can do more damage than good. However, you want to make sure you don’t push your body to its breaking point. Listen to what your body is telling you that it needs. Our bodies do a very good job at notifying us of certain things, like when we’re dehydrated or sleep-deprived.
Seniors should focus on these 8 ways to keep active and healthy.
1. Partake in Regular Exercise
Our first tip is mainly focused on keeping the body active and healthy. As we age, our bodies start to lose flexibility, strength, endurance, and more. Regular exercise is the answer to maintaining all of these body characteristics.
Regular exercise doesn’t have to be completely an intense workout every day for multiple hours. Instead, it can mean simply walking for a few minutes each day or walking for a longer period a couple times a week. Find an exercise that works for you.
2. Join a Local Gym or Community Center
If you don’t like the idea of walking around your neighborhood or if you want to find friends to exercise with, consider joining your local gym or community center. Many gyms offer senior-specific classes that will help you find a workout activity you enjoy while making friends. This tip allows you to keep both your mind and body healthy.
One-way seniors can keep their mind healthy is to socialize. Keeping up with social interaction is a great way to prevent depression and loneliness. That’s why tip number 2 is great for both mind and body – you will be able to socialize while staying physically active.
4. Take a Yoga Class
Yoga is another way you can keep your body active and your mind healthy. Yoga has been known to be therapeutic for depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. Also, yoga is a great, low-intensity workout for seniors that builds strength. Most local gyms offer yoga classes and you can even find some in your area that is dedicated to seniors.
5. Go Dancing
Dancing is a great way to work out that doesn’t seem like a work out at all. Having a night out dancing is a great way to stay active and socialize. You can check to see if your local community center has any dance halls or other events that involve dancing.
6. Meal Prep
One of the best ways to stay aware of what you’re eating is to meal prep. Sometimes, life is so crazy that we forget to pay attention to what we’re putting in our bodies. When you set aside weekly time to prepare your meals, you’re able to make sure that each meal has balanced portions and the key ingredients your body needs. Most people who meal prep do all the cooking and packaging on Sundays and make enough for the entire week.
7. Be Productive and Active Around the House
The CDC says that most seniors look to yard work and gardening for their physical activity. This is a great way to stay active while being productive too. Laundry, cleaning, and gardening are great forms of exercise. If gardening is your way of staying active, be sure to take proper precautions if you’re out in the heat. Wear sunscreen, drink water and remember to take breaks.
8. Get an Annual Wellness Check with Your Doctor
Most seniors look to Medicare for their health coverage. Medicare covers an annual wellness visit at 100% for its Part B beneficiaries. This visit is a great way to stay in touch with your doctor about your medical needs. Although this visit is a very basic checkup, it can help you monitor your body’s medical changes.
Before starting any new exercise, always be sure to consult with your doctor. They can give you advice on what your body can and can’t handle.