2 Being Well
Digestion, Health and Nutrition

6 Ways to Maintain Health as a Senior

As we get older, our bodies start to work less efficiently. We become more prone to illness and will take longer to recover from exercise. The good news is that it is possible to slow down many of the effects of ageing by exercising regularly and living a healthy lifestyle.

Getting older may mean slowing down a little, but you can still live life to the full if you take good care of yourself. If you have an older friend or relative, here are a few ideas that you can use to help them get fit and healthy.

Eating Healthy

Good nutrition is essential at any age but it is even more important for older people. A balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, in addition to an adequate protein intake, is important for maintaining your bone health and keeping a strong immune system.

It is common for older people, especially ones with mobility problems, to eat fairly limited, high carbohydrate diets. If you are concerned about the health and wellbeing of an older person, consider offering to go shopping for them occasionally so that they have a supply of frozen vegetables and easy-to-prepare meats.

Regular Cardio

Regular exercise is important for keeping your heart and lungs healthy. It is not a good idea for a previously sedentary adult to jump straight into intense cardiovascular exercise, but the good news is that they don’t have to run marathons in order to see health benefits.

Going for a 30 minute walk a few times a week will help them to get in shape and if they find that they enjoy the exercise then they can gradually become more active from there. Some older adults are nervous about going out alone. They may benefit from joining a local walking group so that they have people to keep them company and help them out if they feel tired or unwell.

Building Muscle

Resistance training is just as important as cardiovascular exercise. Lifting weights can help to strengthen muscles and improve bone density. Arthritis sufferers often find that weight training helps to reduce their symptoms.

Joining a gym is the easiest way to get access to weight training equipment, but if there are no gyms nearby, or a gym membership is too expensive, then exercising with resistance bands is a cheap and convenient option.

Socialising

Isolation can be an issue for older people, especially if they live alone and have limited mobility. Becoming part of a local organization, whether that is an art or reading circle, the local church or women’s institute, or a wine tasting group, can offer pensioners some much needed support and add structure to their lives.

If they join a dance group or take up yoga or pilates classes then they will have the chance to learn a new skill, get fit and make new friends. People that exercise as part of a group are more likely to stick with the exercises and benefit in the long term.

Feeling Needed

Pets offer valuable companionship and can help to relieve stress and enhance feelings of wellbeing. Obviously, adopting a pet is a big commitment and it is something that should only be done if the owner is both financially and physically able to take care of it.

For a generally fit and healthy pensioner, however, adopting a well-trained and healthy dog can be a good way to help them maintain their health. They will get cardiovascular exercise by taking the dog for a walk and will enjoy having a new canine friend.

Brain Exercise

Looking after the body is important, but you should not neglect the mind. Keeping mentally active, whether that is through solving puzzles, playing chess or video games, or reading books, can help to slow the onset of dementia.

Encourage the pensioners in your life to pursue intellectually challenging hobbies. This will ensure that they always have something to stave off boredom and it will keep their minds sharp too.

Retired adults that stay active and fill their new-found free time with hobbies, sports and friends tend to live longer and stay fitter and healthier than ones that find themselves feeling lost and bored when they no longer have a job. If you know someone who is preparing for retirement, encourage them to make plans and help them find things to look forward to in this new chapter of their life.

You cannot live their retirement for them, but you can support them in whatever choices they make and encourage them to use their retirement as an opportunity to enjoy their life and do all the things that they didn’t have the time for when they were in the office every day.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips. Once you read these they all make sense, but its sometimes nice to get a list in front of you again.

    Sleep is another thing that can make a big difference.

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