Today, more people are living longer than at any other time in history. However, longevity isn’t the only important thing — quality of life is essential, too. These tips can help you maintain your physical and mental health and live life to the fullest throughout your golden years.
Optimize Your Home for Healthy Living
Many people downsize to a smaller home, a retirement community, or an assisted living facility at some point in their lives. If you are choosing a new place, consider its proximity to friends and family, as well as to outdoor activities such as parks and nature trails. Studies indicate that exposure to nature improves mood, reduces stress, and positively affects your overall health. So, choose a home where you have the opportunity to take walks or go on hikes nearby. According to Modern Retirement, if you have a pet (or are planning on getting one in the future), look for pet-friendly communities near plenty of outdoor space to walk your furry friend.
Don’t think about just your present condition; also consider your needs in the future. Select a home where you can age in place— maintain your independence now but still having access to caregiving services and other helpful resources as you age.
Focus on Preventative Care
During the first 12 months on Medicare,seniors are offered one free physical, and then they receive free annual wellness visits after that. Preventative health care, such as screening for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, depression, diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions, qualify for Medicare coverage. Also as you get older, consider getting vaccinations to help prevent hepatitis B, influenza, and pneumonia.
Staying physically active is important for people of all ages, including seniors. Regular exercise, even just daily walking, allows you to reduce the odds of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other issues, as well as to maintain a healthy weight. According to Harvard Health Publishing, staying active is also linked to improving memory, mood, and sleep quality while also reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
Eat Properly for Your Gut
The digestive system slows down with age, and seniors need to pay attention to gut health more than ever. According to Life Extension Advocacy Foundation and other research, positive gut health correlates to overall health and longevity. An amazing 40 trillion bacteria are at work in your body, most of which reside in the digestive tract. Those microbes in the gut affect the functions of the body and the brain. Studies indicate gut bacteria affect how the body stores fat, balance blood glucose, and produce neurotransmitters that regulate moods.
To keep your microbiome at its healthiest level, eat foods that keep your gut healthy and happy. You may know that yogurt is delicious and good for your gut, but so are a number of other foods; garlic, onions, pickles, and other vegetables and plant-based foods feed a positive gut environment. Consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as herring, mackerel, and wild salmon, also lead to a healthier gut. And fortunately, research from the Louisiana State College of Agriculture has shown eating dark chocolate causes good gut microbes to grow and ferment, producing anti-inflammatory compounds in your system.
Don’t Forget Your Mental Health
Isolation and loneliness can severely affect your health. Often, isolated seniors are more prone to depression and dementia, and they die earlier than the less-lonely. Also, research indicates lonely people have higher levels of stress hormones that cause inflammation, linked to arthritis and diabetes. So, make an effort to make friends or stay in contact with your current ones. Do volunteer work, take a part-time job, join an exercise class, and go to social gatherings. Staying connected to other people is essential for your mental health.
By living in a safe, secure home that you love and taking preventative measures to improve your physical and mental health, you can increase your chances of living a happy, healthy life in your senior years. Although no one can guarantee you’ll live a long life, this advice can help you live your best life and enjoy your golden years.