Living healthy isn’t always easy, especially as you age. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take toward preserving your health. From fitness techniques to nutritional support, here’s what you need to know about living healthily well into your golden years.
Securing Health Coverage Should be a Priority
Even if you’re currently in good health, it’s a smart idea to maintain health insurance coverage. Fortunately, all seniors qualify for Medicare, though specifics on the program vary by state. In Texas, for example, all adults ages 65 or older are eligible, and preventative services are no-cost.
Medicare covers services like inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facilities, lab tests, surgery, medical equipment, home care, preventative services, and more. It’s a bit confusing because the separate parts—A, B, and healthcare plans—handle different expenses. But overall, Medicare can help you access services you need now, plus other assistance in the future.
Staying Active Isn’t Optional
Remaining active is a requirement for good health. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much effort to get moving, especially if you can go outside each day. Your exercise regimen should consider any pre-existing health problems and be safe for your condition, notes Mayo Clinic. Over-exercising can also pose a risk, so it’s smart to check with your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.
In general, says VeryWellFit, it’s best to raise your heart rate for about 10 minutes at a time when you work out. Fitting aerobic exercise into your schedule at least five days a week is ideal, for about 30 minutes each time.
If you need to stay indoors to stay active, think about options like stretching, swimming, installing a home gym, or using fitness videos. There are easy exercises you can do inside and with little to no equipment. Regular activity will help strengthen your muscles and increase your balance, reducing the chances that you’ll experience a fall.
Food Matters More Than You Might Think
Eating right throughout your life helps keep your entire body healthy. And while your diet impacts bone, eye, and immune health—among other things—it can also affect your cognition. The thing is, if you have mobility challenges or are living on a lower income, it’s often a challenge to make and eat nutritious meals.
Plus, studies note that specific nutritional deficiencies, like a lack of vitamin B6, can have serious effects on your cognitive state and mental health. Adequate folic acid is another important indicator, but too-low B12 combined with high folic acid isn’t good, either.
For seniors, the best strategy for achieving a well-rounded diet is to aim for variety. Include as many fruits and veggies as possible in your daily meals. Whether it’s fresh, canned, or frozen, produce has tons of vitamins and minerals for good health.
Other necessary components for a healthy diet include low-fat dairy, whole grains, high-quality protein from meat, eggs, and legumes, and healthy fats from sources like avocados, olive oil, and nuts.
Sometimes Living Well Requires a Change
It’s excellent to stay fit and independent in your golden years. But no fitness regimen or health plan can replace the ability to tend to your daily needs or care for yourself. If you have difficulty at home, it may be safer and more comfortable for you to consider a move to assisted living.
You can use online search tools and guides to explore the varied assisted living communities and other services that might be able to help. Finding a facility that fits your needs is vital, and the cost is important too, but making sure it’s the right place is the most important factor. This includes the ambiance, the residents, the staff, the food. You need to be able to say to yourself, “Yes, I can see me happily living here.”
Staying healthy isn’t always easy, no matter your age. And maintaining wellness can become a bigger obstacle in your later years—but it doesn’t have to be. With these strategies, you’ll be feeling better and healthier in no time.