Staying healthy and sharp as you get older will contribute to living a longer, more fulfilling life. While many of the habits that keep you healthier in your earlier decades will continue to serve you well as you get older, seniors need to be careful with high-impact exercises and should be aware of different risks.
The AARP actually suggests eating like you have diabetes — don’t eat after 7 p.m.; get rid of the bottom bun when eating hamburgers or other sandwiches; keep nuts in your bag or glove compartment so you have something healthy to snack; use mashed avocado in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches and use whole wheat bread; and replace noodles with quinoa or barley. Talk to your doctor about the number of calories you should be eating daily.
FIND THE RIGHT EXERCISES
As long as you’re able to do it, brisk walking remains a great way to burn calories, get your heart rate up and keep your muscles and joints active. It’s not the only exercise that’s low impact and good for seniors, though. AARP suggests tai chi — a form of martial arts that combines slow, graceful movements and meditation that been connected to a variety of health and fitness benefits. The biggest of those benefits is the exercise’s ability to improve balance and prevent falls. A 2015 study also found tai chi can help seniors avoid osteoarthritis.
Tai chi, as with all exercise, can help reduce stress as well as give you more energy for the rest of your activities.
KEEP YOUR BRAIN SHARP
Memory slowing down is a normal effect of age. According to Health beat, a publication of Harvard Medical School, using the brain is critical to keep your memory sharp. Use all of your senses; repeat or write down information you want to retain; continue learning, either through classes, books, online programs, going to museums or joining a book club; or make a mnemonic device to help you remember things.
WORK WITH YOUR DOCTOR
As you age, your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia increases, as does the risk for cancer, arthritis and many other conditions. Talk to your doctor about changes in your body or symptoms related to depression or other mental conditions.