Living healthy in 2023 is likely at the top of most people’s new year goals. But have your resolutions already fallen by the wayside? If so, don’t worry; you are in good company. Some of us are gung-ho about a significant change in lifestyle once we roll over into the new year, but life quickly pushes in and keeps us from maintaining our dedication to succeed.
Yet it is never too late to start again, and it’s especially beneficial for seniors to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are various key ways to make this happen; select one to begin with, or jump right into all of the following suggestions to enhance overall health for seniors.
What Can Seniors Do to Improve Overall Health in 2023?
A balanced approach to healthy living includes:
Exercising is among the best things we can do in order to improve wellness, not only physically, but holistically. Physical activity has been shown to increase strength, flexibility, and balance – important aspects in protecting against falls – while also alleviating depression and anxiety, preventing or improving chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and keeping weight in check.
Physical activity doesn’t even have to be a structured exercise program. Daily tasks such as house cleaning, going for a walk, and playing with the grandchildren all count! Talk to a doctor for guidelines and approval before beginning or altering any exercise regime. As a general guideline, the goal is to strive for at least 150 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic exercise, along with muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises.
A Balanced Diet
Now that the culinary temptations of the holidays are behind us, it’s a good time to work on some better dietary habits! Older adults need fewer calories, but just as many nutrients as younger adults. This can be achieved by choosing nutrient-dense foods “from the rainbow,” incorporating fruits and vegetables of a variety of colors, along with whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean meats, eggs and poultry, beans, peas, legumes, and fish. Stay away from foods that have added sugar, trans fats, and salt – common ingredients in prepackaged foods.
Planning ahead is a great way for you to ensure that healthy food choices are just as easy to grab as their unhealthy alternatives. Try these pointers:
- Prepare favorite foods (such as homemade soup or chili) in larger quantities and then freeze individual portions.
- Keep small cups of fruit (without added sugar) on hand, along with low-prep veggies, such as pre-washed salad mixes and baby carrots.
- Partner with a home health care agency, like Absolute Companion Care, a provider of personal home care in Baltimore, MD and the surrounding areas, for a caregiver to guarantee the fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy selections and to prepare nutritious meals.
It’s also important for older loved ones to stay mentally healthy. The weeks following the holidays are particularly challenging emotionally for many individuals. Help those you love to alleviate sadness, loneliness, and isolation by encouraging them to:
- Get sufficient sleep: seven to eight hours per night is best.
- Look for opportunities for socialization: volunteer, schedule weekly lunch dates with a friend, sign up for a class, etc.
- Take time out each day for enjoyable and uplifting activities.
- Talk to a therapist for assistance with difficult emotions and develop a brighter outlook on life.
Recognize that depression is treatable, and it’s important for a senior who is showing signs of depression to see the doctor immediately for help.
Let Absolute Companion Care’s experts in personal care in Baltimore, MD and the nearby areas help someone you love with living healthy in 2023! Call us at 410-357-9640 for more information on our award-winning home care services for seniors.