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When it comes to your health, you should incorporate strategies and practices that become part of your everyday routine rather than just looking for a quick fix. Of course, no one can guarantee you a long and healthy life. However, by establishing and maintaining certain habits, you can boost your immunity, reduce your risk for a number of diseases, and improve your overall well-being.
Exercise the Body
Exercise is essential for all of us. As Psychology Today explains, physical activity helps ward off diseases and illnesses, helps you maintain a healthy BMI, and promotes better mental well-being. Joining your local gym ensures you have interesting classes and equipment to help you stay motivated.
Many people associate growing older with taking it easy, but for older adults, exercise can be extremely beneficial for a variety of reasons. Exercise builds strength and improves balance, reducing your risk of trips, falls, and other mishaps. For those with diabetes – which is 25 percent of the senior population – exercise can help you lower blood glucose levels, manage your weight, and improve heart health.
For seniors looking to join a gym, Silver Sneakers is a free health and fitness program that is offered at no cost around the country to seniors with certain Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans. It’s a chance to engage with peers and enjoy equipment and exercises tailored just to them.
Keep in mind, however, that all your exercise doesn’t have to be done at the gym. These simple strategies can incorporate more physical activity into your everyday life.
Never drive when you can walk. In America, we drive just about everywhere – even when it’s not necessary. Next time you are getting ready to leave your house, ask yourself if it’s possible to walk or bike instead. You can even add an app to your phone to help you plan.
Park in the back of the parking lot. Small changes can really add up in terms of your overall activity level. When shopping and going to appointments, park in the back of the lot to increase your steps for the day. Of course if it’s dark, it’s best to be close to the store entrance for safety reasons.
Ditch the elevator and take the stairs. If you are only going a few flights up, opt to take the stairs instead. Climbing stairs is a great cardio workout and burns more calories per minute than jogging.
Exercise the Brain
It’s not just your body that needs a workout; you should exercise your brain everyday, too. Doing certain brain exercises can help improve memory and focus, keeping your mind sharp as you age. Inc. explains doing jigsaw puzzles is a great way to challenge your brain, and a 2015 study showed that cognitively stimulating activities – like playing a game of cards – can lead to greater brain volume, heightened memory, and improved thinking skills.
Do you know what else is great for your brain? Dancing! Some studies indicate that learning new dance moves can actually boost your brain’s processing speed and memory. So whether you like the tango or the merengue, you should get out on the dance floor.
Exercise is just part of the equation. Eating right is also vital, but we can fall into an unhealthy rut with our meals. Eating nutrient-dense foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is essential. Also, limit your intake of sugar, salt, and saturated fat. Also keep in mind that it appears consuming omega-3 fatty acids from seafood can contribute to living a longer, healthier life.
Practicing healthy habits can help you stay healthy mentally and physically. Think about how you’re exercising your mind and body, and be sure to feed yourself well. With just a few tweaks to your daily routine, you can improve your quality of life today and for many years down the road.