September is “Healthy Aging” Month, and this is your gentle reminder that it’s never too late to strive for a healthier lifestyle or seek to improve your quality of life. The retirement era has been redefined and has become more active and fulfilling than ever before. With so many ways to engage with the world, it’s now easier to find inspiration for this next chapter of your life and - more importantly - to stay healthy so you can enjoy it.
Here are five tips to help keep you on the path to success - mentally, physically, and socially!
The goal at any age is to move more, sit less! Current national recommendations are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week and two days of muscle-strengthening training. That’s only 20 minutes a day, 7 days a week, or around an hour a day if you do three days a week.
But that doesn’t mean you have to sign up for a gym membership. Yoga & Pilates are both gentle on joints while providing ample strength training to keep muscles strong and healthy. Or you may opt for a walk in the park or even just around your neighborhood every morning. Gardening is even similar to other forms of exercise like walking & bicycling because of the major muscle groups it works.
The important point is to find a physical activity that you enjoy and that you’ll stick to so you can get the most benefit from it.
Make sure you eat the rainbow! But what does that mean? When you incorporate foods that represent all the colors of the rainbow, it ensures that you’re consuming a variety of food types and nutrients that are good for your health and may help to prevent disease. It also prevents food boredom because you aren’t eating the same things all the time.
You may also want to consider adding Meatless Mondays to your menu, as studies have shown that following a vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers. Just be sure to use fresh, organic foods where you can and be mindful of reducing the amount of processed food you consume.
Incorporating more fiber into your diet will help lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and cutting back on salt in general will help promote heart health.
Did you know that volunteering has a positive impact on your health and your mind? Getting involved in a cause that means something to you releases dopamine, which in turn reduces stress and anxiety, & increases positive, relaxed feelings. It also provides a social outlet and a greater sense of meaning in life.
But if volunteering isn’t on your agenda, you can still become more social by joining a book club, arranging a lunch date with friends, or following your passions – whatever they may be!
To keep your mind stimulated, consider traveling to discover new experiences and enjoy new customs. Studies have shown that those who travel frequently enjoy a more positive outlook on life and have an increase in hope for their future. It reduces stress, boosts creativity, and increases mental flexibility.
Or simply spend some time journaling and redefining your purpose. Retirement provides a unique opportunity to assess your life path and decide if you want to maintain your current trajectory or take a completely new adventure with your next passage. You may decide you want to enroll in a community class to explore a subject you’ve always been interested in or learn a new language and connect with others to practice.
Whatever you decide, continue moving your mind forward, always learning and discovering to keep your mind sharp and active! Practicing cognitive exercise now may help prevent dementia later.
While keeping up on your routine doctor visits and health screenings is essential to optimal health, older adults tend to delay or avoid their appointments – mainly due to fear or lack of transportation.
Though it may seem easier to disregard symptoms in the moment, this could have a significant impact on your health later on. Delaying appointments also means delaying necessary decisions, and sometimes missing the window of opportunity for treatment all together. It’s essential to manage your healthcare appointments and stay proactive in bringing concerns to your provider.
However, when mobility or transportation becomes an issue, this can create a bit more of an obstacle. That’s why Mas Imaging Portable Radiology was started – to keep seniors comfortable in their homes while getting the hospital-quality radiology services they deserve. When you need an x-ray, ultrasound, EKG, echocardiogram or doppler study, call Mas Imaging and we’ll come to your house – around your schedule! Your provider will get your results within 30 minutes to a few hours so you can immediately start any treatments needed.