You’ve seen the ads for various senior-related products and services, and they all have one thing in common: everyone is all smiles and living life to the fullest. Things might look differently for you. Perhaps you struggle with chronic pain, senior ailments, loss of mobility, or feelings of depression and loneliness. The truth is, your senior years can’t be golden if you don’t take the necessary steps to care for your physical and mental health and improve your quality of life. Health and happiness are connected, so here are a few ways to improve your health.
Fuel Your Body Right
As you age your dietary needs change, and this requires health-conscious eating. Think about some of the most common senior health issues — weak bones, low energy, and diabetes to name a few. None of these issues improve your quality of life and instead make it hard to enjoy not only the routine day to day but adventures too. So, fuel your diet with the right vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, and fiber to build/strengthen bones, prevent osteoporosis, boost energy levels, and stabilize your blood glucose levels. Your gut health is important too, as it not only impacts digestion and nutrient absorption but has a direct correlation to your mood. Boost your gut health by eating fermented foods such as yogurt or kefir, or add a probiotic to your daily health supplements.
Tackle Chronic Pain from All Sides
If you are a chronic pain sufferer, you likely have a treatment plan set up with your doctor. Therapy and medication help, but there are other methods that can serve as a supplement. One such method is acupuncture, which has been shown to relieve pain and tension for seniors dealing with arthritis pain. In addition, acupuncture has also been shown to help treat common eye disorders such as cataracts and central retinitis myopia (nearsightedness) as well as ease stress by balancing the body and mind. Another supplement to your chronic pain treatment worth trying is cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD oil. It doesn’t get you high, and there is evidence of benefits including pain relief and reduced inflammation, helping you remain active and heighten your quality of life. However, do some homework and speak to your physician before you begin taking any CBD oil products.
Be Mobile to Stay Mobile
Mobility is one of those things that tend to decline as you age. It might sound counter intuitive, but yoga can actually improve your flexibility and mobility. There are a variety of types of yoga and various poses, each focusing on something different such as joint rotation, muscle lengthening, mobility, strength, and/or stabilization. If mobility is already an issue, yoga isn’t out of the question. A qualified instructor can help you modify the poses using a chair or props. Other great exercises to improve mobility and stay active include tai chi, water aerobics, and walking, all of which are gentle and low impact.
Boost Your Brain Power
You use your brain every day, but you’ve got to challenge it in order to improve your brain function and mental health. One such way to do this is by taking up a hobby. There are plenty to choose from such as yoga, meditation, golf, dancing, knitting, brain games, or baking, and they provide benefits too by challenging your mind and body, improving problem-solving skills, lowering stress, and encouraging socialization to prevent feelings of loneliness. A hobby or new interest is a great way to make new friends and could even turn into a potential side gig to make a little extra cash to treat yourself with. Hobbies don’t require prior experience, enabling you to learn as you go at a pace you set yourself.
Quality of life is important at any age and is the key to happiness and longevity. However, it will require a little bit of effort on your end. Pinpoint the area of your life you want to tackle first, whether it is your diet, age-related pain, mobility, or your mental health, and set attainable goals. Take that first step and you’re on your way.
Jason is passionate about helping seniors stay healthy and injury-free. He created StrongWell to share his tips on senior fitness.