Aging brings its share of challenges. It also brings many opportunities to do the things you previously only dreamed of. But to fully take advantage of these opportunities and set yourself up for a long, fulfilling life, it’s important to take care of yourself.
Here are five ways you can make the most of your golden years:
- Eat well
In many ways, we really are what we eat. Though you’ve undoubtedly heard countless times about the importance of diet in a healthy life, it’s a fact that can’t be overstated. Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to eat nutritiously at home—even for homebound seniors. There are smartphone apps to help you create nutritious grocery-shopping lists, making it easy for you to stick to your goals. The apps also give you the option of having groceries delivered to your home. Meal delivery services can provide you with ingredients to make delicious, wholesome meals, and you can have healthy, ready-made meals delivered right to your door. Take advantage of today’s technology and it will help you eat better than ever before.
- Exercise regularly
Physical fitness is also among the most important parts of living a healthy life, especially when you’re getting older. It helps you to stay physically strong, which lowers your risk of injuries from falls and helps you to maintain your independence for longer. It also benefits your mental health in a number of ways. Seniors who live a sedentary lifestyle face many more health risks and tend to age faster. If you want to age gracefully, start (or keep) being physically active. No matter what your age, there are several types of exercise that are fun and safe (e.g., walking, yoga, swimming, cycling, etc.).
- Stimulate your mind
Another factor to consider as you age is keeping your mind sharp. Brain games, such as puzzles, Sudoku, chess, and trivia can improve your memory and overall mental health, while slowing cognitive decline. Finding a hobby is also good for your mental health. A good hobby could be caring for a pet, gardening, dancing, arts and crafts, or any other activity that keeps you active, promotes socialization, and prevents isolation. Plus, playing games and having a hobby can simply add enjoyment to your life.
- Stay social
Along with your diet, exercise routine, and keeping your mind sharp, it’s essential that you continue or start to carry out a vibrant social life. Make it a priority to keep in touch with family and friends. Invite them over, go out for coffee, plan meals, and anything else you can think of to maintain healthy relationships. Also, consider reconnecting with old friends and remain open to forming new friendships. Isolation is far too common among seniors and avoiding it is key to a long, fulfilling life.
- Enjoy your time
As important as it is to take your health seriously as you age, the golden years are perfect for deliberately enjoying life. For many this means full retirement. For some it means working at a lower capacity or volunteering for a local organization. Depending on your desires and capability, you could travel to the south of France, take a day-trip to visit a family member, go back to school, or do anything else you’ve always wanted to do. Be intentional about enjoying your life during this special time.
Taking charge of your health will help you reap the benefits of your golden years. Utilize the technology available to maintain a nutritious diet. Find fun and safe ways to exercise. Look into brain games and hobbies to stimulate your mind. Finally, maintain a good social life and enjoy the time that comes with retirement. Remember that your golden years are a special time and taking these steps will help you make the most of them.
Guest Author Karen Weeks wrote this piece. Karen curates Elderwellness.net
Photo Credit: Unsplash