Five Steps for Seniors to Take to Inspire Good Health
Things can sometimes seem like they’re completely out of our control. When we feel down, tired, and disheartened, life can appear bleak. Thankfully, by taking our health into our own hands, we can improve not only our physical wellness but our mental health, too.
Take Care of Gut Health As surprising as it sounds, there is a connection between our stomachs and how we feel. It’s often called the gut-brain connection, linked by the vagus nerve. In fact, our stomachs produce some of the chemicals that make us feel happy or stressed, so it's important to focus on gut health. With this in mind, you might want to add prebiotics and probiotics to your diet, alongside fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. Best of all, if you’re crafty in the kitchen, these dishes are easy to make, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing exactly what goes into them.
Eat Vitamin and Mineral-Rich Foods
When our diets are poor, our health may suffer in various ways. For instance, without enough thiamine, you may find yourself feeling foggy, lacking energy, and you may even suffer memory problems and confusion. Other deficiencies can have similar effects, so ensure your diet has plenty of nutrient-dense foods. Thankfully, there are many delicious options, like salmon, various nuts, mushrooms, dark greens, beans, seeds, and avocados. No matter your personal tastes, there are ingredients that could see both your mental and physical well-being improve.
Stay Fit Staying active is crucial for a healthy lifestyle, and it can be as simple as walking, as it uses big muscles that help our heart. Better still, many of us already do a lot of walking, and it doesn't take a lot of steps to see results. Even just over 30 minutes a day can dramatically improve our health, and the more we do, the more improvements we see. In fact, your blood sugar levels may stabilize, pain might be reduced, and your mental health could also get a boost. The best part is that all you’ll need to begin is a pair of sneakers and the okay from your physician.
Of course, sometimes our joints make leisurely walking impossible. If this is the case for you, don’t put exercise out of your mind; instead, try something like swimming to raise your fitness levels without the risk of injury. If basic swimming doesn't sound fun, you do have other options, from water jogging to aquatic aerobics. Not only will water exercise increase your flexibility, but you’ll also build muscle, fight osteoporosis, and protect yourself from heart disease. As with walking, your mental health may improve, and the extra oxygen sent to your brain could also benefit your cognition. All in all, swimming can be a healthy addition to nearly any fitness plan.
Another fitness option for seniors is doing some light weight training. Strength training has many benefits for seniors, including reducing chronic pain symptoms, improving balance and sleep, and preventing falls. Instead of joining a gym, work out at home. You can pick up some resistance bands or a set of adjustable dumbbells so you can tailor the weight to your strength level.
Stay Connected One of the healthiest steps we can take for ourselves is to stay connected to those we love. Having even just one meet-up a week can not only give us something to look forward to but could even lift our spirits by increasing our self-esteem. After all, talking to loved ones can keep us active and stimulated, as well as help fight the symptoms of depression. So, to keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy, make it a priority to see someone you care about regularly. If that proves difficult, try scheduling the time into your calendar. With a set date, you can ensure nothing gets in the way, as seeing it there will remind you of its importance. While enjoying every minute of our lives may not be realistic, we can ensure the bulk of our time is spent being happy. Mastering our physical health and mental well-being can lead to an improved quality of life. By following the right steps, you can be well on your way.
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