Holistic living can have different meanings, but when it comes to your health, a holistic approach is all about balance. Achieving this balance is good for anyone, but it’s especially beneficial for seniors who want to feel their best. By adopting a balanced approach to managing your health, you can truly enjoy a great quality of life at any age.
Manage Your Health Coverage
Along with everyday healthy habits, getting health screenings and preventive care is one of the essential ways to fight common ailments of aging. This is why it’s a good idea to explore different options to make sure you have the coverage you need. Some people choose to get a Medicare Advantage plan or other supplemental coverage so they don’t experience any gaps in care. Supplemental coverage begins at the start of the new year. If this is something you’re considering, check out what the Medicare Advantage options are in your state so you can find the right fit for you.
Get Out and Explore
Physical fitness isn’t just for younger people. Seniors need physical activity as much, if not more than, those who are younger. If you love to hit the gym and lift weights, that’s a great way to stay fit, but there are many other options. USA Today reports that more retirees want to travel, and they want to be active while doing it. Whether you like to swim, bike, or hike, there is really no better way to stay healthy than to get some exercise while exploring new places.
Even when you’re closer to home, getting a group together for walks around the park or joining a seniors hiking club is a fantastic way to be active and social at the same time. Being involved in a group gives you a way to meet other seniors who have shared interests. Another positive of group activities for seniors is that involvement helps maintain cognitive abilities.
Fuel Your Body Right
No one feels their best when they aren’t getting good nutrition, and this may be especially pronounced for seniors. Don’t stress yourself trying to maintain a strict “diet,” but it’s a good idea to focus on these key nutritional needs of seniors:
- Eat nutrient-rich foods. According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, seniors need fewer calories but higher quantities of some nutrients. Supplements can help, but eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is the best way to get the nutrients you need. Calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 are some of the most important ones.
- Fill up on protein. Protein is a powerhouse nutrient that helps so many of our body’s functions, including the retention of muscle mass. Besides getting protein from meat and seafood, you can add dairy and beans to your diet to get an extra protein boost.
- Limit salt and sugar. Some seniors experience a loss of smell and taste, which can contribute to dietary problems. A common response is to add extra salt and sugar to make food taste less bland, but doing that isn’t good for your health. Instead, try experimenting with new spices and seasonings to add flavor to food.
Keep an Open Mind
You can’t have a holistic approach to health that doesn’t include your mind. Caring for your brain as a senior is really two-fold: you want to do activities that promote brain function (while reducing cognitive decline), and you also want to care for your mental health. When it comes to promoting brain function, one of the best things you can do is continually keep learning. This may mean embracing new technology, taking an art class, or learning to play an instrument.
Whatever you do, the key is to engage your mind in learning something new. The same idea goes for your other holistic aging tips: let your physical activity and diet evolve to fit your needs. So many people think that being a senior is the time to rest and slow down, but to truly live better, you should never stop exploring.
Article by Sheila Olson