While old age can often impact a number of bodily functions, keeping fit can help you ward off many of its effects. In fact, taking care of the mind and body has helped many seniors realize the truth in the saying “you’re only as old as you feel.”
Aging gracefully is something that many seniors struggle with in light of factors such as losing their virility, feeling aches and pains, hormonal changes and physical degradation. Here are 4 things seniors can include in your daily life to maintain health and fitness:
1. Sleep 7-8 hours per night. Research shows that senior citizens who lack sleep are often prone to heart disease and obesity, in addition to making you look old faster. While getting adequate rest is important for everyone, it becomes even more vital for seniors. Since your body is not as strong as when you were in your 20s, 30s or even 40s, it requires more time sleeping to recover and to support mental sharpness.
2. Exercising Daily. If you are not up to the rigors of aerobics and other cardio exercises, there are simple activities you can do to keep fit. For starters, you can go walking daily. Aim for 10,000 steps each day (you can get a pedometer for this) but you can start small and work your way up. Also, taking the stairs instead of elevators is a good way to burn calories. Doing these simple exercises every day can help you to maintain a healthy weight and strengthen your heart.
3. Maintain a balanced diet. The likelihood of diseases such as heart conditions, strokes and joint problems, often increase with age so eating healthy foods is even more important. Ensure you’re getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and foods rich in omeg-3 fatty acids on a daily basis to promote healthy body functions and maintain a suitable weight.
4. Stay socially active. Seniors are often more likely to take care of themselves when they have people around to encourage and keep their spirits up. You can get involved in community activities, join a club, or even become a volunteer. Getting involved socially will help to keep both your mind and body sharp as you age.
Adopting these and other good habits can help you delay and even counter many ‘symptoms’ that come with aging.