Guest Post: How to Own Your Health in Your Golden Years

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Aging does not need to take the spark out of life. In fact, we can keep ourselves vital and enjoy each day without concern. However, if you are worried about your physical and mental health, here is what you need to know to stay active and feel great regardless of your age.

Safe Exercise

Seniors who have a fitness regimen typically spend 25 percent less time injured or disabled than those who don’t. Further, exercise protects our minds from age-related disease and dementia. In fact, aerobics can prevent the memory center of the brain from shrinking in size as we age. Of course, before starting any new routine, speak to your doctor. Once you have the all-clear, you want to create a diverse yet comfortable exercise regimen. Focus not only on aerobics but also strength training, balance and flexibility. You can keep your mind and body in peak condition with a comprehensive fitness program.

But you don’t need a rigid fitness program to stay healthy. One of the best ways to get exercise (and reduce stress) is to spend more time outdoors. This can include going for hikes and camping trips. Just make sure you’ve got the proper camping equipment and hiking gear; you can research gear and read reviews online.

Eat for Wellness

Different stages of life have different dietary needs. When we age, we have to be more conscious of what fuels our bodies. We need to think about our cholesterol, bone health, spikes in blood pressure, and other considerations. A varied and balanced diet not only keeps us healthy but contributes to mental wellness as well. As seniors, we need no more than two cups of fruit a day, about three cups of vegetables, and a reduced amount of protein. The protein we do eat should be lean. It is also wise to include superfoods in our meals. These foods are full of nutrients so we get more bang for our buck — think salmon, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms. These are all easily obtainable ingredients we can put into our meals regularly.

Increase Your Collagen

Collagen is one of the most important proteins in our bodies, as it is in our muscles, bones, and skin. However, like other aspects of our bodies, it begins to break down over time. Some products may claim to boost collagen levels, so it’s a good idea to start taking these supplements if needed. They can relieve joint pain, improve skin, strengthen bones, and keep muscles healthy. Not all supplements are the same, however, so do a little reading to find out which will be best for your specific needs and which are best for you overall.

Practice Mindfulness

Stress takes a toll on our minds and bodies; it can deplete us and negatively impact many aspects of our lives. Thankfully, mindfulness and meditation can drastically lower stress levels. Additionally, the act of mindfulness may even decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation. It can keep our minds engaged and lower any symptoms of depression we may feel. You may need to practice to remind yourself to stay present, but it can be beneficial in many ways. It helps us to focus on the goodness of life, rather than our worries.

Invest in Sleep

Sleep is an integral part of our lives. Our weight can fluctuate when we don’t get the right amount of rest. Memory can suffer as well, and we may even be shortening our lifespan by not investing in quality sleep. Mindfulness techniques can help us relax enough to fall asleep, but they are not the only way we can get the slumber we need. Developing a nightly routine is necessary, as is making sure your bedroom is in optimal condition. This means ensuring it is dark, cool, and that your bed is as comfortable as possible. Also, do something calming before bed, like reading a book. These steps can give your mind the means to get ready for sleep.

Aging does not need to be a burden on you; we can flourish, thrive, and live joyous lives through the years. With a few tweaks to your routines, good sleep, proper supplements, and lowered stress, you can keep your mind and body healthy and sharp.

 

Author Credit: Jason Lewis

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