Some secrets to keeping a healthy lifestyle.
Do you know that the world’s oldest people are still active in Okinawa, Japan? One out of 1,450 Japanese are over 100 years old, and women account for approximately 88% of them. Clearly, one of the world’s older populations does not show signs of slowing down. They give a premium to a longer and healthier life, and they prefer not to spend their remaining years in bed.
That is not to say that people should strive to live to a hundred. Of course, genes play a vital role in our longevity. What is significant is to learn a thing or two and help seniors lead happy and healthy lives. In this article, we share health tips for seniors to improve their health and overall well-being so they can make the most of their lives.
It is not enough to coach seniors to eat healthy food, get adequate sleep, have regular medical check-ups, and exercise. More than ever, seniors crave the love and affection from family members and friends – someone to laugh with and hold on to when the chips are down, someone who understands their needs like the back of their hands.
A solid connection to a social support group is crucial for them to stay healthy and fulfilled. This connection may be a lifesaver when anxiety and depression kick in.
How can seniors improve their health? What are the common strategies to adopt to lead a healthy lifestyle? The Okinawa Centenarian Study research team shared some of the secrets to a long and healthy life.
- Eat healthy foods until you are 80% full.
The body is like a temple that we should not pollute. Practise eating in moderation and know when to stop. It is good to eat in small quantities until you are 80% full. Eat fruits and vegetables, particularly those with colourful flavonoid compounds, to help slow the aging process.
- Be positive and find your Ikigai or a sense of purpose.
Being optimistic brings health benefits. Older people who adopt a laissez-faire attitude towards life tend to be fun and happy. It helps if they have a sense of purpose. Some of them may want to live long enough to see their great-grandchildren.
- Be mentally engaged.
Older people should stay mentally engaged by doing what they love. It may be gardening, decorating, farming, reading, or writing. The idea is to keep the brain alert to prevent the onset of dementia.
- Join a social group.
One of the secrets to longevity is fun and laughter. Seniors who find solace in the company of support groups are healthier and live longer.
- Tolerate less stress.
Older people should avoid stressful thoughts or activities that lower the immune system. Some people are stress-resilient – they are the lucky ones who know how to deal with tragedy and pain.
- Embrace your spirituality.
Being healthy is not only confined to physical, mental, and emotional. A nourished spiritual life leads to a balanced and purposeful life.
Whether you are a senior or someone who is caring for one, you might find the following tips extremely helpful.
1. Maintain a healthy weight.
Weight management is vital to prevent diseases like diabetes, high blood, and heart problems. The ideal weight depends on your BMI index – body weight to height.
2. Eat healthy foods.
Some of the types of food that are healthy and ideal include:
- Fish and most seafood
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grain cereals, brown rice, and oatmeal
- Vitamin D fortified milk products and calcium-enriched foods
- Lean meat, poultry, and eggs
- Lesser sweets or unsweetened foods
- Low-salt diet and less fatty foods
3. Stay active.
Regardless of age, it is unhealthy to be a couch potato. For seniors, exercises like aerobics, brisk walking, or callisthenics are all beneficial. Ask your GP which type of exercise is best for you. Mental stimulation activities like reading, writing, and mathematics are good for mental health too.
4. Consult your doctor periodically.
Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical discomfort or when you feel something is not right with your body. You may open up about your fears and concerns.
It will also help if you get regular check-ups even if you do not feel anything. This will help ensure you avoid any disease or illness that is just about to progress.
5. Be good to yourself.
With the things they deal with every day, it’s natural for older people to worry often. These can be financial issues, losing a loved one, feeling unloved, unaccepted, or unworthy. To take your mind off these negative thoughts, seniors should surround themselves with friends who care about them. Being happy is the key to a healthier you.
Healthy aging is not too far-fetched, as long as there is good and careful planning for old age. Here are some tips for successful aging:
- Stimulate your mind, body, and soul.
Take up a new hobby like painting, crocheting, or gardening. Maybe you love dancing, so why not wear your ballet shoes and dance. Don’t forget to listen to music that evokes pleasant memories.
- Maintain healthy habits and a positive lifestyle.
Eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Also, don’t forget your regular medical check-up.
- Be financially prepared.
Older people tend to feel worthless if they are overly dependent on family and loved ones. It is best to prepare your finances before reaching the age of retirement. Plan your investments and insurance coverage.
- Discuss health plans with the family
Talk to your family about the types of medical and insurance coverage that you have. Discuss medical treatment and other health concerns with a doctor whom you trust.
If people extend not just a lifespan but a health span, the cost of the health care system would be at its lowest. There will be few cases of chronic diseases, cancer, or any ailment. The ripple effect caused by a happy, productive, and healthy citizenry is a thousand times beneficial to a nation. After all, health is wealth.
If you know someone who needs healthcare support, we are just a call away at ConnectAbility Australia. With 30 years of experience, we take pride in delivering quality healthcare and at home supports for aging Australians. Our well-trained team will always be ready to support you throughout your life as you get older.
Call us today on 02 4962 1000 in Newcastle or 02 4349 3700 on the Central Coast. Alternatively, reach out to us on email@example.com for more details about our services and how we can help you.