How Seniors Can Prioritize Good Health – 5 Tips

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When you hit the golden years of your life, you may want to savor the moments, reflect on memories, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, as we get older, we need to pay a bit more attention to our health. It particularly stands true if you live in a city like Ohio that is notorious for reporting alarming mesothelioma cases.

Our bodies endure numerous transitions over time, requiring changes in our lifestyle to foster healthy aging. In this blog, we will walk you through some tried-and-true tips that will keep your health in check after retirement.

Get Physically Active

Regular physical activity helps maintain and improve muscle strength, flexibility, and bone density. Apart from optimizing physical health, working out also stimulates the release of endorphins. These “feel-good” hormones improve mood and alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.

For older adults, walking is the most popular form of exercise. You may customize it to your desired speed, duration, and distance. If you lack sufficient balance to walk, consider carrying a walker or cane.

Furthermore, sit and stretch exercises for seniors can be an important addition to their fitness routine. These exercises help improve flexibility, balance, and muscle strength while gentle on the joints. Seniors can do this workout at their own pace and adjust to their fitness level. 

Swimming or water aerobics provide low-impact, full-body exercise. The water buoyancy reduces stress on joints while helping to improve cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength. In the same way, riding a stationary bike is gentle on the joints while helping to improve heart health. 

Many yoga classes and routines cater to seniors and can be adapted to various ability levels, promoting flexibility, balance, and relaxation. The same applies to Tai Chi, which focuses on slow, flowing movements and deep breathing. On the other hand, modified Pilates emphasizes core strength, posture, and flexibility.

It bears worth mentioning that ideal physical activities might vary from person to person. For example, if you live in Ohio and worked in factories, refiners, and shipyards in the past, you might be at risk of a condition like mesothelioma. It is because Ohio has a rich industrial history, with industries such as manufacturing, construction, and steel production flourishing in the state. Asbestos has been extensively used in these sectors for decades. As a result, several workers were exposed to this dangerous compound. In fact, Ohio had the fifth-highest number of deaths due to asbestos in the country in 2016. In that case, you may need to consult with your doctor. They will devise a personalized exercise plan for you. In fact, they may even connect you with reputable mesothelioma attorneys Ohio to get financial compensation. That compensation can help fund your treatment.

Prioritize Skin Protection

The sun is our primary source of vitamin D. That said, it also produces potentially cancerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation. According to dermatologists, a fair proportion of black blotches, sagging, and wrinkles are the consequence of excessive sun exposure. The breakdown of collagen makes this an even more pressing concern for seniors. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you slather on adequate sunscreen before venturing outdoors.

To choose the best sunscreen, look for a sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating. Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is advised by dermatologists because it effectively blocks both UVA and UVB radiation.

Furthermore, consider the type of sunscreen formulation that suits your preferences and needs. There are two main types: chemical and physical (mineral) sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens carry organic compounds that absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat. Though they are easier to apply, some individuals may keep up with skin irritation or allergies from certain chemical filters. Physical sunscreens use mineral compounds like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to lie on the outer layer of the skin and actively block or deflect UV radiation. These sunscreens typically go well with sensitive skin.

Schedule Regular Check-Ups

Regular check-ups allow doctors to assess various aspects of your health. By tracking these indicators, healthcare providers can identify the initial signs of conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. This means you can get an optimal treatment and keep health complications at a safe distance.

In addition, regular check-ups empower seniors to take an active role in managing their health. They can ask questions and get customized treatment plans from their doctors. This collaborative approach paves the way for a sense of ownership and encourages seniors to make informed decisions about their lifestyle, treatment options, and preventive measures.

Back in the day, physical limitations were a substantial barrier for seniors to visit doctors regularly. Mobility issues or chronic pain would make it difficult for them to travel to a doctor’s office, particularly if public transportation was involved. Fortunately, that is not the case anymore. You can connect with your doctor right from the comfort of your home, thanks to technology. Some health portals also let you set reminders, ensuring you do not miss out on any of the scheduled appointments.

Stay Hydrated

The consequences of dehydration on the elderly could be devastating. It may result in cognitive impairments, confusion, dizziness, and falls. Dehydration also exacerbates existing health conditions, such as kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and constipation. Moreover, inadequate hydration has also been linked with medication-related side effects.

Waiting for thirst to kick in might not be sufficient to stay hydrated. It is because the sense of thirst might diminish with age. So, make it a point to drink water between regular intervals even if you do not feel thirsty.

Monitoring fluid intake and utilizing specialized cups with straws or spouts, if needed, can aid in this process. Incorporate foods with high water content into their meals and snacks. Limit consumption of dehydrating substances like caffeine and alcohol. 

Moreover, address the influence of medications on their hydration with guidance from healthcare providers. Ensure well-managed medical conditions, as certain illnesses can affect fluid balance. Educate caregivers on the importance of hydration and have them follow these guidelines. It’s also crucial to recognize signs of dehydration and act promptly if they appear.  

Encourage hydration before physical activity and consider electrolyte replacement in cases of significant fluid loss. Regular health checkups help monitor overall health, including hydration status. Such health consciousness leads to a high quality of life among seniors.

Eat A Balanced Diet

Since metabolism naturally slows down with age, consuming the right proportions of nutrients can prevent unwanted weight gain. Adequate intake of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats ensures the body receives the necessary energy without excessive calorie intake.

Moreover, seniors are at a higher risk of osteoporosis and fractures due to bone density reduction. A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D supports bone strength and minimizes the risk of fractures. It also improves overall mobility for seniors.

Unfortunately, a healthy diet often takes a backseat for many seniors. They may feel a natural decline in appetite and metabolism, leading to a loss of interest in food. Besides, certain medical conditions negatively affect their taste perception. This dampens the enthusiasm for mealtime.

One way to deal with these issues is to eat in the company of others. Be it your family or friends, social interaction could enhance the dining experience. Also, consider preparing foods that are easy to chew and swallow, particularly if you have dental issues. Soft fruits, cooked vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy products are good options.

Conclusion

The idea of retirement is extremely enticing. What a relief it would be to be able to sleep in, play golf, and hang out with friends and family without having to worry about missing an important call from the office. However, your health will have an enormous influence on your golden years. If you want to live your life to the fullest as a senior, you must prioritize your health by taking these measures right away!

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