The Best Methods for Seniors Looking to Rekindle Their Spirit
By Jason Lewis
As seniors, there are unique ways to take control of your health and longevity. Read on for these strategies specifically for seniors to boost their well-being.
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Do you ever feel like growing older and wiser is weighing you down instead of lifting you up? All too often, aging can seem like an unfriendly process with the potential for mental and physical decline. However, there are ways to take control of your health. Read on for important advice for seniors who are struggling to keep their spirits up.
Investigate simple additions
Food is meant to fulfill energy and nutrition requirements, but as we grow older, it gets harder to pull everything we need from our diets. Seniors experience a decline in caloric requirements, and as Aging Care points out, at the same time our gut health often declines. Sometimes incorporating supplements can help offset tummy troubles and ease other health concerns. For instance, there are probiotic supplements aimed at improving digestion, supplements that help fight inflammation, and supplements that could bolster joint and bone health. Another popular option of late is CBD oil, which appears to help with a variety of issues, such as chronic pain, inflammation, and mental health. It can potentially improve digestion and joint health, sleep cycles, and reduce stress. Check with your doctor before test driving any supplements, and before investing in CBD oil, read this guide to make sure you select the right one for your situation.
Strengthen your brain
Read any good books lately? According to studies cited by Captel, reading is good for your overall condition, feeding your interests, exercising your brain, and maintaining mental health. It appears reading can improve memory function, lower stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, and boost your life satisfaction. It might even help keep dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay.
Visit a library near you, or use an app designed for reading on a tablet or smartphone. One advantage of electronic books is you can adjust font size and style to something you like, and you can even take advantage of free ebooks. There is something for everyone, from classic literature to memoirs to adventures to science-fiction. Consider it a chance to learn about something or someone who interests you, and give your brain a workout at the same time.
Move your body
Some people are surprised to discover they should remain active in their senior years, attributing exercise and sports to younger generations. However, staying fit as you age can mean better health, physically and mentally. As Family Doctor explains, exercising can be your key to independence, keeping your strength and mobility up as you age. Working out can enhance balance, improve energy levels, keep your brain sharp, and lift your mood. Exercise can also lower your risk for health conditions such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.
If you aren’t inclined to join a gym, you can set up a home gym with a little floor space and a few pieces of equipment. A treadmill or elliptical machine are popular options, and a couple dumbbells are handy for strength training. To prevent falls and improve your balance, a balance pad or stability ball can be especially helpful, and many seniors benefit from a gentle yoga routine. Also consider taking up a sport. It’ll break up the routine of your workout, and give you something to look forward to. Paddle boarding, dancing, kayaking, and hiking are just a few senior-friendly suggestions.
Get out and about
Even if you aren’t inclined toward outdoor sports, doing something in the natural environment can be a key to enjoying life more. It appears those who spend time outdoors have improved healing processes, lowered stress levels, and better heart health. It can enhance your body’s vitamin D production, which some studies indicate is often deficient in older adults but is crucial to keeping your bones strong. Getting outside in the sunshine can also help reset your body’s clock, improving your sleep cycles.
It doesn’t much matter what activity you’re doing outside, so consider visiting with your neighbor, doing some reading, or strolling with your dog. If you like growing things, a garden could be just the ticket, and there are a couple of bonuses you can enjoy. Growing your own herbs or veggies can make for more exciting meals, and you can share surplus produce with friends, or do some canning to enjoy throughout the year. A cutting garden can provide cheerful flowers for inside your home. If space is at a premium, or you prefer an easy-to-reach garden, container gardens can be the perfect solution and they’ll beautify your patio at the same time.
While you’re outdoors, be sure to take in the birds as well. Some studies indicate observing our feathered friends provides special perks like boosting patience, introspection, calm, and improved reflexes. It can enhance your sense of awe, improve alertness, and help you feel connected to the natural world. Bird watching can help you regain your perspective on what you can and can’t control in life, and even enhance your sense of community as you watch flocks working together. Consider sharing your insights by connecting with other birders and social media groups for nature enthusiasts.
Give the gift of yourself
What are you passionate about? Sports? Animals? Children? The earth? Have you considered volunteering? Doing something for others can potentially improve your personal quality of life, helping you feel happier, retain better mobility, and perhaps even help you live longer. It’s a chance to do something that not only helps yourself, but also is a benefit to society in general.
Consider those things you love, and think about how you could contribute to the future by volunteering in a way that supports your passions. For instance, there are food banks or museums where you could lend a hand. Pet rescue organizations always need assistance, and there are club organizations, such as 4-H and the scouts, for those who enjoy working with youth. You have so much to offer, and it’s a wonderful way to give back while improving your own quality of life.
Just like everything in life, growing older has its share of challenges. Thankfully, there are things you can do to avoid letting the process get the better of you. Take care of yourself and keep your spirits up, because you’re worth it!
Author: Jason Lewis shares his fitness knowledge with seniors wanting to stay fit and healthy. His motivation is his mother who needed extra care and therapy since 2002.
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.