Take Control of Your Health: 4 Healthy Living Tips for Seniors
Healthy Living Tips for Seniors
With each new year comes a time for both reflection and looking forward. We reflect on our accomplishments and everything we have to be grateful for, and we look ahead to those things we have yet to tackle and great things that the year to come might bring. For many seniors, seeking a healthy (or healthier) lifestyle is high on the list of things to pursue in the new year. If you are a senior who is ready to take control of your health, we’ve got you covered with these healthy living tips for seniors.
Good health is important, and when we don’t take care of ourselves, it can be hard to return from it. That’s why taking even some small steps every day can be a game changer when it comes to living a long, healthy life. Check out these healthy living tips for seniors and take control of your future today.
1. Get some exercise (almost) every day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular exercise is critical for your health. Exercise can proactively delay, if not prevent, various health issues that tend to come on as we get older. Benefits of exercise include a healthier brain, easier weight management, lower risk of disease, and stronger bones and muscles.
Adults age 65 or older should aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least five days per week. This type of exercise should get your heart pumping. Consider a brisk walk with a walking buddy, or if your body allows it, a hike, jog, or run. And be sure to build in time for strength training at least two days per week. Even lifting light weights or alternating arm exercises with some crunches or squats for 10 minutes can make a significant difference for your body.
2. Don’t underestimate the value of sleep.
In a world full of hustle and bustle, it seems we never get enough sleep. The National Institute on Aging recommends that older adults need about seven to nine hours of healthy sleep each night. And don’t worry if you tend to go to bed or get up earlier than you did when you were younger. This shift in sleep schedule is perfectly normal, and in fact, it has a name: a phase advance. According to the Sleep Foundation, many older adults tire earlier in the day but wake up rested earlier in the morning.
So embrace the changes in your sleep schedule and enjoy the sunrise. The goal isn’t to change your new sleep rhythm. Instead, the goal is to ensure you get enough sleep. And if you are having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to contact a medical or dental professional for help. Sleep apnea becomes more prevalent as we get older. There is an 11.3% prevalence of sleep apnea in men between the ages of 45 and 64. But, that prevalence increases to 18.1% for men between the ages of 61 to 100. So if you are having trouble sleeping, be sure to seek help. We all need our beauty sleep, no matter our ages.
3. Flash those pearly whites as often as you can.
You might think it’s strange that we’re telling you to smile more as one of our healthy living tips for seniors. Then again, you are reading an article from your dentist in Lakeway, Texas, and we’re in the smile business. But seriously, smiling is critical for your health, and many people don’t realize it.
Smiling can lower your blood pressure, reduce pain, strengthen your immune system, increase your endurance, and reduce stress. So start a new hobby, sign up for a program at the Lakeway Activity Center, or join one of the many different Lakeway, Texas, community organizations. Whatever you do, seek out something that makes you laugh and smile. After all, it can help you live longer.
4. Take care of your teeth.
You know by now how important it is to take care of your overall health, but don’t underestimate how important it is to take care of your teeth. In fact, taking care of your teeth is one of the most important healthy living tips for seniors that we could possibly recommend. As we age, our risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease increases.
When tooth decay gets out of control, it can contribute to other health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, arthritis, and more. So investing in your oral health through preventive dentistry and a good at-home oral care routine can help keep your body healthier overall.
Be sure to do the following to protect your teeth and, ultimately, your overall health:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time.
- Floss before brushing to help loosen food particles.
- Rinse daily with a fluoridated mouthwash to freshen breath and rid your mouth of particles and debris.
- Eat a balanced diet with tooth-friendly foods such as cheese, milk, yogurt, leafy greens, nuts, lean meats and healthy fats.
- Get your daily dose of vitamin C (to help grow and repair tissues in all parts of your body and to help fight off gum disease).
- Visit your dentist in Lakeway, Texas, every six months for a professional dental cleaning and oral evaluation.
Our Final Healthy Living Tip for Seniors: Preventive Care
We’d be remiss if we didn’t reiterate the importance of visiting the dentist every six months. After all, preventive measures are always easier and less expensive than restorative treatments. So if you are due (or overdue) for a dental cleaning, there is no better time to contact us for an appointment. We can’t wait to see you as you take control of your health.