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10 Tips for Healthy Aging

Oct 26, 2022|Health & Wellness

four senior women in exercise class

Learning to build and maintain healthy habits as you age is a lifelong journey, and it is an important goal to have at any age. For seniors, it is essential to manage health and wellness, as health concerns can happen more frequently as you get older. And did you know that some of the most essential factors to aging successfully are within your control?

What is healthy aging?

Aging is a natural and inevitable part of life, and it is up to you to make the most of it. No matter how old you are, it is never too soon – or too late – to start thinking about healthy aging and incorporating healthy habits into your life.

Ideally, you will have already been practicing healthy habits throughout your life. Still, even the smallest changes in your habits or lifestyle can have a significant impact.

Healthy Aging Tips To Improve Your Quality of Life

While the importance of healthy aging is not brand new, it’s been growing in popularity over the past few decades. Older adults are constantly looking for ways to improve their health and overall quality of life through finding innovative ways to stay active and happy throughout their retirement journey.

Research shows that if you start pursuing a healthy lifestyle early in life, you have a better chance of remaining healthy as you age. Remaining physically active, eating well, socializing and improving your overall wellness can help you live a healthy, happy and active life as you get older.

Hawthorn Senior Living celebrates healthy aging and provides a retirement lifestyle where you are free to do just that. At Hawthorn Senior Living, seniors can enjoy an engaging lifestyle alongside personalized amenities and services that encourage multidimensional wellness.

Retirement at Hawthorn is where active seniors searching for an all-inclusive, stress-free lifestyle can thrive. These communities also provide benefits that lead to a fulfilling retirement with opportunities to enjoy hobbies, pursue new passions, embrace a healthy lifestyle and be yourself.

So, what is healthy aging and why is it important? What promotes healthy aging? Here are 10 healthy aging tips to get you motivated so you can take charge of your health:

1. Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet. What is a nutritious diet? Adjust your diet to include plenty of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Following a nutritious diet is one of the best things you can do for your health as you age. Eating well can help prevent many health problems as you age, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. It may also keep these conditions from getting worse.

A balanced diet means that you can occasionally indulge in your favorite processed foods or desserts, as long as your overall diet includes a variety of fresh, nutritious foods. Don’t know where to start? Try using a simple program like MyPlate, which can help you build a healthy eating routine.

At Hawthorn communities, residents are provided a restaurant-style dining experience characterized by diverse dishes that showcase culinary creativity while catering to personal tastes and senior nutrition. Every month, residents at Hudson Estates in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, are invited to chat with the community chef about what they’d like to see incorporated into the dining menu. The culinary team holds these regular meetings for residents to provide feedback and share recipes.

2. Maintain a healthy social circle. Seniors who remain socially active obtain numerous health benefits, from improved mental and physical health to increased longevity. Whenever you start to feel isolated or depressed, find ways to get involved in your community. You could volunteer, get a part-time job, hang out with friends or schedule weekly lunches with loved ones.

Why is social connectedness important to aging? Studies have shown that seniors who have close connections and relationships not only live longer, but also cope better with health conditions and experience less depression.

3. Incorporate physical activity and exercise into your daily routine. It’s never too late to start moving and take up a new exercise routine. Regular exercise provides a variety of benefits to seniors, like increased strength and flexibility, improved balance and stability, faster healing times after an injury, and prevention of chronic conditions and diseases.

In a recent study, researchers found that moderate to vigorous physical activity is strongly associated with muscle function, regardless of age. This suggests that exercise may be able to prevent age-related decline in muscle function.

What can you do to get started? Find an activity you enjoy or wouldn’t mind doing, even if it’s simply taking a stroll around your neighborhood. It is important to always start each new exercise slowly, and gradually increase the duration and intensity.

Many activities, such as low-impact aerobics or yoga, are free or low cost and do not require special equipment. As you become more active, you will start feeling energized and refreshed after exercising instead of exhausted. The key is to find ways to get motivated and get moving! Of course, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.

4. Rest up. Experts say it is vital to the health of our brains to get a good night’s sleep. Contrary to popular belief, the amount of sleep we need as we get older does not decrease. Seniors still need seven to eight hours of sleep every night to feel refreshed, healthy and ready to seize the day.

5. See your doctor regularly. Visiting your doctor for an annual physical will help you remain mindful of your overall health and wellness. Knowing your current health status will allow you to see where improvements in your lifestyle need to be made.

6. Get organized. Simply organizing your life can keep you motivated to stay healthy. This could mean keeping a calendar of your upcoming appointments, maintaining a list of your current medications, and writing down the goals for physical activity you’re hoping to achieve. Being organized means something different to everyone, so find what works for you.

7. Stimulate your mind. Keeping your brain challenged helps decrease the risk for cognitive decline and even Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Researchers believe that many of the supposed age-related changes that affect the mind, such as memory loss, are related to lifestyle.

Researchers at Stanford University found that memory loss can be improved by 30 to 50 percent simply by engaging in mental exercises. The brain is like a muscle – if you don’t exercise it, its functions will decline.

Be willing to try new things to keep your mind sharp and to bring meaning and engagement to your life. Sign up for a local or online learning course, learn to play an instrument, participate in stimulating conversations, challenge yourself with crossword puzzles or learn a new skill like drawing or woodworking.

Senior living communities like Kennedy Meadows in North Billerica, Massachusetts, are the perfect places to keep your mind engaged and sharp. Every day provides something new to try, and residents are offered activities like drum circle, poker club, garden club, bingo, crafts corner and more.

8. Ensure your home is safe. Your home should be a sanctuary, so take note of safety issues like throw rugs, electrical cords or lack of handrails that could cause a debilitating fall. Every room and hallway should have plenty of light, including nightlights for late-night trips to the bathroom.

9. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is about acceptance and living in the moment by focusing on the present. Practicing mindfulness has many proven health benefits that can help you age successfully, including improved focus, better memory and decreased stress. To practice mindfulness, try meditation, yoga, tai chi or even coloring.

10. Embrace it! Aging is something that cannot be avoided, so why not embrace the process? By focusing on the good, you can shift your perception about what it means to grow old. Focus on what you can do right now, not on what you can’t do anymore.

Instead of feeling like the best years of your life are behind you, enjoy where you are today and look forward to what is to come. Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective.

Remember, when it comes to healthy aging, many factors such as family history and genetics cannot be changed. But there are so many other ways you can take control of your life to be a better you!

Age Gracefully at Hawthorn Senior Living

At Hawthorn Senior Living, we believe in successful aging of the mind, body and soul. Residents stay engaged and active through a variety of scheduled social events, activities and wellness programs. Residents enjoy nutritious, chef-prepared meals tailored to their personal taste.

We keep your health a top priority so you can fully enjoy all that life has to offer.

See for yourself and discover what a vibrant retirement looks like at a Hawthorn community near you! Explore our senior living options or contact us with any questions today!

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