Maintaining a Healthy Mind and Body in Elders – Key Tips and Tricks

My love. Positive aged couple embracing and resting after sport exercises in the park

Aging well is a widely-debated topic and it has been for decades now. While the second half of your life will certainly bring you some of the best satisfactions and rewards, this can only happen if you pay extra attention to your health – both physically and mentally. Rewarding your wisdom and patience with care for your body is virtually essential for a happy and fulfilling retirement. Below are some valuable tips that will help you take better care of both.

Turn your attention to whole foods

We are what we eat, and professionals seem to fully agree with this statement. To achieve better standards of physical health as you age, you have to integrate whole foods into your diet. Veggies, whole grains, fruits, lean meats, plenty of fish and low-fat dairy. Eliminate progressively fats, butter and excessive salt and sugar from your diet. This will help you in the long run to lower cholesterol levels. Instead, rely on nuts and healthy fats more and more. Numerous studies have shown that a diet consisting of the categories listed above is perfect to deter heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

A group of happy elderly people enjoying themselves over a card game

Stay in touch with your loved ones and friends

Loneliness is believed to be just as harmful to your health like smoking a pack of cigarettes is. Loneliness is a facilitating factor for dementia and depression, as many recent studies have shown. Elders that feel that they are ignored or forgot about have trouble with dealing with easy daily tasks. Bathing and feeding themselves properly is usually neglected by these people and they seem to die a lot younger than their social butterfly counterparts.

Loneliness seems to increase stress hormone levels, according to a series of studies. This stress hormone causes inflammation in the joints and other organs and leads to arthritis and diabetes. Herpes virus antibodies have been found in lonely people which is a sign that one’s immune system is under constant pressure and stress.

So, experts advise us to keep making friends once we start getting older. This will help you maintain both a healthy brain and body. Connecting with others seems to be just the perfect type of activity to keep yourself engaged and healthy.

Ditch those cigarettes

Smoking is connected to so many health disorders. From various cancers to heart disease, oral health concerns and so on, tobacco damages virtually all organs. While smoking is never a good habit, it’s never too late to quit. The restorative powers of your body are impressive and it begins to health only after 20 minutes after you stop smoking. According to a series of medical experts, your chances of a heart attack drop by half only after a year once you stop smoking. If you need help to quit smoking, you can always ask your health professional for help. They will offer you plenty of tips and tricks to quit this unhealthy habit.

Start moving

Aim to integrate more physical activity into your daily schedule during the second half of your life. You will thank yourself for it later. Walk at least 30 minutes daily and if this is too much effort at once, break it down into shorter strolls. Physical activity delivers impressive health benefits. If walking seems a bit too boring for your personal taste, try to spice things up a little like senior cycling with elderly folks together or treasure hunt.

For instance, many people have found that hunting for treasures with the help of a metal detector in the neighborhood or even in unusual places like the beach helps them engage more in physical activities. Metal detecting has become a very popular activity over the past few years among elders due to this very specific reason. Plus, people seem to get excited when they don’t know what rare and unusual object they will find in their next trip and are prone to engage more frequently in such activities.

Add fiber to your diet

Eating your way to a better mental and physical health is possible. And fibers seem to be a highly important component of a healthy and balanced diet. It’s ideal to integrate more into each meal that you eat. Kidney beans, apples, salads are all great sources of fibers. These are amazing since you will also feel satiated after eating fibers.

A diet rich in this element will decrease headache frequency, cholesterol levels and heart disease predisposition, as well as diabetes and colon cancer. As we age, we become prone to constipation and a diet rich in fibers will help you deter this common issue.

Stay optimistic

This is rather a piece of advice that will help you mentally but also physically. Positive thinking can be a great ally to overcome the hardship in life, especially as we get older. Optimistic people seem to have fewer health issues and their bodies respond in a positive way to various challenges, including illness. Optimistic people are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and depression and in some cases, they were proven to decrease the virus counts in HIV infected people. Practice this skill and you will soon master it. Below are some simple strategies that will help you grow more optimistic.

  • Fake a smile. Even the least optimistic person out there can fake a smile. You know how the word goes, “Fake it until you make it!”. Smiling has been proven to lower stress hormones.
  • Reframe. When you start feeling sad and unhappy, try to spin your thoughts to more positive directions. This is a great strategy to train your brain into being more positive and optimistic.
  • Random acts of kindness are amazing for all parties involved and after you do a good gesture for others, you will certainly start feeling better about yourself. Surround yourself with positive people. Being optimistic is contagious. Try to stay connected and surrounded by positive people and you will become one of them.
  • Accept that you’re not in control of everything. There are some things that you can’t change and accepting this as a fact is a healthy thing that will help your mind and spirit.