Senior Diet and Exercise
Senior Diet and Exercise
Eating healthy and getting enough exercise is important at any age, but as we get older, we find that the food we eat and the amount of activity we get can make a big difference in our quality of life. As you know, aging no longer implies retiring to a quiet lifestyle. Instead, busy days continue as we age into Medicare, with many seniors continuing to work and keep hectic schedules. Others devote their days to volunteerism, family obligations, or travel. With busy lives, it can seem impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but facing the challenge can give you results you may enjoy for years to come.
Committing to your health and well-being can be easier than you may think. Once you make a few small changes, you may feel better, stronger, and more energetic, inspiring you to keep your health and fitness goals in mind as you go through your daily routine. Regardless of where you work or live, there are choices you can make that will help improve or maintain your health for years to come.
Eating foods that will fuel your body can give you the energy to move more, and this is a crucial factor in preventing heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and diabetes. A balanced diet of lean proteins, good carbohydrates (vegetables, grains, and fruit), and healthy fats will help you keep and build muscle. Drinking plenty of water will help you stay hydrated, and cutting the amount of sodium in your diet can help lower blood pressure. Consider planning and/or preparing meals in advance so you are not tempted to eat something quick and unhealthy, and have healthy snacks at hand for when you get a craving.
Talk to an Expert
Most importantly, discuss your nutrition with your doctor to make sure that your personal needs are being addressed. You may have specific dietary requirements or concerns that your physician can assist you with. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer nutritional counseling services within their benefits, so you may want to call your plan if you’d like assistance.
Physical & Mental Health
Staying physically and mentally fit as we age is an important step in maintaining our long-term wellness. Physically, we need strong muscles to help protect our bones, and a healthy cardiovascular system to help prevent heart disease and related issues, but you don’t have to start running marathons to stay healthy. Even just a short walk a few times a week can help. Find activities you enjoy and ask friends or family members to join you. Many Medicare Advantage plans include a fitness club membership within their benefit package, and fitness classes might be a fun way to get moving and make some new friends. It is equally important to protect our mental health as we age, and keeping up a positive, healthy daily routine can help prevent depression and mental illness.
Before you start any type of exercise routine, you should consult with your physician to make sure that any activity you engage in will be safe and productive. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle now may affect your wellness for years to come.