8 Simple Things That Will Improve Life Quality as We Age
By Guest Blogger, Jason Lewis who is a personal trainer and caregiver.
A high quality of life is always desirable, but it becomes especially important as you get older. It can be difficult to break mental and physical habits as we age. If you’re trying to improve the quality of life, it’s important to take control of your physical and mental health. Here are eight simple things that will improve the quality of your life and bring it more meaning.
- Getting enough exercise
According to U.S. News, getting enough exercise has been shown to be one of the most effective ways that senior citizens can reduce cholesterol, decrease heart disease risk, and reverse cardio decline from inactivity. Exercise also has profound mental benefits for people as they age. It can help improve memory and keep cognition strong.
Simply start moving. Tailor it according to what you feel most capable of doing. If all you can do is walk down your street and back, that’s fine. Find exercises that are enjoyable and help you maintain the habit.
- Eating a healthy diet
Some senior citizens don’t have the robust microbial system in their body that they used to, so consume foods like milk and yogurt that can help replenish microbes in the gut. It can also aid in digestion, maintain bone density and even promote a healthy immune system.
If your diet isn’t quite what you’d like it to be, just start eating more healthy things. Don’t worry about cutting out anything yet—just start by eating more of the healthy stuff you need.
- Getting an emotional support dog
Having an emotional support dog can give people a sense of security and stability. For some people, the benefits of having a companion animal include its ability to reduce stress, decrease feelings of loneliness, and even improve cardiovascular health. You can get a dog that’s any size or age. Adopting an older dog can be especially rewarding since you both have lived rich lives.
- Give yoga a try
It’s a common misconception that you have to be young and flexible to succeed at yoga. Yoga can be enjoyed by all ages, but it has specific benefits for seniors too. Regular yoga practice can strengthen your bones, protect your joints, improve balance, relieve stress, and provide opportunities for socialization to combat feelings of loneliness. To get started, head over to YogaForce to get a body-aligning mat with an extra sticky grip surface, find a local yoga studio, relax, and enjoy.
- Develop new hobbies
Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. Studies and research continue to support the idea that you can continue to learn and grow. It might just take a little extra effort. There are a lot of new hobbies you can try out. You can get into the arts, write more, take up yoga, learn woodworking or learn a new language.
- Join a club and stay connected
Socializing is good for your health. One good way to meet new people is to chase things you enjoy or want to try. Many community centers offer courses where you can develop a new physical talent, interest in a new sport, or learn a new art form. This can help you find a club or group of people that keep you connected. It’ll add a new dimension of social meaning to your life.
- Be a lifelong learner
There are many university courses both online and offline that include senior citizens who want to stay sharp or take in some new information. Almost all of us have intellectual curiosities and interests. There’s no better time like the present to develop them when you have a good amount of free time and you’re wiser than you’ve probably ever been.
- Take advantage of technology
According to CNN, learning to use technology is also one of the best ways to help older adults maintain independence and keep life simple. Take advantage of social media groups like Meetup or Facebook to find people with similar interests. Make sure you use it as a tool to make new friends, though. Leaving the house is good for your physical and emotional health.
As adults age, finding ways to prevent or manage depression and dementia are critical for maintaining a good quality of life and happiness. This requires a balance of mental and physical exercise that can keep you strong and resilient. Get out of your comfort zone a little more and try new things. It might be scary at first, but you’ll be glad you did.
### JL, based in Delaware.