How Can Seniors Boost Quality of Life?
Retirement is the perfect time to live your best life and seize new opportunities, whatever that means for you. In order to do that, it’s crucial that seniors take control of their own well-being, including physical and mental health. Healthy living is the ticket to reducing illness, increasing more energy, and leading a better overall quality of life.
Put Your Health First
By the time we reach retirement, many of us have spent years focusing our energy on something other than ourselves. Whether you raised children, worked, volunteered, or some combination, there’s a good chance that caring for someone or something else has come before your own needs. Now is the time to start putting your health first!
For seniors, that starts with staying on top of regular medical appointments, including getting your eyes checked and teeth cleaned. This basic care goes a long way toward preventing health problems later on. Seniors are afforded a great benefit with Medicare, but there are different options out there and you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your coverage. Some seniors choose to supplement with a Medicare Advantage plan or some other type of additional coverage. Keep in mind there is a window of opportunity at the start of a new year where you can add a plan. And if your current setup isn’t working, it helps to look online to see what Medicare Advantage options there are in your state so you’re ready to make changes when the time comes.
Choose the Best Activities
There isn’t a right or wrong activity to do as a senior, but you want to choose activities that do the most for your health. Most importantly, you need to find activities you enjoy. After all, getting more out of life is what it’s all about. Physical activity is especially important for seniors to age healthier, and you’re more likely to stick with exercise if you’re having fun.
You will get even more out of exercise if you find activities that maximize both physical and mental health. For instance, golf is a great form of exercise for seniors and it’s also a way to get outdoors. Country Living reports on the mental health benefits of being outside in nature and breathing fresh air, especially combined with physical activity. As an added benefit, golf is social, and maintaining social connections is another key to better mental health for seniors. If you’re interested in exploring golf, check out this guide from The Golf Warehouse to get a feel for what you should consider when you purchase clubs.
Along with golf, walking is another perfect exercise for seniors because it’s a gentle aerobic activity that gets you outdoors. Try not to limit your exercise to aerobic activity only, though. Seniors need to work on balance and strength training as well. If you aren’t big on going to the gym, an easy way to add strength training to your routine is with simple exercises like squats and incline push-ups.
What Can You Do for You?
Besides the obvious things like preventive healthcare and exercise, now is also the time to live better by making happiness a priority. Exercise certainly promotes better mental health, but don’t stop there! The American Psychological Association reports that planning for your emotional needs in retirement is just as important as financial planning. What makes you happy will be as unique as you are, but above all, what matters is engagement. Some seniors find engagement through a hobby, a part-time job, or volunteering. Even if you have limited mobility, there are plenty of ways you can still explore life and find an activity that’s meaningful to you.
Whatever you do, don’t wait to take control of your health. Making your health needs a priority isn’t selfish. You are a better parent, grandparent, and most importantly, a better version of YOU when you make choices to live healthier.
Written by: Jason Lewis, he started StrongWell.org to share his learnings from his experiences in taking care of his mother and in his profession as a personal trainer. He enjoys creating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.