active senior man riding bikeIf you’re a senior who wants to improve your overall wellness, you are not alone. More and more aging adults have realized that improved mental and physical health makes them feel better and helps them be more positive. To assist you in continuing your health trend, here are some tips to help you boost your wellness.

  1. Focus on Self-Care

According to HealthyPlace.com, self-care boosts your physical and mental health. Your first step toward practicing self-care is realizing that it is not selfish to make your wellness a priority. In fact, “self-care actually makes you more effective and energetic.” Since seniors in retirement typically work less, that extra time can be spent taking better care of the body and mind.

If you’re new to the idea of self-care, you may not realize that it includes avoiding toxic relationships and other situations that make you feel physically or mentally unwell, as well as those that chip away at your self-worth. Self-care ensures that you create and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself so that you feel more positive and confident. You’ll then develop healthier relationships with others.

To practice self-care, you must be in tune with your body and mind. Take the time to identify which activities make you feel good. You also need to recognize your triggers and when you start feeling negative emotions or when you feel stress or anxiety. Then, improve your mental health by reading a book, going for a walk, watching a comedy, or doing any other activity that helps you feel better. Focusing on self-care helps you appreciate its benefits and commit to it for the long term.

  1. Commit to Regular Exercise

The next step toward improved wellness is committing to regular exercise. The more regular physical activity you do, the better the impact on your overall health. In older adults, exercise can reduce the impact of illness and chronic disease and increase flexibility and balance. If you are not already physically active, ask your doctor before starting an exercise program. Then start slowly and increase your activity gradually.

One of the best ways to commit to regular exercise is to start taking brisk walks every other day for at least 30 minutes. Walking gets you outside in the fresh air, is an ideal way to clear your head, and is a low-impact activity that will not harm your joints. Walking also helps you maintain a healthy weight, prevents and manages health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, strengthens your bones and muscles, improves balance and coordination, and improves your mood. Some people prefer to walk with a friend or family member so they can talk as they walk. Sharing details about your day, getting advice, or venting to someone you love while walking makes it a physical activity that boosts your physical and mental health.

Committing to regular exercise is a proven way to improve your mental health and mood. The more physically active you are, the more active your mind is. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you also reduce your risk of depression and improve your sleep when you exercise. Studies show that doing aerobic activities or a mix of aerobic and strength-training activities three to five times a week for 30-60 minutes is the best way to get mental health benefits.

  1. Sleep Better

Your sleep needs change as you get older. At seven to nine hours per night, aging adults need about the same amount of sleep as adolescents. That means, like adolescents, you may also need to set a bedtime and a wake-up time for yourself. Otherwise, you may find yourself having more trouble falling asleep, sleeping too much during the day, or waking up often in the night. Furthermore, lack of sleep can lead to depression, memory and attention problems, and even more nighttime falls.

That said, more sleep doesn’t necessarily mean better sleep. Quality is just as important as quantity. If you are restless, snore, or wake up in pain, it may be time to get a new mattress. From innerspring to foam to latex to hybrid, there is a sleeping surface for every body type and sleeping style.

  1. Improve Your Nutrition

Dieting is not a recommended way to commit to sustainable wellness. When people start a diet, they feel too restricted and eventually cheat because they cannot commit to it for the long term. A better way to approach wellness is developing healthy eating habits. When you commit to healthy eating, you fill your diet with whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, and avoid foods high in saturated fat and sugar. A good rule of thumb is to avoid highly processed foods.

To make your healthy eating habits sustainable and eventually adopt a healthier way of life to boost your wellness, eat a variety of foods. Eating an assortment of foods gives you the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed to boost your immune system and keep your body and mind healthy. Another key to improving your nutrition is watching your portion size. Eating large portions of vegetables is acceptable, but you should limit your higher-calorie foods and check food labels to determine the appropriate serving size. It’s also a good idea to limit your fruit intake if you are trying to lose weight because fruits contain natural sugars. 

You should check To make your healthy eating habits sustainable and eventually adopt a healthier way of life to boost your wellness, eat a variety of foods. Eating an assortment of foods gives you the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed to boost your immune system and keep your body and mind healthy. Another key to improving your nutrition is watching your portion size. Eating large portions of vegetables is acceptable, but you should limit your higher-calorie foods and check food labels to determine the appropriate serving size. It’s also a good idea to limit your fruit intake if you are trying to lose weight because fruits contain natural sugars. You should check with your doctor if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or other health conditions. There may be other categories of foods you should limit or avoid.

  1. Drink More Water

Of course, it’s critical to drink enough water to boost and maintain your overall wellness. If you exercise regularly, it is even more important to stay hydrated. Many doctors recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water each day. If you struggle to meet your daily water quota, there are a few things you can do to make it easier. If you get bored with drinking water, try adding flavor. Infusing your water with fresh fruit, slices of cucumber, or herbs makes it more delicious and exciting. You also should drink a glass of water before you have breakfast and drink it with every meal.

Sustainably improving your overall wellness takes effort and dedication. You can boost your physical and mental health and positivity by focusing on self-care and committing to regular exercise. You also should improve your nutrition by developing healthy eating habits and drinking more water.

About the author

Claire Wentz is the creator of CaringFromAfar.com and author of the upcoming book, Caring from Afar: A Comprehensive Guide for Long-Distance Senior Caregivers. Claire is a former home health nurse and recognizes that our aging population means many more people will become senior caregivers over the years. Specifically, she is interested in providing assistance and support to those caregivers who do not live near their loved ones. She hopes her writing will inform them, uplift them, and give them peace of mind when they need it.