Quick health tips for seniors

How to stay well all year-round. 

It can be tempting to let our good habits slide sometimes, but if you’re over 60, taking care of yourself every day will go a long way towards preventing simple issues from progressing into serious illnesses. Here are five steps you can take today to improve your wellbeing. 

  1. Move your body

Exercise is good for the body and good for the brain – it gets blood and oxygen flowing and encourages stiff muscles and joints to move! It also boosts the immune system – which is helpful at this time of year. The standard recommendation is to do 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, but if you’ve been sedentary until now, start with five minutes and work your way up. Ideally you want to do a blend of strength, flexibility and cardio – but it’s more important to find movement that you enjoy, otherwise you might not stick to it. Try walking, swimming, low-impact aerobics, gardening, yoga, dancing – even cleaning the house counts! 

  1. Eat a healthy diet 

Some foods might become more difficult to digest as you age, but generally it’s helpful to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains for much-needed nutrients and fibre. Be mindful of how sugary and fatty foods make you feel – and limit alcohol to a few times a week. 

  1. Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential for a healthy immune system, not to mention cognitive function and energy, so make it a priority, Stick to a regular bedtime and follow good sleep hygiene practices, such as no screens before bed and no caffeine after lunch. If you struggle to get decent rest, chat to your doctor to rule out any underlying issues. 

  1. Manage stress

Too many worries can wreak havoc with the body’s cortisol levels, which in turn impacts the immune system and our moods. Breathing exercises, physical activity, mindfulness and relaxing hobbies can all help to reduce stress.

  1. Go for regular check ups

Even if you don’t have a chronic health condition, going for annual check-ups with your GP, dentist and optometrist, for example, are important to nip any potential problems in the bud. Maintain your health in between by washing your hands regularly (yes, even in non-COVID times), taking prescribed medication correctly and avoiding other people when they – and you – are feeling ill. 

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