We all want to stay vital and healthy in our golden years. Know that the lifestyle choices you make today play a major role in your future wellbeing.
The number of people 65 or older is expected to double between the years 2000 and 2030 according to U.S. government statistics. You can get ready for a long and active life. Start now to make these 16 practices to become mentally and physically vital a regular part of your daily life.
16 Habits to Keep You Mentally and Physically Healthy
These tips will help you learn how to be physically and mentally fit, even as you get older:
8 Habits to Stay Physically Active:
One of the most powerful changes you can make in your diet is to fill most of your plate with healthy fruits and vegetables. They’re low in calories and packed with essential nutrients. Choosing a variety of colors is an easy way to meet your dietary needs.
2. Switch to healthy fats.
Don’t avoid fat! The low-fat/no-fat craze is OVER. It was not healthy because our bodies need fat for functioning. And contrary to what many have taught, eating fat doesn’t make you get fat. Eat healthy fats and oils – olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
Fatty fish like salmon is also a good source of omega-3s that lower the risk of heart disease and other health conditions. Even saturated fats is proven to be healthy – if you don’t believe us, go google it.
3. Start the day with breakfast.
A hearty breakfast makes it easier to resist junk food all day long. Plus, your body needs to refuel after a long night’s sleep.
4. Exercise daily.
Exercise for strength, balance, flexibility, and to reduce stress. Find a variety of activities you enjoy so you’ll stay motivated.
5. Watch your weight.
Excess weight can drain your energy and increase your risk for diabetes and other serious health issues. Lose extra pounds gradually rather than resorting to crash diets.
6. Clean up your environment.
You can control some of the substances you’re exposed to. Use safe cleaning products like vinegar and wash the pesticides off of produce. Better yet, eat organic whenever possible and buy grass-fed and pasture-raised meats.
7. See your doctor.
Give your health team all the information they need to help you stay healthy. Schedule regular times to check your blood and cholesterol levels.
8. Rest well.
Aim for eight hours of good quality sleep each night. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each day. Sufficient rest and relaxation is important too for good health.
8 Habits to Stay Mentally Active:
1. Think positive.
Look on the bright side. Express your gratitude. Show compassion for yourself and others. A happy mind is a healthy mind.
2. Nurture close ties.
Stay in touch with family and friends. Consider getting a roommate if you feel isolated living alone. Healthy relationships are important.
3. Make new friends.
Reach out to people with similar interests. Join a book club. Invite a new neighbor to join you for coffee or shopping. Socializing keeps the mind healthy and happy.
4. Volunteer your services.
Get involved in local groups or professional associations. Join the welcoming committees or help plan the annual fundraiser. Tutor children or work in a community garden.
5. Laugh more.
Lighten up. Watch cartoons with your children. Look for the humor in confusing IRS instructions or surprise snow storms. Don’t forget to laugh and have fun.
6. Manage your finances.
Financial pressures can interfere with your wellbeing. Consult a financial advisor if you need guidance with money matters. Save on a regular basis even if you can put aside only modest amounts. Remember, it all adds up.
7. Learn something new.
Stimulate your brain. Teach yourself a foreign language or learn to draw. Play word puzzles or trivia games. Take dance classes or sign up for adult education courses at a community college. Learning keeps the mind active.
8. Manage stress.
Practice relaxation methods that work for you. Good choices include deep breathing, warm baths, and listening to instrumental music. Turn to your faith tradition for teachings on coping with adversity or read inspirational materials.
Look forward to getting better as you get older. Celebrate your growing wisdom and all those senior citizen discounts that lie ahead for you. Keeping yourself in top condition will help you lead a longer and fuller life. Learn to always stay mentally and physically healthy.