There are many myths about being a senior, such as that becoming a senior citizen means you will become physically incapacitated, automatically fall into dementia, or at the very least, lose much of your memory. The plain fact is, with the right habits and the right activities, seniors can live very fulfilling lives. And a big part of that is attitude. Accept the things you can’t change, do the things you can do, and re-invent your health as you age.
Do this and you can quite often live a very enjoyable life as part of your senior years.
Important things you can do:
Probably the best thing you can do is to evaluate every challenge you will likely face now, or in the future, and then change your attitude about those challenges. Instead of moaning the loss of what once was, or what regrets you might harbor, be grateful for everything you can muster.
You probably don’t have to be told what to eat but rather you have simply turned a blind eye to how important it is. The plain fact is, for most people, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, a decent amount of protein, and laying off the simple carbohydrates and sugars is the best plan you can have to ensure you remain healthy.
Get plenty of rest
Sleeping is often difficult for seniors and it would be fair to say many are sleep deprived. So get a great bed. We prefer Purple as the best mattress, but whatever you do, make sure to sleep on a comfortable mattress. Also, the age-old advice, early to bed, early to rise still holds true. If you go to bed early, you’ll get better sleep than watching old Perry Mason reruns after midnight while falling asleep in your easy chair.
Tune Into How You Feel
As well as eating healthily and exercising well, you also need to stay tuned into how you feel. You may start to take for granted day to day aspects of your health such as your eyesight and hearing. You may need to start wearing eyeglasses in order to improve your sight. You may find it necessary to invest in hearing aids too so that you can stay connected with your family. There is no shame in needing any of these health related accessories if they improve your quality of life.
Drink plenty of water
Fabgrandma.com not only supports eating well and getting plenty of rest, but reminds seniors that dehydration is a real problem with older adults. Keeping a chart of how much water you drink, infusing water with a little fruit juice to enhance the flavor, and buying a small flask so you are never without water pay huge dividends in helping to re-invent your health.
Get enough exercise
If you want to be vital past age 75, you had better exercise. No, you don’t have to lift weights like Arnold Schwarzenegger, nor run marathons, but to keep your blood pumping and your joints loose, most doctors recommend seniors get at least 30 minutes per day of exercise. But what exercise is useful for a much younger person may be contrary to what a senior should do.
The Huffington Post article, Exercises for Seniors, has a fantastic article on suggested exercise routines for seniors, and it’s an article well worth reading.
Find new joys or revive old ones
If you want to live a long and healthy life, for heaven’s sake, turn off the television set and get involved in things you enjoy. Whether it’s finding a new hobby like trout fishing, joining a club, traveling to countries you’ve never seen before, or pitching a tent in a national park, the difference between just existing until your time expires and living is how you engage your time. Continually be on the lookout for things to fulfill your life and you’ll be much happier.
There is a reason people become crossing guards for schoolchildren or volunteer at clubs. Connecting with others makes you feel alive instead of feeling alone. Even if you are a widower or your grown children don’t visit as often as you’d like, that’s no excuse for wasting away in your room.
Are you in a park or neighborhood where there is public chess? Set up a board and await people to play with you as well as converse, even if it’s a 9-year-old. Volunteer at your local school or library to read stories to young children. Join a bacca ball league. There are literally hundreds of things you can do to fill your time, and you’ll feel so much more connected as a result of it.
Learn something new
The rather famous painter, Grandma Anna Mary Robertson Moses, began painting at age 78. Colonel Harlan Sanders really began franchising his chicken cooking technique at age 65. At age 95, Nola Ochs became the oldest college graduate in the U.S. when she received a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University, Kansas.
Age can really be a state of mind if you learn to take care of yourself and re-invent your health.