10 Healthy Tips for Seniors
Here are ten things that you can start doing today to help you live a longer, healthier life.
1. Exercise your heart four or more times per week for at least twenty minutes. Walking is a good place to start, but you can also use an exercise bike or even walk or swim in a pool if you have access to one. A strong heart is the foundation to a healthy life.
2. Work on your balance four or more days each week. Do four to six balance exercises for one minute each. Exercising your sense of balance helps keep it sharp and reduces your risk of falling.
3. Do strength training two to three times per week. You can use dumbbells, rubber bands, or weight machines. Aim for about ten exercises that use all major muscle groups, and do fifteen reps of each exercise. Strength training helps slow the decrease in muscle mass that is associated with aging.
4. Stretch daily for five to ten minutes. Do one stretch for each body part and hold each stretch for about forty-five seconds. Stretching helps you maintain good posture and joint health.
5. Have a square of dark chocolate every day. Look for at least 60% cocoa content on the label when buying chocolate. Dark chocolate is a potent source of antioxidants and also has a positive effect on your mood.
6. Once or twice a day, stop what you’re doing and breathe ten deep breaths in a row. Slowly fill your lungs up all the way and then gently exhale. Deep breathing is like pressing the “Reset” button on your stress levels.
7. Exercise your brain by learning new things on a regular basis. Take up a new hobby, check out a new book, learn a new card game, or cook new foods. New things are like food for a healthy brain.
8. Eat healthy fats every day. Try to buy some kind of nuts, particularly almonds or walnuts, every time you go to the grocery store and eat a handful every day. Avocados and olive oil are also good sources of healthy fats.
9. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Have some fruit with breakfast, cooked vegetables at lunch and dinner, and raw vegetables, fruit, or a salad for snacks. Five servings a day isn’t that hard if you plan ahead and spread them out through the day.
10. Be optimistic. Make the decision to have a positive attitude. Look for the good things in life instead of the bad, and it will seem like more good things are happening. Believe it or not, a positive attitude has been shown to benefit your physical health and even add years to your life.
You may already be doing some of these things, which is great. What else can you add? Pick three and get started today. The key to success is consistency. Day after day, week in week out. That’s when you start to see results.
About The Author
Senior fitness expert Mike Ross works with people over 65 to help them live an independent and healthy life. He is the author of “The Balance Manual,” which shows seniors how to do balancing exercises at home.