This is a guest post by Kent Elliot from www.athomeaging.info
Many people notice a dip in well-being well before an age that could qualify as “senior.” This can be disconcerting but is a normal part of getting older. The body naturally loses strength and flexibility, metabolism slows, and the immune system weakens. Luckily, you have the power to slow the progression of these issues—you simply have to make some changes in your daily habits.
Revamp your diet to keep energy up
As Healthline explains, your nutritional needs change with age. For example, people have a reduced need for calories as they get older but they still need to get a sufficient balance of vitamins and nutrients. Older individuals tend to lack certain nutrients including vitamin D, calcium, and B12. You will likely also need to consume more fiber and protein.
A doctor can assess whether you are lacking any of these vitamins and minerals through a simple blood test. If you aren’t able to get the nutrients you need through food alone, talk to your medical professional about taking a daily multivitamin.
Modify your exercise plan to focus on low-impact workouts
Regular exercise helps you maintain flexibility, coordination, and muscle mass. Finding ways to stay active can get difficult as joints tend to deteriorate with age, however. This can make exercises like jogging painful, as the cartilage surrounding joints weakens and thins out, and absorbs shock less easily.
To keep moving, look for low-impact exercises that won’t stress your joints. Possibilities include yoga, cycling, and swimming. Uplifting Mobility notes swimming is especially useful, as it offers a full-body workout while the water provides buoyancy, reducing joint stress.
Upgrade your mattress to improve sleep
Sleep gives your body the rest it needs to maintain optimal function. A lack of proper sleep will leave you feeling fatigued. It’s recommended that adults aged 65 and older get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
If you find yourself tossing and turning, consider whether it’s time for a new mattress, especially if you suffer from age-related back pain. If it’s time for an upgrade, look for a model that suits your sleep style and firmness needs and that’s specifically designed to relieve back pain. For example, Purple Mattresses are great for side sleepers while WinkBed offers added back support thanks to its innerspring design. There is a cornucopia of options, so do some research before making a selection. And don’t be afraid to shop online. These days, mattress brands offer considerable trial periods and free shipping.
Train your brain now to keep it sharp later
It’s not only the body but also the brain that changes with age. Conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s become more prevalent later in life. Studies indicate 5.7 million people live with dementia in the United States. Luckily, you can take steps to decrease your risk of joining these ranks.
Alzheimer’s Society says cognitive training improves memory and thought processes in middle-aged and older individuals, helping to ward off this debilitating concern. You can exercise your mind by doing things like crosswords and Sudoku puzzles. There are also special brain-training games available for tablets, computers, and mobile phones.
Research assisted living before you need it
Although you may be completely self-sufficient at the moment, there may come a day when you would benefit from assisted living. Researching your options in terms of accommodation and financing now will ensure you’re prepared later.
Don’t assume that your insurance will cover the costs if you need assistance like in-home nursing. There are financing possibilities, but it’s critical to know what your insurance provides. Medicare Part A covers home health care and some skilled nursing services, for example, while Medicaid covers the costs of assisted living in addition to medical expenses.
There is also long-term care insurance available, although it’s best applied for when young and healthy.
Getting proper nutrition, enough sleep, some mental and physical exercise, and prepping for the future sound pretty basic—and really, all these steps are. Yet as fundamental as they sound, they can make a giant impact on your well-being. The outcome will be well worth the effort required.
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