Becoming a senior doesn’t mean that your life has to slow down. You might not have the high energy or late nights that you used to have, but you can still live a youthful life in your golden years. Taking care of your brain, body and emotional wellbeing can keep you living a long and happy life. Here are some ways to stay healthy and vibrant as a senior.
Keep your mind sharp by playing brain games. Mental stimulation and critical thinking will keep your brain active. You can pick new hobbies that stimulate your brain, or go for the tried and true senior favorite Bingo. Try one of these other brain games:
● Jigsaw Puzzles work both your creative side (completing the image) and your logical side (putting the pieces together).
● Word games keep your vocabulary sharp and your mind active. You can play classic games including Hangman, Scrabble and crossword puzzles, or you can try one of the many word game apps on your mobile device.
● Lumosity has more than 60 cognitive games created by scientists and game designers. These brain exercises have become increasingly popular throughout recent years.
● Learn a new language with Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, or another language program. It’s never too late to learn another language. You can even learn with a friend so you can practice together. Who knows? Maybe you’ll want to retire in a foreign country where that language is primarily spoken.
Staying in peak physical shape is important at any age, but especially in your golden years when health issues are more likely to occur. You can prevent injuries, boost your immune system and improve your heart health by following a healthy lifestyle. This includes a diet that’s rich in nutrients and low in sugar and processed food, as well as an exercise program. Stronger bones and muscles mean less likelihood of injury, and healthy insides mean less chance of illness.
Check out safe and fun exercise programs like Zumba, swimming, yoga, and walking. You’ll want to start light so you don’t injure or tire yourself out. As you build up resistance and fitness, you can increase your intensity. Join an exercise group for seniors, and talk to your doctor about starting a safe regimen.
One great way to get exercise without going overboard is to walk a dog. Dog walking is a low-impact exercise that gets you outside in the fresh air to bond with a dog. You’ll get the physical benefits of exercise for your cardiovascular health. You’ll also get the emotional and therapeutic benefits of being around a dog, such as reducing depression and loneliness, promoting calmness and comfort, and increasing socialization.
Another factor to consider for healthy aging is socialization. As we get older, we tend to spend more time alone because we’re not going to work everyday, hanging out with friends, or taking care of family. We simply go out into the world less. Just because your family members are busy, it doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself until they’re available to see you. Loneliness and social isolation can lead to depression, so don’t let your wellbeing suffer from poor social health.
Call an old friend that you haven’t seen in a while. Set up weekly lunches with your best pals. Join a senior community to make friends with other seniors. You can participate in group activities with other seniors, including exercising. Maybe you’ll meet a new chess buddy or a puzzle partner. Maybe you’ll find some roommates so you can have your own Golden Girls household and age in place.
Independent living without the financial constraints can be a more attractive option than moving into a retirement community.
Who says seniors can’t have more fun than their younger counterparts? You’re retired from working, and your kids are grown up and living on their own. Take advantage of the free time and lack of responsibilities to get your groove back. With more attention to your overall health, you can live a fulfilling life in your golden years.
By Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net – A website dedicated to promoting the idea that nothing is off-limits to seniors, and dedicated to spreading the word.