Get Back in the Game: How Seniors Can Stay Mentally and Physically Active
It can be easy for seniors to sit on the sidelines and contentedly watch others having fun and trying new things. Everyone wants a good quality of life, but staying engaged is difficult if you give in to lethargy and isolation. One of the best ways to get back in the game is to adopt an aggressive, optimistic mindset and pursue an active lifestyle. The good news is there are so many ways to enjoy a fulfilling life in your senior years, so why not make a brand new start?
Keep the blood flowing
An active and involved lifestyle depends on staying physically active and getting some form of exercise every day. One of the best ways to stay fit is to exercise with friends, so turn those laps at the park or your interest in water aerobics into an outing with your pals. Exercising together offers an emotional support system and is a source of encouragement, which can make all the difference when you’re trying to get back in the swing of things physically. Why not make a day of it by rewarding yourselves with coffee and a sweet treat after an invigorating workout?
If bone and muscle strength is a problem, taking collagen supplements can help improve your stamina and flexibility, making exercising considerably easier. Keep in mind that some collagen supplements are also designed to help ease joint pain, another valuable quality for seniors. Spend some time researching the right supplement for you.
Seniors who lapse into inactivity and depression tend to go into mental and emotional decline at a significantly higher rate than those who stay active. You can keep your brain working without having to do calculus or learn Latin. Crossword puzzles, brain teasers, playing cards (which, incidentally, you can also do on the computer), or a good book will keep your gray matter sharp and improve mental acuity.
Take care of your whole self
Your overall well-being is dependent on a variety of surprising factors. For example, poor dental health is connected to heart disease, and a poor diet can contribute to vision loss. So, while exercising and taking care of your mind are a great start to staying mentally and physically active, you also need to make sure you are going to the dentist and eye doctor regularly. Unfortunately, these are some of the most commonly-missed appointments for seniors because dental and vision aren’t covered under Medicare. However, supplemental Medicare Advantage plans from top companies like Aetna offer coverage that traditional Medicare doesn’t. The added benefits can help you cover the costs of these services and, as a result, help you take care of your whole health.
Become tech savvy
If you feel intimidated by computers and smartphones and all of the amazing things they can do, try seeing technology as a necessary tool for making your life easier. It helps you stay connected with family and friends through social media, allows you to learn new things like a foreign language, and offers the chance to start a new hobby. Check with a local senior center or community college about taking a class to help you fully understand and utilize technology.
Why not use your newfound computer knowledge to reach out to friends, family, and people you’ve lost touch with? Facebook is a fun way to stay connected, and you can communicate face-to-face in real time through FaceTime or Skype. Any social interaction is better than none at all, and engaging through the convenience of technology is an easy way to make it happen. You’ll also reap the health benefits of staying socially active, which keeps your mental faculties busy and helps prevent memory loss and cognitive problems.
Volunteer your time
If you’re looking for something physically, mentally, and emotionally fulfilling, volunteering to help others is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Volunteerism boosts self-confidence, reduces stress and anxiety, combats depression, and adds meaning to your life. So, volunteer for a cause that means a lot to you, like teaching underprivileged children to read or reaching out to an underserved population.
Achieving physical and mental health is essential for seniors who want to enjoy a good quality of life. Staying active and engaging with others will keep you limber, improve your mood, and infuse you with a sense of purpose.
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