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Wellness Guide: Making Healthy Choices for Seniors

When people give out tips and ideas for senior citizens to stay healthy, they tend to generalize. Almost all the tips are for people who come from sedate backgrounds and have not experienced health issues that make daily living feel like a minefield. Whether you are recovering from a severe illness or cocaine addiction through rehab, there are many ways you, too, can make healthy choices for your future.

There are some activities that everyone must participate in because of necessity. Dental check-ups, regular exercise, and regular physicals will help you be aware of your health and seek ways to maintain the good while avoiding the bad. If your illness or condition makes you more susceptible to colds and infections, then healthy habits like exercise and working with a nutritionist can reduce the incidence of ill health.

Find out how you can take charge of your wellness and understand how to look after your changing needs.

Healthy Eating

Your digestive system is not going to function the same now as it did when you were younger. You must come to terms with this and begin working towards understanding how to look after it and adapt to its new needs.

The digestive system slows down with age, so eating carbohydrate-heavy food and too much sugar can cause weight gain and lethargy. Also, recovering from an illness or substance abuse means your body will feel frail, and you may not process rich foods well. It is a good idea to focus on eating fresh foods that will not strain your digestive system too much. High-fiber fruits and vegetables are good for keeping you regular and reduce weight gain. Unrefined whole grains are good for healthy carbohydrates that will not fill you with empty calories.

The skin and body tend to dehydrate much more easily with age, so it is a good idea to keep a reusable water bottle nearby to make sure you hydrate well throughout the day. Sugar- and cream-free coffee also counts towards your daily water intake and can provide an enjoyable break from drinking water.

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Preventative Care

Preventative care is best for senior citizens as the right people can catch an issue before it becomes a difficult problem. Ensure that your health insurance is good and that you have a regular check-up scheduled with your favorite doctor, so you do not forget to attend your preventative care visits. It’s also a good idea to keep your sponsor or your relatives on speed dial in case of an emergency. If you have a chronic illness, you may want to consider getting a medical alert bracelet.

Some health issues you may want to prioritize keeping a preventative eye on are influenza and pneumonia, as this can be deadly for older adults. If you have any illnesses you are genetically predisposed for, such as high cholesterol, cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, you must arrange for regular testing for these as well.

It would also be helpful to keep a log of how any new medications affect your routine. If you experience allergic reactions, drowsiness, or loss of appetite for any reason and especially after starting a new medication, you must see your doctor as soon as possible. An unfamiliar medication could cause an issue that can spiral out of control if not treated quickly.

Sleep Well

Sleep is essential for the proper functioning of the body and mind. Seniors regularly report that they frequently wake during the night, and some even experience insomnia. Frequent waking is not a serious issue as some people develop different circadian rhythms after retirement. Start a simple relaxing hobby such as reading or jigsaw puzzles so that you can quietly do that during the short period you are awake at night. Then go back to bed when you feel the sleep returning. If you still feel tired in the morning, a light afternoon nap can be refreshing and energizing.

Insomnia can be a sign of some underlying factor, and it would be helpful to see a doctor about changes to your diet or medication that could help prevent this. If your doctor does not find anything physically the matter, you may consider speaking to a counselor. Growing older can be stressful in many ways, and this stress could be affecting your sleep.

Staying sharp is important to many seniors, and activities that help improve cognitive health can remove some fears of growing older. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and learning how to play a musical instrument can be enjoyable as well as good for your mental acuity.

Join an exercise group or a knitting circle so you can make healthy relationships with people you have common interests with and keep yourself active. Socializing can help you to get out of your head and start feeling like part of a community. This is very good for your mental health and will give you the impetus to be dedicated to improving your physical health.

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