7 Habits of Healthy Seniors to Enjoy Life
Ever wonder how to live well into your senior years? It’s no secret that modern medicine has made it easier to live longer. But just because people are living longer (78.7 years old is the average life expectancy), doesn’t guarantee a positive quality of life. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to enjoy life as you age. Adopt these seven habits of healthy seniors:
1. Be optimistic
Learn to look on the bright side of things. See the glass half full instead of half empty. Hope for the best, instead of thinking the worst. Research shows an optimistic attitude can have a positive impact on heart health and longevity.
2. Be active
Let’s face it. There’s an old-school stereotype that suggests senior living means watching TV and sitting on the front porch. But if you want to be happier, healthier, and live longer, it’s time to crush that stereotype. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Swim. Take a fitness class. You’ll build muscle, strengthen your bones, improve balance, and keep your heart and lungs healthy as you age.
3. Eat healthy foods
Here’s another tip for living well as you age. Eat healthy foods. Mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, lean meats, and fish. And drink plenty of water. Wondering where to start? Just check out the Senior-Friendly menu for a list of healthy and tasty meals made from fresh ingredients.
4. See your doctor
See your doctor at least once a year for an annual wellness visit or check up. Your doctor will recommend specific tests based on your age, gender, and other risk factors. And if your doctor prescribes medication or recommends specific lifestyle changes, be a good patient.
5. Avoid or limit alcohol
Here’s another simple way to add years to your life and life to your years. Avoid or limit alcohol. That’s no more than one drink per day for women, two drinks per day for men. Research shows red wine may provide some protective benefits. But any alcohol consumption has an impact on your brain, heart, pancreas, liver, and your immune system.
6. Keep your brain active
You can still learn something new every day as you age. And you should. Research shows that learning new things, and keeping your brain active, also helps keep your brain healthy. Take a class. Do a crossword. Put together a puzzle. Find a mentally stimulating activity you enjoy and make it a regular part of your life.
7. Find a purpose
When you live your life with a purpose, you’re more likely to be happier and healthier. And there’s more than one way to do that. You could keep on working. You could semi-retire and work fewer hours. Or you could dedicate some of your time each day to volunteer, share your talents, or mentor others in your field after a successful career.
Growing older doesn’t have to mean sitting on the sidelines. Healthy lifestyle habits will help you be happier, feel better, and live longer. That’s how you enjoy life at any age.