Tips for Staying Healthy in your Senior Years
Take walks. There are lots of reasons for spending at least 30 minutes a day walking. First, taking a walk is even better at improving your memory than spending time solving puzzles. In addition, exercise of any kind is an effective way to reduce depression, which can become a problem as we age. So, keep moving as much as possible.
Stretch frequently. It may help to take classes in yoga or Tai Chi. In fact, these gentle stretching exercises seem to help relieve the pain and discomfort of arthritis or fibromyalgia.
Get any type of exercise you enjoy, including gardening. The longer you exercise in your later years, the healthier and more active you will be. This will also make your life more enjoyable. People who live in the "Blue Zones," or areas of the world where it is common to live a healthy life until the age of 100, continue to stay active well into their 90's. Once people stop moving, their life is likely to be shortened.
Spend time outside, weather permitting. Get a little sun on your skin, about 20 minutes a day, before putting on sunscreen. Natural Vitamin D is protective against a host of diseases, including certain types of cancer. When you cannot get outside, take a Vitamin D supplement.
If possible, get a pet. They can lower your blood pressure and stress levels, as well as give you another reason to get more exercise.
Interact with other people. Socialize. Join a club. Volunteer. Work on building relationships with your friends and family. Participate in the religious institution of your choice. All of these activities will help you stay healthy and happy for years to come. Whatever you do, do it with zest. Having a purpose in life has been shown to help people live longer.
Slow down. Relax. Take a vacation. In other words, take time to smell the roses and enjoy your life.
Tips for Living Longer
Most of the above suggestions for healthy living will also contribute to a longer life. However, to maximize the length of your life, you will want to use the following suggestions, as well.
Watch less television. Some researchers have concluded that one hour of watching television trims more time from your life than smoking a cigarette.
On the other hand, this doesn't mean you can keep smoking if you want to live a long life. People who quit smoking by the age of 40 will still live about 10 years longer than those who keep smoking.
Eat a plant based diet, and eat less than you normally do. According to National Geographic researchers, people who live in the "Blue Zones," where it is not uncommon for people to live to be 100 years old, tend to eat less meat and stop eating a meal when they are 80% full.
Drink a small amount of red wine on a regular basis.
If you are interested in more tips for healthy living, or you would like ideas about where to retire, financial planning, changing family relationships and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.
Sources for these health facts:
"Live Longer & Better" by Gretchen Reynolds. Parade Magazine, January 27, 2013
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