Wellness refers a state achieved by following a healthy, balanced lifestyle focused on both the mind and the body. Going by healthy aging strategies can promote wellness, and for that, you need to implement certain lifestyle changes that can prevent diseases before they occur. As you age, it’s important to maintain a level of wellness in all dimensions: physically, spiritually and mentally. Here are some strategies that can help older adults improve health and overall quality of life:
- Good nutrition habits: To achieve and maintain optimum health, you have to maintain a balanced diet that can provide your body with the essential nutrients. Include lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains in your diet. Avoid junk food, limit intake of fat, and balance the carbohydrate and protein intake. Eating healthy not only keeps you at the optimal weight but also improves your emotional and cognitive health.
- Be social and mingle with right crowd: Retirement, health issues, or the loss of a spouse, are events that can lead to social isolation. It’s important to maintain healthy communication with your family and friends to avoid becoming isolated or lonely. Staying socially active can improve mental and physical health. Volunteering has been proven to boost happiness, and is also a great way to bond with friends and meet new people in your community.
- Stay positive: A little positive energy can go a long way. Think happy thoughts and surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook about life.
- Reduce stress: Stress can be dangerous to your health. As we age, our stressors change and so does our ability to deal with stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression. Stress may also cause memory loss, fatigue, and decreased ability to fight off and recover from infection. Mental and emotional strain can negatively impact the brain, nerves and hormones. It may not be possible to avoid stressful situations entirely, but you can learn to cope with stress. Stress management is a broad approach and should involve exercise, good coping skills, limiting work hours, while being active and leading a simple lifestyle.
- Learn something new: Never stop learning and challenging your mind. Doing routine mind exercises will help you stay sharp and cognitive decline. Learn new skills that require concentration, creative thinking and memorization like chess, crossword puzzles, or writing poetry.
- Meditate: Meditation can boost quality of life and your overall health. It can prevent from mental deterioration and keep your brain healthy as you age. The immediate benefits of meditation are reduced stress and anxiety levels, lower blood pressure, and enhanced happiness.
- Take care of your health: Regular health check-ups can detect problems before they become grave. Access to proper health care services is therefore important. Follow your doctor’s prescriptions and advice strictly and have regular screenings for common diseases.
- Undisturbed sleep: Good, undisturbed sleep matters lot. Older adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night because lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems. So develop a regular schedule with a bedtime routine and naps when needed.