The changes that come along with getting older can make it more challenging to maintain good health and wellness. Your mental and physical health has a significant impact on your quality of life, and while some changes are out of your control, there are certain things you can do to ensure you’re aging gracefully. 

1. Exercise Regularly

Regularly exercising can lower your risk of chronic illness and health issues such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more. It can improve your overall strength, mobility, flexibility, balance, and endurance and even has mood-boosting effects that can improve your mental health. It’s a win-win!

There are many different types of exercise and each has its own respective benefits. You will want to do a well-rounded mix of aerobic, flexibility, balance, and strengthening exercises to get the most benefits. Yoga, pilates, walking, cycling, resistance training, and more are all great ways to get your body moving. 

2. Stick to a Well-Balanced, Healthy Diet 

Your diet plays a critical role in both your mental and physical health. Studies have found that diets high in sugar and processed foods, for example, can have significant mental health impacts. The physical effects of poor nutrition are no different — a bad diet is linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases and health issues. 

Eating healthy provides plenty of benefits, such as increased energy levels, lower risk of disease, boosted immunity, and improved overall mental and physical health. Eat healthy snacks between meals and consume well-balanced meals that contain a combination of nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and nuts. Drink eight cups of water per day to stay hydrated, as dehydration is a common issue in seniors that can have serious health effects. 

3. Get Enough Sleep 

Sleep is another key pillar of support to good mental and physical health. While you sleep, your body and mind are able to recover from the physical and mental demands of the day. Getting enough sleep every night offers many benefits, such as improved cognitive function, balance, and immunity, lowering your risk of chronic disease, helping you maintain a healthy weight, and more.

The amount of sleep we need changes as we age, yet seniors are still recommended to get around eight hours of good quality sleep per night to reap the benefits of a good night’s rest. 

4. Strengthen Your Relationships 

Healthy relationships with your friends and family can support your overall well-being by providing a sense of belonging and lowering stress. 

  • Spend time with far-away family members over video chat 
  • Get connected on social media to keep in touch with loved ones
  • Spend quality time with your friends and family 
  • Regularly call your loved ones to check in on them
  • Get involved in your community by participating in different events and classes

5. Go Outdoors 

Going outdoors is proven to support good mental and physical health. Limited sun exposure gives you much-needed vitamin D, which can support good bone health, muscular and cognitive function, and immunity. Studies have found that going outdoors can also aid in stress relief and improve overall mental health and mood (especially when done in conjunction with exercise).

There are many things you can do to get some fresh air, such as taking a walk, going for a bike ride, and sitting outside to read or birdwatch. 

6. Get a Pet

Animals, specifically cats and dogs, can support good mental health. They can combat feelings of loneliness and stress, lower levels of anxiety and depression, encourage physical activity, and more. Check with your senior living community to learn about their pet policy and see if this is an option for you. 

7. Participate in Your Favorite Activities

Making time for the things you enjoy will help you feel a sense of enrichment, lower stress levels, and boost your mood. 

  • Maintain your religious or spiritual practices. This can give you a sense of purpose and connection to something greater as well as other people, both of which can benefit your mental health.
  • Get active by taking a dance class, yoga class, or another fitness program
  • Attend a class or lecture to learn something new. 
  • Put together a puzzle, participate in arts and crafts, or play cards or board games with friends.
  • Make time to enjoy the arts, whether it be attending an event in your senior living community or exploring outside of your community by visiting a museum or attending a live performance. 

Along with making time for your hobbies and other things you enjoy, make sure you’re also setting aside time to rest and recharge. 

How the Right Senior Living Community Can Ensure Healthy Aging

Your home is likely where you spend a lot of time. Moving to a new community can be intimidating and lonely, but choosing the right senior living community can make this transition seamless. Choose a community that focuses on senior enrichment by offering different activities, events, and classes for their residents to get involved, focus on their mental and physical wellness, and connect with others. 

At Aviva Senior Living, our resident’s physical and mental health are our priority. We offer a wide range of amenities and services to support your overall wellness and strive to create an environment for older adults to thrive. What’s more, we offer a full continuum of care so that you can age in place without worry. 

Contact us today to see if Aviva is the right fit for your next adventure. 

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